Onychomycosis means fungal infection of the nail. It is the most common disease of the nails and constitutes about a half of all nail abnormalities. It is not life threatening, but it can cause pain, discomfort and disfigurement and may produce serious physical and occupational limitations.
Three main classes of fungi cause onychomycosis: dermatophytes, yeasts and nondermatophyte molds. The clinical appearance of OM is indistinguishable based on the species of fungus causing the infection. Studies have shown that antifungal agents can benefit patients with onychomycosis.
Factors that need to be considered in the treatment of onychomycosis in special patient populations (e.g. the elderly, children, diabetics, transplant patients and HIV patients) are the causative organism, patient and physician preference, current medications the patient is taking and the potential of adverse reactions associated with oral antifungals.
Topical treatment of onychomycosis offers distinct advantages by allowing the patient to apply the medication to the affected area. This reduces the risk of serious drug toxicities and drug interactions associated with the oral antifungals. The topical nail antifungals also offer significant cost saving to the patients over the oral antifungals.
Treatment of affected nails generally begins the avulsion of the nail from the nail bed with a urea ointment. Urea acts by dissolving the bond between the nail bed and the nail plate, and it also softens the nail plate. This avulsion procedure is painless, thus negating the need for anesthesia.
Several antifungals have been used in topical nail solutions.
Clotrimazole 2% Antifungal Nail Solution
Itraconazole 1% Antifungal Nail Solution
Terbinafine various strengths
Fluconazole 1% & Urea 20% Solution (Nail Disease Centre, Cannes, France)
Partners in care will prepare a topical nail solution to treat your nail fungus on your physicians order.