Treatment For Fungal Nail Infections

treatmentYou can treat fungal nail infections with anti-fungals, which kill the micro-organisms responsible and stop the infection. Anti-fungals come as oral treatments (ones you swallow e.g. tablets) or topical treatments (ones you apply directly to the fingernail or toenail e.g. creams and lacquer). You can buy some over the counter from the pharmacy, while for others you will need to get a prescription from your doctor.

For mild cases

Effective solutions for mild infections is available over the counter or online (Curanail) from your nearest pharmacy, which means that most cases can be properly treated without an appointment and without the need to consult a doctor. Speak to your pharmacist for advice on which solution is suitable for you and your condition.


A new treatment called Curanail is now available specifically for mild fungal infections. It comes as a lacquer (which is applied like nail varnish) and contains amorolfine, an ingredient that was until recently only available on prescription and which is proven to be effective in treating mild cases.

For severe infections

Where a large part of the nail is affected or more than two are infected, you may need to go to your doctor for a prescription for stronger treatments. All oral treatments are prescription only medicines.

Increasing your chances of success

Stick to it

It’s important to stick to your chosen treatment. Anti fungals take a long time to work as the infection has to be eliminated from the entire nail. The only way this can happen is for your nail to grow out. This can be around 6 months for fingernails and 9-12 months for toenails.

Treat athlete’s foot

It’s also important that any fungal skin infection, such as athlete’s foot, is treated at the same time. This helps prevent the athlete’s foot infection spreading into the nails and causing another infection after the fungal infection treatment has been completed.

Choose a solution that fits in with your routines

Some traditional topical formulations, such as creams and solutions, need to be applied to the nails at least once a day because they are easily wiped or washed off. Amorolfine is applied once a week because the lacquer that it comes in holds the treatment on the nail for longer. Some people may find a once weekly routine a better option in helping them to stick to long term treatment.