Toenail fungus, aka onychomycosis, is a common problem. I personally have many patients who have this condition, and generally it is more of a cosmetic concern, but for others, such as diabetics or those with impaired immune systems, it can lead to more serious issues.
The most effective treatment option currently available is an oral anti-fungal pill which carries with it a small risk of liver damage, making this potentially a poor option in patients with multiple medical problems or those not willing to accept this risk.
An interesting treatment option that has been making headlines is using laser therapy to eradicate the fungus. Although there appear to be only two companies manufacturing a device for this use, neither of which is FDA-approved for use on nails, I find it promising and hope that the technology develops and becomes a cost-effective option for more individuals.
Check out an article published yesterday on nytimes.com for more information, “False Start on a Laser Remedy for Fungus“.