Don't Go To MEPS With Severe Toenail Fungus Or You Could Be Disqualified From Enlisting

Part of the process of enlisting in the military includes an often full day or two of activities at a military entrance processing station (MEPS). During this day, a full medical evaluation is done on those who wish to enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. It's important to understand that the military has a list of disqualifying medical conditions that could prevent you from enlisting. Surprisingly enough, one such condition can be severe toenail fungus. Here's what you need to know before you go to MEPS if you have a toenail fungus:

How can toenail fungus disqualify you from the military? 

Toenail fungus infections can cause pain in your affected toe(s) and foot. It can cause your nails to turn brittle enough to crack. Some types of fungi can cause your toenails to separate from the nail bed. The resulting pain from these types of situations can make it painful and difficult to wear combat boots and military dress shoes.

If a fungus infection causes you to be unable to properly wear military equipment, which footwear is considered, you can be medically disqualified from the military at MEPS. Also, toenail fungus can lead to ingrown toenails, which can also disqualify you from enlisting in the military. 

Are there effective short-term treatments available? 

Toenail fungus can be treated with topical applications and/or oral medications, but these types of solution often take some time that you may not have if your recruiter has already scheduled to go to MEPS. Fortunately, there is one solution that can achieve results quickly enough for your toenails to clear up in time for your MEPS medical evaluation: laser nail treatment.

According to a study published by Harvard Health, half of 39 toenails treated with lasers no longer had active fungal infections after just four treatments. The number of treatments you'll need to clear up your fungal infection depends on the severity of your infection. Discuss your situation with a certified podiatrist who offers and specializes in laser treatment for toenail fungus. 

Should you tell your recruiter about your toenail fungus? 

It's important to inform your recruiter that you are concerned about your toenail fungus. He or she may be able to push back your MEPS appointment if the laser treatments will take a longer amount of time than you have. Remember, until you take your enlistment oath you are under no obligations to the military. Therefore, you won't get into trouble or have difficulties in delaying your MEPS appointment.