How Can I Fix My Fungal Nail Infection?
Fungal toenail infections are unsightly and are potentially dangerous to people with certain medical conditions.
Fungal infection of the toenails (onychomycosis) affect up to 1.6 million Australians. These infections are caused by an overgrowth of fungus on, in or under the nails. Onychomycosis is more typical in toenails as we commonly enclose them in shoe which encourage a warm, dark humid environment which allows fungus to flourish. They can be very painful and may serve as a reservoir for fungal skin infections and increase risk for bacterial skin and nail infections.
Are You Prone to Fungal Infections?
Some people are more prone to developing onychomycosis than others. People with diabetes, poor circulation, medical conditions causing immune compromise or those who over the age of 65 are all more likely to develop fungal infections. As are people who regularly use public pools or who regularly use artificial nails or nail varnish and those who have had an injury to the nail or skin about the nail.
Infected nails deomstrate some or all of the following characteristics:
- discolouration (white, yellow or brown streaks)
- changes to the nail shape
- the nail may breakdown and fall off
- a distinct odour can accompany the infection
How to Treat Fungal Nail Infections
Most people start with a topical nail paint available from the pharmacy as a first line treatment. These preparations are usually fungistatic (stop the fungus from growing and multiplying) and need to be used for up to 12 months. The cure rate of these lacquers is variable and can only be determined after 3-6 months of daily use.
Oral medications can be prescribed by your GP following a nail scraping to confirm the presence of fungus in the nail. Some of these medications have been demonstrated to have potentially serious side effects including liver failure and gastrointestinal problems and are contraindicated in some medication conditions.
Antifungal Light Treatments
The newest and best forms of treatment for onychomycosis use light to kill the fungus.
Photodynamic antimicrobial therapy is a the form of light therapy we have invested in at Complete Podiatry.
Our PACTMed treatment systyem uses a special medication that is applied to the nail which targets the fungal cell making them sensitive to light. Then, upon exposure to light of a specific wavelength, a chemical reaction occurs that kills the targeted cells without harming healthy tissue.
Safe, Effective and Painless
Ultimately, treatment of a fungal nail infection aims to restore the nail to its original, healthy shape, size and morphology.
In some cases though, if the infection is extensive or present for a long time, this may not be possible.
Occasionally, even after the infection is cleared, the nail may remain distorted or thickened.
I'm so confident I can help you that I'd love to chat with you personally about your fungal nail infection, it's what I'm passionate about!
Contact us on 8330 0004 or book online.
Yours in helping build amazing lives from the feet up.
Director of Complete Podiatry