Nail Fungus

1. Buck, David S., et al. "Comparison of two topical preparations for the treatment of onychomycosis: Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil and clotrimazole." Journal of Family Practice, June 1994, p. 601+. Accessed 6 July 2018.

Nail Fungus

What Is Toenail Fungus?

Toenail fungus is an infection that gets in through cracks in your nail or cuts in your skin. Onychomycosis is one of the most frequent causes of nail disease. It can make your toenail change color or get thicker. It can also hurt. Because toes are often warm and damp, fungus grows well there. Left untreated, an infection could spread to other toenails and skin.


Infected nails are usually thicker than normal and could be warped or oddly shaped. They can break easily. Nails with fungus might look yellow.

Who Gets Toenail Fungus?

Men are more likely to get it than women. People who have diabetes, athlete's foot, or a weak immune system, who smoke, or whose family members have it are also at a higher risk.


The way you treat toenail fungus depends on which fungus you have and how bad the infection is. Your doctor may try one thing or a combination:

  • A topical cream that goes directly on the nail.
  • Medicated nail polish: Your doctor may prescribe an anti-fungal nail polish. You paint this medicated nail polish on your infected nails, and any affected skin that surrounds the nail, once a day.
  • An anti-fungal prescription pill.
  • Removal of the damaged area of the nail or skin.