Understanding Nail Fungus

Nail Fungus Treatments

Ultimately, your doctor is the best resource for treating a fungal infection of the nails. Since there are a number of different fungi that may be responsible for an infection, the best treatment for your condition depends on your doctor taking a sample from your nails and identifying the specific culprit. In addition to fungal infections, there a few other conditions -- such as psoriasis and eczema -- that mimic some of the symptoms, so it is always best to get a firm diagnosis before beginning any kind of treatment regimen [source: WebMD].

Once your doctor makes a firm diagnosis, there are three main ways to treat fungal nail infections. One is to take oral anti-fungal medication. However, though oral medications are the most effective treatment, they are known to have problematic side effects such as liver damage. In addition, because oral medications work as your nails grow, this method could take four months or longer to get rid of the infection [source: Mayo Clinic].

An alternative to pills is topical treatments such as anti-fungal creams, which have the best chance of success if the infection is caught at an early stage. However, if the infection is very advanced or causing severe pain, your doctor may opt for the third method -- removing the infected nail and surrounding skin via surgery. In any case, fungal infections are hard to eliminate completely and may recur even after a successful treatment [source: WebMD].

If you'd rather not visit the doctor or prefer treatments that don't involve drugs or surgery, there are some homeopathic remedies you could try. Click through to the next page to learn what they are.