If you have a fungal nail, you have millions of fungi reproducing and spreading the infection through the nail. It wont spread to other nails unless they too are damaged or you use the same implements on a good toe after using it on the infected nail. The podiatrist will remove the affected nail to lessen this pool of infection. This is painless because the affected nail is no longer attached to the nail bed and this skin under the old nail will be thickened with debris that the infection has produced. This plaque needs to be removed regularly during treatment as the regrowing, healthy nail can’t stick to it and an unattached nail will be sure to become reinfected. This is why fungal infections, when not addressed properly, will continue forever. It is also why there is always a fair chance of solving an infected nail with proper care, even if it has been present for decades. The podiatrist will prescribe a paint for the nail that stops the reproduction of the bugs. For more fungal nail information, see our printable Fungal Nail Info Sheet. Alternatively, use this link to return to the Podiatry FAQs Blog.