Toenail fungus is quite a common condition. It usually first appears as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your toenail. However, the deeper the fungal infection grows, the more your nail will discolor, thicken and crumble. Treatment is not always needed, such as in instances that are minor and not causing irritation. However, if your toenail fungus has become painful and has caused your nail to thicken, then treatment can help.
Normally, your doctor will usually prescribe oral antifungal drugs. The drugs aid in the growth of a new nail, free of infection that gradually replaces the infected part of the nail. You are typically required to take the drug for 6 to 12 weeks, but the end result will not be seen until the new nail finishes growing. This can take 4 or more months to eliminate an infection.
Laser treatment is still very new. Unfortunately, there is not enough data to answer whether or not laser treatment works better than other medications. The research that is available, however, is promising. It suggests that laser treatment alone or in combination with medication may be able to help nails improve. However, laser therapy is not available everywhere, and it can be expensive. Unfortunately, it's usually not covered by insurance.
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