Why It Just Won’t Go Away: Challenges in Treating Skin & Toenail Fungus

No one likes to be infected with any sort of pathogen, but some types are arguably worse than others. For instance, bacterial infections are often cleared up with a week’s worth of antibiotics. On the other hand, fungal infections can persist for months on end, with or without treatment. Some people suffer with toenail fungus or chronic recurrences of athlete’s foot for years! So why are fungal infections so much harder to eradicate? Andrew Y. Finlay, a professor of dermatology, explained the challenges of treating skin and toenail fungus in a review published in the British Medical Journal.

pathogenic toenail fungus

Pathogenic fungus is often chronic due to the challenges of treating it effectively.
Image Source: Nephron via Wikimedia.org

Poor Compliance

For some types of fungus (like athlete’s foot), the signs and symptoms clear up before a mycological cure has been reached. Therefore, many patients do not keep taking their medication long enough to fully cure themselves, and thus the fungus comes back. For other types of fungus (like onychomycosis), it can take many months to see progress because they must wait for the healthy nail to grow in, so the patients become discouraged and quit their treatment regimen.

Ineffective Drugs

Oral Terbinafine is generally considered the standard treatment for toenail fungus. Patients taking it have about a 76% mycological cure rate within 18 months. On the other hand, drugs like itraconazole only have a 38% cure rate. Topical treatments have trouble reaching the source of infection, especially if the distal nail plate has become distorted or built up with a mass of dermatophytes that make penetration impossible.


Existing drugs have been poorly studied in children, so older drugs like Griseofulvin are still the mainstays of treatment, even though the effectiveness is inferior. Liver side effects are often observed in the elderly, immunocompromised, and children. For that reason, many doctors are hesitant to prescribe oral medication to these patients.

Limited Research

Scientists believe that treating nail fungus with oral medication, the removal of infected tissue, and topical therapy would be effective, but there have been few clinical studies and no substantial published evidence confirming this suspicion. Many of the podiatrists with whom we have spoken perform laser toenail fungus removal on their patients, but also recommend the daily use of a topical antifungal and the SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer to prevent recurrence.

Why Use the SteriShoe UV Shoe Sanitizer?

The SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer takes care of a common cause of foot fungus re-infection. Many patients treat their feet, but stick them back into contaminated footwear. Fungal spores can live on cloth for many weeks if left untreated. Our UV light device kills all living fungal spores, as well as viral and bacterial pathogens in just 45 minutes. That way, you don’t have to throw out all your favorite shoes, but you can be sure that you are not cultivating fungal colonies in the moist, dark shoe environment that fungi loves. You can order a UV shoe sanitizer online here. We offer a full money back guarantee if you are not 100% satisfied in your first 30 days.