Onychomycosis Treatment In Children

Onychomycosis Treatment

Onychomycosis treatment (nail fungus) for children is similar to that used for adults. Kids naturally are more susceptible to contracting toenail fungus due to the plate of their nails being thinner and weaker than adults’ immune systems. If your child plays sports or is involved in swimming of contact sports, extra care should be taken to prevent fungus from settling on your child’s feet and toenails. Explain to your children that they should never walk barefoot, necessity to change socks and disinfect footwear.

The development of thick toenails or the development of yellow toenails usually heralds a fungal infection. Onychomycosis treatment may involve three different approaches: topical, oral, and surgical. Topical infected toenail treatment consists of liquids that may be brushed onto the affected area, creams or ointments, or nail lacquer that coats and remains on the nail. Topical treatments are used when less than half the nail is affected. Unfortunately, topical medications aren’t very effective as a single onychomycosis treatment because they do not penetrate the nail very well. Topical treatments are more effective if they are combined with oral medication or when they are used to prevent a fungal infection from returning once it is cured.

Oral medication is more effective at rooting out the fungus especially when used in conjunction with topical therapy. Newer antifungals that can be taken orally have fewer side effects, better cure rates, and require a shorter treatment period than older oral antifungals.

In order to decrease the length of time on antifungal medications, surgery may be added to the onchomycosis treatment plan. Toenail removal allows the medication to actually reach the fungus and destroy it. For patients who have very thick nails, a 40-50% urea compound can be used to accomplish painless chemical removal of the nail. Many doctors recommend removing the toenail as a useful adjunct to oral antifungal medication. Toenail fungus is difficult to cure. Treatment can be expensive, lengthy and the oral medications can have some adverse side effects. For that reason, many physicians recommend using all three approaches. The use of three approaches to treatment reduces cost, length of treatment and has the highest success rate. Of course, if your child has toenail fungus, you will want to discuss the risks and benefits of all the treatment options with your child’s physician.