Will Nail Fungus Grow Out On Its Own?

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Nail fungus is a frustrating, ugly, not-easily fixed circumstance. Can you just ignore that ugly white stuff on your toes or fingers, maybe just polish over it and pretend it’s not there?

Will nail fungus grow out on its own, eventually?

No, nail fungus doesn’t just go away on it own, and this is the case for all fungal nail infections.

Nail fungus is a common condition. And as much as it is not life-threatening, it comes with many risk factors. It is an infection you can easily ignore in its early stages until the adverse symptoms begin showing. 

However, what happens if you ignore it for the longer term?

The condition primarily affects toenails and results from poor hygiene, footwear strain, and many other factors. However, it can pretty much affect anyone. It is a good idea to understand the basics of nail fungus that will help you identify, treat, and take preventive measures.

This article gives insight into the following essential nail fungus factors: 

  • Why doesn’t nail fungus grow out? 
  • What are the available treatment options?
  • How to prevent nail fungus

Let’s dig in!


Will Nail Fungus Grow Out On Its Own? Why Doesn’t Nail Fungus Just Go Away?

Nail Fungus is a fungal infection that occurs on the nail’s edge and is transmitted through direct and indirect contact, even internally.

Studies show that as the nail grows, the fungus grows with it. This makes it impossible for the fungus to grow out on its own.

Studies show that as the nail grows, the fungus grows with it. This makes it impossible for the fungus to grow out on its own.

Once it affects the nail, there is no guarantee that the nail will stay healthy as expected. 

This condition manifests itself at the beginning stages in two main symptoms, discoloration with odor and a change in nail shape.


Discoloration begins with the first phase, where a gray, brownish, or greenish spot gets darker by the day. Often you may see some strange color on your toenail that you would like to scrape out.

It may look like a bruised toenail, and you’ll have to think back to see if you recall hurting it. If not, it’s probably fungus funk.


You might notice some bad odor that indicates the nail is separating from its bed. You’ll also notice changes in the nail’s shape where it becomes thin and some parts begin to break.

This is really common among those of us who love acrylic nails or press-on nails. If you get moisture between the fake nail and the natural nail, that can become a breeding ground for fungus. Often the first sign is a funky smell after you take off your acrylics.

That is why it is essential to occasionally examine your fingernails and toenails since these signs can easily go unnoticed.

If you feel pain or a foul smell, it is best to seek medical attention.

If you feel pain or a foul smell, it is best to seek medical attention.

Failure to identify nail fungus at an early age makes it more challenging to treat, because it takes so long to see real results. You may have to wait for up to a year for a fresh nail to come in.

The risks keep worsening if the condition is left untreated for long, such as spreading to other body parts, causing skin infections, and increasing the chances of spreading the fungal infection to other people.

It is essential to look out for these symptoms early, especially for those suffering from diabetes mellitus or other immunocompromised conditions, since the fungus spreads uncontrollably when the immune system is compromised. 

What Are the Available Treatment Options? 

Once you detect Nail Fungus on your nail, you can choose to try to deal with it at home or go to a clinic.

Home and OTC Remedies for Toenail Fungus

The problem with basically all home remedies and all over the counter (OTC) nail fungus treatments is that there’s very little evidence any of them work. The only things we have solid scientific evidence for are prescription treatments. And that involves insurance, doctors, copays, etc.

Many people have reported success with home and OTC treatments, but if your fungus is severe or you don’t want to chance it, go to a doctor.

The problem with basically all home remedies and all over the counter (OTC) nail fungus treatments is that there’s very little evidence any of them work.

Home Fungus Treatments:

Over the Counter Fungus Treatments:

Medical Treatments

If you decide you don’t want to bother with these and you want to go to a doctor, you will likely be presented with options like these:

Topical Treatment 

It is the best option for mild fingernail infection. The pedicurist examines and recommends the right drugs, including ciclopirox, amorolfine, tavaborole, and efinaconazole.

Topical is the easiest treatment option requiring you to apply the medication to the nail once or twice a week. 

It is the right option for those who detect the signs earlier since the infection is not severe. If you wish to recover quicker and better, feel free to combine this treatment option with Oral therapy. 

Oral Medication 

This is the best choice for more severe fungal infections, and some of the common antifungals include griseofulvin, terbinafine, fluconazole, and itraconazole. Oral medications are more practical for the more powerful infections.

However, the side effects of oral therapy are more significant than topical treatments. You may experience liver problems, severe allergic reactions, and other drug interaction effects.

That is why you should visit a qualified clinician who will recommend the correct drugs based on your medical profile. 

Combined Treatment 

Combining the two treatment methods to get a more positive outcome is possible. 

Nail Removal 

The last resort is nail removal; if the infection is severe and the above options fail to work, if the fungus gets in too deep, it is the best way to get rid of the infection. The pedicurist can opt to either remove using a chemical or through surgical methods. 

How to Prevent Nail Fungus

Nail fungus is a notorious condition that can quickly transfer from one nail to another or other people. Therefore, learning how to prevent and protect your nails at all costs is essential. Here are some effective preventive measures that you can try: 

Observe basic hygiene

The best preventive measure is washing hands and feet regularly using soap and warm water. Regular cleaning significantly minimizes the risk of the fungal infection occurring. It is also essential to wash between the fingers and toes. 

Trim your nails

keeping the nails short minimizes the surface area for fungal growth. This measure also minimizes the amount of dust and moisture trapped underneath.

Nail trimming reduces the portability of agents causing nail fungus.

It is also easier to spot the signs and symptoms during one of these sessions. 

Keep nails natural

This one is hard for the readers of this blog!

Try as much as possible to reduce nail polish, artificial nails, and other nail accessories, particularly acrylic nails. They can trap moisture between the natural nail and the fake nail, increasing the chance of getting a nail infection.

If you just love nails, use quality and authentic products from recognized brands.

Also, ensure that you remove or polish them off at the end of the day. Finally, for those working on tight schedules, find time for manicure and pedicure sessions where you’ll have your nails checked, cleaned, and trimmed. 


Nail fungus doesn’t just grow out and go away, unfortunately. Keep a close eye on your nails if you are worried you are susceptible, particularly if you regularly do DIY acrylic nails.

Failure to spot nail fungus early will result in a more difficult treatment solution. Stay on top of your nails!

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).