Why is Toe Nail Fungus So Hard to Treat?

Why is Toe Nail Fungus So Hard to Treat?

Apart from being unsightly, nail fungus is often painful too and affects millions of people all over the world. As compared to fingernail fungus, toenail fungus is way more difficult to treat.

In this post, we’ll have a look at what makes toe nail fungus so difficult to treat and some of the most common ways in which doctors treat this problem.

First, What is Nail Fungus?

Fungus can be defined as an organism, like viruses, bacteria, plants, parasites, or animals. There are several different forms and species of fungus. Some are large like the mushrooms while others are microscopic.

It is this microscopic fungus that is able to invade the human body. They use it as a shield and start living on or in the human body. They can result in a wide range of infections related to skin, lungs, and several orifices like the genital region and in and around the mouth.


While the fungus is not known to result in any kind of severe health related problems in people who are reasonably healthy, the infections caused by them can be very annoying and can result in a number of problems which might require medical attention. As compared to all the other parts of the body, it is the skin infection that is the most common and this includes nail fungus infection too.

fungal toenail                                                                

On the basis of where the infection has occurred, skin fungal infection is known by many different names like

  • Jock itch
  • Ringworm
  • Athlete’s foot, etc.

This type of fungus is generally found on areas that are both moist and warm. This is the reason the genital area and feet are the common targets.

If we talk about foot fungus, it is not unusual to be caught or transmitted in wet areas,

Catch nail fungus

like the locker rooms, showers, and other areas where people are generally barefoot.

While there are many different species of fungus that can result in a fungal infection on your feet, dermatophyte is the most common and it is this species of fungus that results in toenail fungal infections.

How Does Nail Fungus Occur?

Toenail fungus occurs when the skin fungus is allowed to take advantage of any small break or crack in nail tissues. They invade the skin through this break or crack and start residing below the nail.

The fungus uses the nail as a shield and thrives on the skin under the nails. As the fungus under toenails starts destroying the skin underneath the nail, the infection can make the nail – loose – discoloured – thicken it, or misshape it. It can also result in nail debris which can be externally seen as a powder like substance exiting from the end of the nails.

Why is Toe Nail Fungus so Hard to Treat?

Athlete’s foot is also caused by dermatophyte and can be treated easily with the help of topical ointment or creams.

Dermatophytes are fungi that require keratin for growth, as such they effectively feed on the nail. These fungi can also cause superficial infections of the skin, and hair.

When the fungus has got under the nail it is obviously more difficult to reach with treatments.

So, how come it is so difficult to treat nail fungus?

It is simply because of the nature of nails. The nails are compressed, hard tissue plates which are made from keratin.

Generally, keratin is impervious to water. As a result, it is very difficult for the treatment of fungal nail infections, like ointment or cream without any special formulation to penetrate the nail and reach the affected area.

Moreover, even when the cream is able to penetrate through the nail, the dense build of the nail makes it almost impossible for the end concentration of many medications to reach the under-surface of the nail.

As the toe fungus resides underneath the nail, it is important for the end concentration of any medication to reach the affected area to effectively eliminate the infection.

Most of the topical medication available for treating nail infections are either unable to penetrate through the nail or their ingredients are not concentrated or active enough to deliver any significant results.

Treating Toe Nail Fungus

As some topical treatments are often not effective on their own, a number of nail fungus home treatments are often used by people suffering from nail fungus.

Some of these remedies include Vaporub, Tea Tree Oil, Vinegar soaks, Listerine, etc.

However, these treatments do not really have any kind of anti-fungal properties and are not scientifically proven to be able to kill nail fungus.

Most of these home treatment remedies are only able to eliminate the discoloration or debris due to which most of the people falsely believe that the treatment has killed the nail fungus.

When these home remedies or topical treatments of foot fungus are not able to treat nail fungus, one then tends to look for effective medical remedies.

As it is difficult for a remedy to penetrate through the nails to reach the affected area, a better way is to send the medication directly through the blood and to the skin surface. There are now pills available on the market which dissolves in the stomach and medication enters the blood stream to reach the affected area underneath the nails.

Apart from this, a completely new type of topical medication is now available on the market for treating toenail fungus. This medication uses a special formulation made from oil to ensure that the active ingredients are able to penetrate through the nails. There are many different versions of this topical medication now available on the market. While most of them are available over-the-counter, the most popular option is a prescription version.

However, it is important to know that the even the best fungal nail treatment can take anywhere between 6 to 9 months depending on the severity of nail fungus infection and growth rate of the nail.

As compared to other topical creams and ointments available on the market, these specialized oil-based medications can be much more effective. While this medication is not as powerful as internal medication, like the pill mentioned above, they are still an excellent choice for people who are not comfortable with consuming pills or are under any other type of medication which can result in medication interaction.

It is because of all these reasons that both Funginix and Zetaclear which are treatments that work both internally and externally are so successful. See our Front Page Banish Fungal Nails for more detailed information.

Alternate technologies have now been developed to treat the problem of toe nail fungus infection in a safe, quick and effective way. In many different parts of the world, laser therapy for treating toenail fungus is quite popular. However, you should consider many different factors before going for this type of treatment as it is currently expensive.

Until then, toe nail fungus is still one of the most difficult conditions to treat which is why it affects millions of people all over the world.

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What we do

Onychomycosis treatment (or toenail fungus treatment) has many different forms. It is difficult to know the best treatment for toe nail fungus as the cure for nail fungus may be down to the individual and how they apply the products given.

You can obviously buy nail fungus treatment over the counter at many pharmacies, online, or through your local G.P. Many of whom are themselves confused about the best fungal nail treatment to prescribe.

We have based our own research after Mick had yellow toenails from a long term fungal nail infection and went on the hunt for the best toenail fungus treatment he could find. For Mick laser toenail fungus treatment was too expensive, often favouring natural methods Mick tried such things as tea tree oil for toenail fungus but was unsure as to any real benefit.

Without doubt the best toenail fungus cure was two products that he found online (Funginix and Zetaclear) – these are now both of the fungal nail infection treatment products that we promote on this site.

We like to base our information on facts about nail fungus medication, the causes of toe nail fungus, and provide you with some knowledge about your best option for fungal nail treatment whether that be ‘old wives tales’ about curing yellow toenails with apple cider vinegar, some kind of  natural treatment for toenail fungus, topical solutions or laser fungal nail treatment for removal of your toenails.

We wish you well.

Mick and Dan

get rid of toenail fungus