ZocdocAnswersHow can one remove life-long nail fungus?

Question

How can one remove life-long nail fungus?

I've had nail fungus on my feet almost since I was a kid. Now I'm in my 30s and I'm wondering if there's anything I can really do to get rid of it. Does it just get too deep under your nails to treat at some point? It smells awful, but doesn't really bother me otherwise.

Answer

Nail fungus is one of the most common nail conditions, and it can be difficult to get rid of. It usually requires medical treatment, and the doctors who will be well qualified to discuss the issue with you in greater depth include your primary care doctor or your dermatologist. Fungal infections of nails can be chronic problems that are difficult to get rid of. They are characterized by thickening and deformity and color changes of the nails, sometimes with odor. Good foot hygiene with an antibacterial soap, frequent changes of high-quality socks, and application of topical antifungal creams can help to manage the odor and some of the unsightliness. However, once foot fungus really sets it, it is virtually impossible to get rid of with topical creams or skin care measures. Almost always, a several months long course of an oral antifungal medication is required. There are a number of these, and a discussion with your doctor can help you decide which one is best for you. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular concern will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor or your dermatologist is highly advised.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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