Antifungal medicine is standard treatment for a fungal nail infection. The goals of treatment are to have few or no side effects, provide a long-term cure, and reduce treatment time.
Antifungal pills (oral medicine) offer the best chance of a cure. But they also require close monitoring for dangerous side effects. Oral medicines are typically reserved for moderate-to-severe or hard-to-treat fungal nail infections.
Antifungal topical medicines (creams, lotions, gels, and lacquers) are applied to the infected nail and surrounding areas of the skin. But they may not be as effective as oral medicines. Topical medicines may be used for mild-to-moderate infections and to help prevent an infection from returning or to prevent athlete's foot from spreading to the nails.
What to think about
If you're thinking about using oral medicines, you may want to think about the type of infection you have, the cost of treatment, side effects, and how the pills can help or hurt you.