Fungal Nail Infection

Overview

Nail fungus is a common condition that begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As the fungal infection goes deeper, nail fungus may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and crumble at the edge. It can affect several nails.

Symptoms

You may have nail fungus if one or more of your nails are:

  • Thickened
  • Whitish to yellow-brown discoloration
  • Brittle, crumbly or ragged
  • Distorted in shape
  • A dark color, caused by debris building up under your nail
  • Smellling slightly foul

Nail fungus can affect fingernails, but it’s more common in toenails.

  • Being older, owing to reduced blood flow, more years of exposure to fungi and slower growing nails
  • Sweating heavily
  • Having a history of athlete’s foot
  • Walking barefoot in damp communal areas, such as swimming pools, gyms and shower rooms
  • Having a minor skin or nail injury or a skin condition, such as psoriasis
  • Having diabetes, circulation problems or a weakened immune system

Is it contagious?

Yes, it is contagious and if you don’t treat the infection, there’s a chance it will spread to other nails, so it is important to start your treatment as early as possible. It is best to avoid changing rooms, swimming pools and nail/beauty salons while you have a fungal nail infection to prevent the infection from spreading.

How can I prevent it in future?

The best way to avoid future fungal nail infections is to take good care of your feet and nails. For example, always dry your feet carefully, and wear flip flops in swimming pools or public changing rooms.

Can I get a fungal nail infection on my fingernail?

Yes you can, though you’re seven times more likely to get an infection on one of your toenails than on one of your fingernails. This is because the environments your feet are in, (moist socks and shoes, public changing rooms or swimming pool floors) are where the fungi that cause fungal nail infections are most often found.

How long does it take nails to grow out?

Fingernails – 2-3mm per month
Toenails – 1mm per month

Is the laser treatment painful?

The laser light beam does not harm the nail or surrounding skin and  is completely painless.

Treatment

A fungal infection usually caused by a special type of fungus known as a dermatophyte. Since most of these infections are relatively superficial, it would seem that topical treatments ought to work well. This is not the case because the nail unit is relatively impenetrable. Clinical studies suggest that the long-pulsed Nd: YAG Laser like we have here at the Skin Lab, can be used to successfully treat nail infection.

THE SKIN LAB APPROACH

We believe in personalized treatment approach. We discuss medical history, training regimes, hereditary concerns and infection symptoms to determine the best treatment plan.

If possible the nail bed should be filed to reduce the nail thickness which will improve laser penetration and treatment efficacy.

We would pass over the effected toenail(s) once, extending to all the surrounding skin, then pass over another 2-3 times. For best results each client would need to have an average of 12 treatments at 4-weekly intervals.

Recommended Treatments

Laser Therapy

Our state of the art nail fungus laser treatment, Uses our Cynosure Elite™ YAG Laser, which heats the nail plate and kills the fungi that cause toenail and fingernail fungus (onychomycosis). The YAG laser nail fungus treatment will destroy the fungal infection because of the specific wavelength used by the laser nail fungus treatment, it targets only the living fungi and does not damage any of the surrounding tissue.

This treatment feels like heat on the nail plate and goes away as soon as the laser stops. The treatment takes just 15 minutes and is pain free, with no anesthesia needed.

After each procedure, you are able to continue with your regular schedule. You will need to keep your nails clean and dry and not apply any nail polish for 2 weeks. In some cases, we will ask you to treat at home in between your laser treatments with an over the counter anti-fungal cream.