Sandal season isn’t so fun for toenail fungus suffers. But the estimated 35 million people who deal with foot fungi may soon be joining the barefoot masses, as two new solutions for toenail fungus have just entered the scene.
In early July, the FDA approved Kerydine, a treatment for onychomycosis (toenail fungus) that’s the first topical version of a new class of antifungals called oxaboroles. These supercharged antifungals are believed to better penetrate the thick nail plate, giving them better access to the actual fungus and upping the odds of eliminating it. And just one month earlier, the FDA gave the all-clear to Jublia, another topical treatment approved for treating toenail fungus that attaches to the keratin in nails, allowing it to travel through the nail plate to the infection below.
Kerydin and Jublia aren’t the first topical treatments for the frustrating foot fungus, but they may hold more potential than their predecessors. “Current topical therapies are safe, but have proven to give disappointing results,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. “Clearance rates of the fungus in the clinical trials for both these drugs are significantly higher than what we have seen with the currently available options,” he adds.
If you’re hoping for an instant fix, though, you’re going to be disappointed. “Nails, especially toenails, grow slowly,” says Zeichner. Rather than clear up the fungus that’s growing beneath your nail right now, these treatments allow a new, fungus-free nail to grow in—a process that takes about a year. That’s about the same amount of time that current treatments take, but the difference, says Zeichner, is that these two new products promise to be more effective.
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