Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Curing fungal nails can be difficult and treatment can take up to 18 months. Relapse and reinfection are common (40%-70% reinfection rate). Trying to remove or modify your risk factors, if possible, is essential to preventing reinfection. People who have medical illnesses that predispose them to fungal nails can have an even more difficult time eradicating the fungus.
Nail fungus causes only 50%-60% of abnormal-appearing nails. It can be hard to tell the difference between the different causes of discolored nails (even for doctors). Onychomycosis is often not treated. Reasons to receive treatment include
Don't soak your hands in water or use harsh cleaners.
Treat athlete's foot when it occurs.
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Reviewed by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD on 12/6/2011