Nail fungus — the facts
More common in men than in women and increasingly common the older one becomes, nail fungus afflicts toenails more often than fingernails. Generally, damaged nails are infected by fungal organisms such as athlete's foot, dermatophytes, tricophytum, rubrum, candida and other types of yeast infection. Then long days in sweaty shoes act as an incubator for the infection to take hold and spread. Other factors that predispose towards it include:
- nail biting
- too small shoes or borrowing someone else's shoes
- immune compromise and poor health
- excessive smoking
- shared bathrooms, changing rooms and other contaminated floors
- shared nail grooming equipment
- lack of foot hygiene
- damp footwear
Symptoms of nail fungus
Fungal nail infections become more unpleasant as the infection progresses. Symptoms may include:
- Thickened, discoloured nail — yellow, orange, brown or white
- Black or dark green areas where bacteria is present
- Bleeding and bruising
- Brittle, crumbling nail
- Nail lifting from digit
- Debris collecting under nail
Laser treatment for fungal nail infection
Laser treatment is a fast and effective solution for people with fungal nail infections. This is what clients can expect:
- One of our trained practitioners will start by assessing your problem and your suitability for treatment. This is your chance to ask questions and talk through the treatment, and then we will conduct a patch test.
- If you're suitable for treatment, we will target your infection using our high tech ND Yag laser. The practitioner will use a grid covering the entire area to ensure comprehensive treatment.
- The laser sends heat through the nail to vaporise the fungus by breaking down its cell walls. This is where it has a massive advantage over topical treatments that cannot reach the infection deep within the nail bed. It is the only effective alternative to oral prescription medicines.
- A session lasts up to 5 minutes, depending on how many nails are being treated.
- During treatment clients may experience a warm sensation under their nail as the laser is actually targeting it. This cools as soon as the laser is removed. The treatment causes no harm to the nail or surrounding tissue and there are no side effects. The treatment is non-invasive and no recovery period is needed afterward.
- Laser treatment for nail fungus is an approved treatment under the CE mark and it is FDA approved in the United States.
- After treatment, the nail will look the same as before and typically two treatments will be needed with a three to four week interval in between. The full effects will become apparent once the nail has grown out over the course of a few months.
- Use of anti-fungal aftercare is highly recommended after the first treatment to prevent further spread.