Nonsurgical nail removal may be used to treat severe or recurring fungal nail infections. A urea ointment is applied to the nail. The ointment softens and dissolves the nail so that it can be easily removed. After the diseased nail tissue is removed, an antifungal cream can be applied directly to the infected area. This is likely to work better than using one of these treatments alone. Nail removal is rarely needed.
Laser treatments for fungal nail infections use a highly focused beam of light on the infected toenail. Some people may find it helpful. It may take several treatments and about 6 months for the infection to clear up. But there is no good proof yet that this treatment works.
Some people find that tea tree oil or cream works well for treating and preventing athlete's foot and mild fungal nail infections.3
Some people have found an over-the-counter menthol ointment (Vicks VapoRub) to be useful for treating fungal nail infections.4