Best Toenail Fungus Treatments

Nails are hardened skin cells made of a protein called keratin, which can be found in the hair and skin. Toenail fungus is a common condition in the United States, with approximately 12 percent of all Americans suffering from it, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. A number of conventional treatments can be used to help to treat toenail fungus.

Topical Medications

A doctor may suggest a topical anti-fungal medication to treat toenail fungus. The doctor may also advise the addition of an over-the-counter lotion containing urea in order to enhance the absorption of fungal properties. Also, the doctor may have to file the surface of the nails, a procedure called debridement, to reduce the amount of the affected nail, also allowing the medication to work effectively.

Anti-fungal Lacquer

For mild to moderate toenail fungus infections, it may be best to consider using an anti-fungal nail polish prescribed by a doctor called ciclopriox, also known as penlac. This medication is painted onto infected nails and surrounding skin at least once a day. After using ciclopriox for about seven days, it needs to be removed using alcohol with pads or a cotton ball. The Mayo Clinic says that using ciclopriox continuously for about one year has been showen to treat nail fungal infections.


A doctor may suggest surgery if a nail infection is severe or painful, according to the Mayo Clinic. During the surgery, the nail may be removed and a new nail will grow in its place, but it will come in slowly and can take as long as a year to grow back fully.