Background: Onychomycosis is by far the most common finger or toe nail fungal infectious
disease caused by dermatophytes, non-dermatophytic molds or yeast. It accounts for 50% of
the total nail disorders, and affects patients physically, socially, and psychologically and can seriously
influence their quality of life.
Objectives: Oral antifungals are routinely used to treat the nail fungal disease; however oral therapy
is associated with severe side effects and longer treatment times. In recent years, drug delivery
directly into the nail or nail bed has gained attention and various topical products have been tested
that can cure the disease when applied topically or transungually. Nevertheless, drug penetration into
and through the nail is not straightforward and requires chemicals to improve its permeability or
by applying physical stress to promote drug penetration into and through the nail. This lucid review
presents an overview of various causes of onychomycosis, current therapeutic approaches,
and efforts aimed at increasing the permeability of nails through various strategies such as chemical,
physical and mechanical methods for permeation enhancement.
Conclusion: Various strategies have been proposed for the treatment of onychomycosis, however,
much research into a more precise and effective therapy is still required.