Fungal Infections of the Nails (Onychomycosis)

Fungal infections of the nail are referred to as onychomycosis. This condition is very common, and it is estimated that 50% of individuals over the age of 70 have fungus in their nails although this condition can occur at any age. Those with diabetes, poor circulation, and athletes who are frequently in the gym are particularly prone to fungal nails.

There are several treatment options available for nail fungus ranging from topical creams and gels to pills taken by mouth.

Topical therapies for fungal nails: Several creams, gels and solutions are available by prescription and these medications are usually the first line of treatment used. Adverse effects are low, and in many scientific studies these treatments have been shown to be effective even with nail polish on the nail. Proper application of the topical is imperative, with application to the entire nail bed and cuticle being very important.

Oral therapies for fungal nails: There are numerous pill forms of anti-fungal available for treatment, with the most commonly used medications being terbinafine or fluconazole. Oral treatment of nail fungus is reserved for fungus that does not respond to topical treatments or fungus that is very severe. There are some side effects associated with taking oral antifungal pills, and as such blood work may be required before starting this type of therapy.  If you are a candidate for this treatment, your provider will review all of the risks with you at your office visit.

Lifestyle measures to prevent fungal nails: It is very common for fungus to come back in the nails, even after it has been treated completely. A few lifestyle practices may help prevent reinfection:

  • Decontaminate old shoe/ socks with anti-fungal powder or wipe down with bleach spray
  • Wear cotton, absorbable socks
  • Clip nails short
  • Avoid sharing nail clippers
  • Avoid walking barefoot in public places- particularly gyms and pools
  • Ensure your nail salon adequately cleans its facilities


Our providers at Tareen Dermatology are experts in the treatment of fungal nail infections. We encourage you to make an appointment today to discuss how lifestyle changes and treatment can help rid your nails of unwanted fungus!

Tareen Dermatology

  • Tareen Dermatology - 1835 W. County Rd. C, Suite 250, Roseville, MN 55113 Phone: 651-633-6883
  • The Faribault Office - 1575 20th St. N.W., Faribault, MN 55021 Phone: 651-633-6883

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