If you suffer from a mild or moderate infection, or prefer to avoid the risks of oral medication, your doctor can suggest topical treatment, such as an antifungal nail polish or ointment.
The antifungal nail polish is applied on the nails and the nail cuticles daily. Every week you need take off the polish layers and begin a fresh application.
If the treatment works, you should see a new, healthy nail growth from the base of the nail bed. The infected nail can be clipped away gradually.
Routine daily use of an antifungal infused nail polish for about 12 months can clear some nail fungal infections, but because it has to penetrate the nail, it can be difficult to reach and destroy all the fungus. These treatments are time consuming and require high level of dedication from the patients, since even skipping few applications can result in remission of the infection. The treatments rarely work and most solutions in the market are not FDA approved to heal the infection (although they are effectively used to prevent the recurrence of infections).
Your doctor can file the surface of your nail (debridement of the nail) to decrease the fungal load and lessen the surface of infected nail. The debridement can increase the effectiveness of the topical remedies. Over-the-counter antifungal nail ointments, are available at CVS, Walgreen’s and other local drugstores or pharmacies, but unfortunately they are not very effective. If you suffer from Athlete’s Foot then you should treat the athlete’s foot with antifungal cream to avoid reinfection.