Fungal Nail Infections

Fungal nail infections can be unsightly and people are often embarrassed by them but they are also quite common, affecting 3% of the UK population. They are also very easily treated. Such infections are more common of the toenails but can also occur in the fingernail area and the most common sign of such an infection is a thickening of the nail, a discolouration, crumbliness, looseness, curvature, dentation, lines or strips on the nail or inflammation of the skin around the nail. Causes of such infections include athlete’s foot, candida and illnesses like diabetes and psoriasis, but such infections of the nail are also caused by sweaty feet and general nail damage. These infections might not be painful but they are still a cause for concern considering the high possibility of their spread to other nails and the potential to cause more damage. The infection might also be indicative of an underlying condition which needs to be addressed. Sometimes nail infections are caused by an underactive or overactive thyroid and therefore, a hormone imbalance.These are important conditions to check out. The body is always giving us warning signals and these signs and symptoms should not be ignored. This is called differential diagnosis, more details of which are included here.

Terbinafine-oral, is an antifungal tablet that treats fingernail and toenail infections. Antifungal nail paint is also a common treatment but it is not as effective as the oral tablet which is taken for a number of months in certain cases in order to make sure that the infection does not return. Taking a tablet for this period of time is much more convenient than applying a treatment topically for this duration plus, considering the medication is working through the blood stream, it will ensure success and limit the risk of a recurring infection. The new nail should start to grow within two to three weeks of starting the medication. The old nail might look as if it has not healed but it will take time for the nail to grow out even after the infection is gone. The appearance of this nail will not change and rather it will fall off in time, leaving only the new, healthy nail in its place.

As with antibiotics, it is vital that the full course of medication is completed and that it is taken correctly. In the case of terbinafine, stopping the treatment before the prescribed course is finished might cause the fungus to continue to grow. And, as with many medications, this treatment is not without its side effects, but this will not be the case for everyone. Potential side effects include diarrhea, altered sense of taste, nausea, headache or itchiness. To avoid experiencing serious side effects, which very few patients do, doctors need to know the patients full medical history such as any previous liver or kidney issues. Any stomach pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes and unusually dark urine, should be reported immediately and treatment ceased. You can read more about the side effects of Terbinafine at this trusted medical webiste.

Everyone gets sweaty feet, especially if the same shoes are being worn for regular sporting activities and also for daily use. It is important to give feet a chance to breath outside of socks or shoes and maintain a foot hygiene routine. Trainers should generally be avoided too. It is vital that once an infection or irritation is noticed on the foot or nail, the problem is examined immediately. The longer the infection is there, the longer the treatment period will be, which is obviously undesirable. Again, these infections are common and although annoying, can easily be treated. To avoid potential side effects, full medical histories should be shared with the GP and medication should be taken correctly. 

Many GPs are unwilling to prescribe Terbinafine oral because of the potential side effects and the fact that the fungal nail infection is cosmetic. It is recommended that patients try something like Trosyl nail laquer first. If you GP is still unwilling to prescribe oral terbinafine if the nail paint does not work and you still want to get rid of the nail fungus, there is an online clinic that might be prepared to prescribe for you based on your circumstances. They may ask to see a photo of the affected nails and you will need to confirm that you have tried other methods such as the Trosyl nail paint. If you go to then one of the doctors at the website might be prepared to help you.