Fungal nail infections are a common presentation in our clinic. They can be annoying and unsightly.

We can assist by ensuring you have the correct diagnosis to begin with, and in recommending the best medical treatments. Some tablets are available to treat fungal nail infections, however they generally need to be taken for several months at a time.

Laser treatment offers another option for patients not wishing to take tablets for long period of time. The laser treatment works by heating the nail and killing the fungus. Several treatments are required and are performed one month apart as the toenails take a long time to grow.


What tablets treat fungal nail infections?

Taking antifungal medication in the form of tablets means that the treatment reaches your nail through your bloodstream.

The two most commonly prescribed medications for fungal nail infections are Terbinafine and Itraconazole.

They are considered to be very effective, however you may have to take the tablets for several months to ensure that the infection has completely cleared up. If you stop taking the medication too early, the infection may return.

Can laser be used to treat fungal nail infections?

Yes, laser treatment can be an effective treatment option for those not interested in taking tablets or  when the tablets have not been a successful treatment. The advantage of using laser is that the treatment is focused just on the area needed, and avoids possible side effects from oral medication.

A Nd:YAG laser is used to treat the affected nails. The treatment works by heating up the fungus and destroying it. With medical treatments, several months are required to see improvement as the toenail grows very slowly.

At least three treatments, 4 weeks apart, are recommended before assessing if any further treatment is required.

What else can I do for fungal nail infections?

  • Keep the nails trimmed to avoid trauma (fungal spores are more likely to infect a damaged nail)
  • Wear well fitting shoes
  • Dry your feet properly
  • Treat any tinea on the feet early, before it can spread to the nail
  • Wear thongs when using public bathrooms, swimming pools and saunas etc
  • Treat shoes with antifungal powder to avoid re-infection once you start treatment for nail infection