How Can I Tell If My Fungal Toenail Is Healing?

how do i tell if toenail fungus is healing

Fungal toenails can range from embarrassing to downright dangerous (especially for the diabetic population). It’s always a good idea to treat them as early as possible.

There are many treatment options for fungal toenails, but how do you know if the treatment is really working? Regardless of how effective the treatment, fully clearing up fungal toenails takes some time. There are a few signs to look for to ensure you’re on the right path.

Healthy new growth. The key sign you’re looking for is healthy new growth at the base of the nail bed. Including:

  • Decrease in thickness. Fungal nails frequently result in thickening of the nail.
  • Clear color. Many times, the color on the nail indicating fungus (yellow, black, brown, etc.) will begin to diminish as it grows out and dissipates.
  • Delineation. Over time, the yellowing of the nail should be restricted to the part of the nail that’s growing out, giving way to a clear nail at the base of the nail bed.

How long does it take to cure fungal toenails?

Toenail fungus can be resistant to treatment, which sometimes leads to a lengthy resolution. In some cases, fungus actually infect your nail cells – making it very difficult to get rid of.

Typically, with the right treatment, clearing up toenail fungus takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months – and potentially longer. Toenails usually grow less than 2mm per month and the infection has to grow out completely before you can consider a fungal toenail “cured.”

Can you prevent recurring toenail fungus?

While recurring fungus is pretty common, there are many things you can do to keep infection at bay, including, but not limited to:

  • Keep your feet clean and dry
  • Wear shoes that fit
  • Wash your feet carefully with soap and water (and wash between your toes!)
  • Wear socks that breathe
  • Don’t share your nail clippers
  • Disinfect your shoes regularly

For more info about fungal toenails, read our detailed guide (including video) on treatment for nail fungus.

As always, the best thing you can do to take care of your feet is consult a podiatrist! Getting professional advice can save lots of time – especially when it comes to fungal toenails. Schedule an appointment with one of our podiatrists in Middle Tennessee today!