The 5 (Researched) Steps To Curing Toenail Fungus

curing toenail fungus

Curing toenail fungus actually isn't that hard. But there are a few pointers which are usually left untold:

  • regardless of treatment the fungus can come back
  • it is going to take time, many months in fact to see any signs of the treatment working

Anyway, good news out of the way:) , here are the steps to try and cure toenail fungus.

1. Do you have a toenail fungus to start with?

Many people who use a whole load of different products that have no anti-fungal factors state that they cured their toenail fungus.


There is a high possibility that they didn't have toenail fungus to start with. If you hit your nail or traumatised it somehow it might discolour or go a little thickened at the base of the nail.

People freak out. And then start applying lots of different products. then the nail gets better.

But you said....

Well the nail just grows out normally (as long as you didn't damage the nail from where it grows from). It takes many months for this to happen, but it does. So by the time someone has applied some sort of household product the nail has grown out. Miraculous! No, just normal nature stuff :)

2. Topical treatments

These are products which are put on top of your nail.

Most treatments are creams or colourless liquids. They are some of the best treatments, however they can also have a few flaws:

  • some can drip off the nail, which kinda defeats the object of the treatment
  • they can have a reduced penetration factor. Some higher end medications like Jublia penetrate the nail even with nail polish
  • some treatments have a very low percentage of active ingredient and can only have a low active ingredient- usually off the shelf types. Prescription ones have a higher percentage and therefore a higher chance of success

Another cool topical treatment in curing toenail fungus is Ciclopirox. A patient has recently used it. Initially they thought something was wrong with the nail- it turns discoloured and black. eventually grows out with new nail growing right behind it. In some studies this toenail fungus medication performed poorly.


3. Tablet Treatments

There is always a backlash when someone mentions this type of treatment, but here is the main info, below is that link neatly packaged in bullet points:

  • it is one of the quickest and effective toenail fungus treatments around, one that has the potential for curing toenail fungus
  • some tablet medication can cause liver upsets- which can be rare, so the doctor will check on your liver status
  • it can cause tummy upsets like diarrhea
  • it can interact with other medications that you are taking
  • Drs usually check each patient over before they figure out if you should use tablet treatment or not

Below is the most common oral medication, Terbinafine- also known as Lamisil.


4. Did you know about athletes foot?

athletes foot

Did you know that if you got a toenail fungus then it is very likely that you also have athletes foot?

One acts as a reservoir for the other, get rid of one and not the other then one of them will come back. So if you treat a toenail fungus then check out your feet for athletes foot as well and then try to treat that.

5. Natural treatments

The problem with natural treatments are:

  • There is no definitive "it does" or "it doesn't" work. Some patients have said it does and some patient say it did nothing.
  • Regardless of what natural treatment it is, you can not guarantee what is inside the pot/ jar that you are using. Also with some natural remedies they contain chemicals which the body does not like
  • When you go toe-to-toe (no pun) with a pharmaceutical remedy they both are applied in the same way and they both have roughly the same side affects (apart from the tablet treatments).

There are quite a few "natural" treatments out there which have a range of "success". Anything that you bathe our foot in is not going to be that effective than something that you directly apply to your nail which has properties to penetrate the nail itself.

As per usual. if you have any questions then check it out with your health care professional.

The researched 5 step pathway to curing toenail fungus and prevention

This section is how scientists have figured out how toenail fungus can be treated- effectively. It is in a chart edited from "Pathway to prevention and treatment of toe onychomycosis" By Aditya K. Gupta, R. Gary Sibbald, Anneke Andriessen

1. Decrease the risk of reinfection

  • reduce your risk- avoid barefoot in public areas- bathroom floors, health clubs etc
  • sanitize shoes and socks

2. Treat the cause

  • ? athletes foot
  • control the patients other illnesses if present
  • assess the patients risk
  • provide education to the patient

3. Level of nail involvement

4. Reassess nail and point 2.

5. Monitor patient and reduce the risk of reinfection

Unfortunately fungus toenails can come back so we need to reduce your risk. So that means

  • treating the athletes foot,
  • making sure family members are OK
  • commonly used household surfaces are clean
  • nail clippers and footcare equipment that was used is removed
  • if any superficial, small amount of fungus toenail appears then treat that with topical treatments

More toenail fungus articles are here.

The medical information on the web site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

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About Dominic Hough

Hi. I'm Dominic. I treat patients every day at a local clinic. I am a trained Chiropodist and I care about prevention. I designed the website to help readers understand treat and even prevent issues from happening to their feet.