Fungal nail infections, better known within the medical community as onychomycosis, are relatively common condition that affects toenails and in some rarer cases, they can also develop on fingernails. And while statistics show that fungal nail infections are significantly more common in people aged 55 or more, there are no guarantees that you won’t experience this condition, even if you are well below this age.
What’s on this page?
The exact causes of fungal nail infections are still debated, with certain rather strong indications that they are closely linked to other skin infections, most notably, athlete’s foot. This condition is known to affect the skin on the feet, especially between toes and surrounding the nails. Easily recognisable by patches of scaly and itchy skin, athlete’s foot, or more precisely, the microscopic fungi causing it, can easily spread to the nails if the condition is left untreated.
Who is at risk of getting fungal nail infection?
As mentioned, while fungal nail infections are more common in elderly individuals, anyone can get affected by this condition. Caused mostly by fungi belonging to the dermatophytes class (and Candida in rarer cases), these infections have been noticed to occur with more frequency in people who wash their hands too often, who live in a humid climate or those which are active smokers. However, these variables provide us an insight in just a small number of possible risk factors, with the majority of others still being widely unknown to the modern medicine.
Are fungal nail infections dangerous?
Fungal nail infections are exceptionally easy to treat with proper medication, so any risks that come with them can be successfully mitigated. However, if the condition is left untreated, complications might ensue. Initially, the person affected might notice the discolouration and thickening of the nail which can become yellowish, green or white in appearance, eventually becoming damaged and turning black. When this happens, it is not uncommon for the nail to become dislodged and completely separated from the finger.
How are nail fungi treated?
As mentioned, fungal nail infections can be easily treated with proper antifungal medication. Luckily, the modern medicine is more than capable of dealing with numerous types of fungal infections so there is no doubt that you will easily find the medication that is suitable for you. Here we will discuss some of the most commonly prescribed treatments.
Terbinafine is an antifungal medication available in the form of a tablet. As such, it will combat the fungal infection through the bloodstream. The active ingredient of the same name acts by preventing the fungal cells from synthesising ergosterol, a naturally occurring compound that plays a vital role in the process of multiplication of the cells and the subsequent spread of the infections.
Once fungal cells are deprived from much needed ergosterol, their reproduction will be effectively halted, causing the cells to eventually die off. Studies undertaken so far seem to confirm that Terbinafine is not only efficient, but also safe, whether it is used as a continuous treatment or as a pulsed therapy method (which is usually considered to be off-label). This generic medication can also be obtained in the UK in the form of a branded Lamisil.
On the first glance, Loceryl might look like a regular nail polish. However, this medical lacquer actually contains amorolfine as an active ingredient. This pharmaceutical compound is a topically applied fungicide that acts in similar manner to branded Lamisil or generic Terbinafine, namely, preventing the fungal cells from synthesising ergosterol, a compound that is crucial for their self-sustenance and multiplication.
Trosyl is yet another anti-fungal nail solution, albeit based on tioconazole as an active ingredient. As a topically administered fungicide, Trosyl will directly interfere with the functioning of the fungal cells, compromising their cellular structure, preventing them from multiplying and making them an easy target for the body’s immune system which will then simply finish off the weakened infection.
Can I buy fungal nail infection treatments online?
If you live within the UK, you’re in luck since it is possible to buy medications for fungal nail infections online, without leaving the comfort of your home. However, you should keep in mind that the majority, albeit not all of pharmaceutical products belonging to this type of medications can be bought only with a valid prescription issued by a certified medical professional and this is true regardless of whether you are buying your treatment online or in person at your local pharmacy.
If you are keen on buying your fungal nail medications online, you can do so through most of the online clinics operating within the United Kingdom. If the medication of your choice is prescription-only, then you will be asked to fill in a specialised medical questionnaire that the doctor will use to gain an in-depth knowledge of your medical profile and history, prior to making a final assessment regarding your suitability for the medication.
If everything checks out, the prescription will be issued and your fungal nail infection treatment will be dispatched from the partner pharmacy and delivered to the address you provided in a plain and discreet packaging.
Are there any side effects?
It goes without saying that prescription-only medications are much more likely to cause unwanted side effects than those which are available over-the-counter. Similarly, topical fungal nail infection treatments tend to be much safer when it comes to the question of side effects than those which are available in the form of a tablet and are not limited in their activity. Some of the most common side effects include:
- Stomach pain
Of course, you should keep in mind that the exact side effects that might be experienced will depend entirely on the exact medication you will be using for treating your fungal nail infections. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that the only way to get an accurate answer to the question of side effects is to consult the official patient information leaflet that you can find within the pack of your preferred medication.