Nail Fungal Infection
Nail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a condition in which one or more of the nails of the fingers or toes become infected with fungal organisms. This causes a yellowing or other discoloration of the nail as the fungus moves deeper into the tissue. Nail fungus can be painful and may eventually lead to the separating of the nail and nail bed, a condition known as onycholysis.
Fungal infections are fairly common because microscopic fungal, yeast and mold organisms are present everywhere in the environment. Toenails are particularly susceptible to infection because they are often kept in warm, moist environments in which these microscopic organisms thrive. From the age of 20 onwards toenails are changing their structure and become more brittle and are not anymore as elastic as when we were younger. Trimming toenails with clippers or scissors cause the front line of the nails to split and while the toe nail doing it’s “job” by protecting the soft tip of the toe, it causes small capillary in which, while the toenail getting wet and moist, those microscopic organisms can settle. Therefor at Chiropody Center we are only trimming the toe nails with machine driven grinders and burs. Pedicure procedures in those hundreds of beauty salons all over the UAE, where mostly Asian staff is beautifying the mainly female toes are also contributing to lots of fungal infections. It’s not the hygiene aspect, which is very much under control of UAE Health authorities, it’s the way how they trim the toe nails and that their customers request to wear nail polish ALL the time.
If you have any of these symptoms, give us a call to schedule a consultation. While toenail fungus infections can be stubborn, they are treatable. Left untreated, however, the infection will only get worse over time.
Common symptoms of a nail fungal infection include:
- Discolored nails
- Thickened, dull (shine-free) or distorted nails
- Yellow streaked nails
- Build up of debris under the nail
- Separation between the nail and skin
- Brittle, ragged nails
- White spots on the surface of the nail
Your doctor may look for the symptoms listed below to diagnose or rule out the condition, or a sample may be obtained from the nail in question for further investigation under a microscope.
Your doctor may suggest one or more of the following courses of action to treat your toenail fungal infection:
Laser Fungal Treatment: A laser is used on the nail to heat up and subsequently destroy the organism. More than one procedure may be needed for a successful outcome.
- Oral Antifungal Medications: A six to 12 weeks treatment may be prescribed to clear up your infection, which may take a full four months or longer to completely resolve. Your doctor may ask you to have a liver functioning test before prescribing oral antifungals.
- Topical Antifungals: Available in the form of lacquers (nail polish) or ointments, your doctor may use topical antifungals in addition to oral medications to assist in clearing up the infection.
Laser Treatment Option
What does laser treatment do?
At Chiropody Center we are using the latest laser technology developed in Germany. Light from the laser filters through the nail and the adjacent tissue. Pigment in the fungi absorbs the light, heating it and harming the organism. The elimination of fungus will allow your nail to grow normally.
What results can I expect?
During clinical research, 68% of patients exhibited post-treatment improvement in the percent of nail with no infection. The extent of progress you will experience is reliant on individual circumstances and is something your doctor will discuss with you. But laser is not a magic tool. Initial treatment for severe fungal infection for a few weeks is mandatory before we use the laser. Cooperation between the podiatrist and the patient is very important and in general the patient just have to take better care and be more focused during the treatment.
What is the treatment like?
During laser nail fungus treatment, the laser is passed over the infected nails and bordering skin. This process will be repeated several times by your physician until a sufficient amount of energy has extended into the nail bed. During this treatment, you may feel your nail grow warmer.