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A 49-year-old member asked:

Does toenail fungus have to be treated? what happens if left untreated

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gary Kugler
Podiatry 32 years experience
Not necessarily: Toenail fungus or onychomycosis is usually caused by a fungal infection similar to athlete's foot. This is usually not a harmful condition, but is often unsightly and may make the nail thick, brittle and hard to cut. This condition can on occasion cause pain in shoes from pressure on the nail bed. Treatment may include: oral antifugals, topical meds, laser treatment, permanent nail removal.
Dr. Arthur Rein
Internal Medicine 41 years experience
A cosmetic problem: Toenail fungus is a fairly common condition, more so as a person ages. It rarely leads to any significant medical complications. For that reason insurance companies do not cover the cost of treatment. There are 2 medications that work about 50% of the time. Laser treatments have had similar success. If left untreated the nail thickens and discolors.

Similar questions

Columbia, SC
A 44-year-old female asked:

What causes toenail fungus and how is it treated?

5 doctor answers13 doctors weighed in
Dr. Martin Raff
Infectious Disease 57 years experience
Dermatomycosis: Onychomycosis means fungal infection of the nail. There are a variety of superficial fungi that can cause this. There are both otc medications and prescription medications which are effective, depending upon the fungus and the severity of involvement. If the otc preps don't work see a doctor. Get better. Do not ignore this.
Last updated Feb 3, 2018


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