The most proven effective treatment is oral antifungal medications, but pills are not for everybody. The step-wise recommendations below will improve your chances of successful home treatment. Successful treatment usually takes 6-12 months.
1. Take a photo of your toenail before starting treatment.
2. Cut away the diseased portion** of the nail. A side-cutting nail cutter works best.
3. Apply a nail-softening agent such as Kerasal before bedtime to the remaining toenail. Softening the hard keratin of the nail plate will allow topical antifungal medicines to penetrate deeper into the nail.
4. Apply antifungal solution to the nail, the nail bed, and the surrounding skin twice daily.
6. After two months, take another photo and compare the nail to the first photo. If the nail is improved, continue treating by repeating steps 2-4. If you don't see improvement, see a podiatrist.
7. To maximize your results during treatment and to prevent re-infection, follow these additional steps:
- Don't wear the same shoes two days in a row.
- Use an antifungal foot powder in shoes and socks to keep feet dry and to resist fungus growth.
- Use a disinfecting device to kill fungus that may be living in your shoes.
** Patients with Diabetes, poor feeling in their feet, or poor circulation to their feet should not attempt to cut their own toenails and should be under regular care from a podiatrist for toenail cutting.