Fighting Fungal Nails - Wise words from Podiatrist Daniel Lau
Thickened, discoloured and brittle nails, tinted with a trace of an unpleasant smell. These are some of the characteristics of the frightful fungal nail that’s clinically known as onychomycosis.
These fungal nails can be uncomfortable due to the thickness and pressure on the nail bed. They thrive in humid and moist environments and tend to be more prevalent in older people with decreased blood circulation - although trauma to nails, diabetes or a weakened immune system are also big risk factors.
Clinical signs are usually enough to diagnose fungal nails, however, if you’re worried then nail scrapings can also be sent to a laboratory to be microscopically examined and the type of fungus confirmed.
Tips to minimise the risk of developing fungal nails include drying and powdering the feet well, wearing clean socks daily, cleaning and changing shoes regularly, wearing open/ventilated shoes, and refraining from being barefoot in public showers and swimming pools. These reduce the optimal conditions that encourage fungal growth and reduce your risk of contracting a nail fungus.
To treat fungal nails, we first clip and grind off as much fungal nail so there is less fungus present to fight. Tea tree oil and other topical antifungal products (eg. loceryl, lamisil, daktarin and canesten) can be applied. Oral antifungal medications can be used, however, a doctor will first need to take a nail scraping and check for any possible interactions with other medications you may be on. This is as there is a possibility of unwelcome side effects.
It is important to be patient with fungal nails as it can take many months for them to fully resolve as the new healthy nail has to grow out.
Here at The Podiatrist, we also have a fresh and effective alternative: the Lunula Laser. This laser is different to typical antifungal medication as it not only kills the fungus but helps circulation, our immune response and oxygen delivery to the feet to help grow clear nails. This is achieved through two unique wavelengths to address the pathological fungus and help reinforce the immune system and surrounding tissues. Best of all, the Lunula Laser is quick (12 minutes), simple and pain-free.
“The lunula laser in action”
The Podiatrist also has an accompanying product that can help prevent future fungal infections. It functions on the premise of fungal nails thriving in humid or moist environments such as shoes where feet sweat and there is less ventilation. The STERISHOE is a UV light that sterilises shoes to kill the fungus in the shoes to prevent fungal toes, athlete's foot and general shoe odor. The SteriShoe takes 15 minutes to treat both shoes, is chemical free and fits any shoe.
So if you have fungal nails, call us and come in for your lunula laser and SteriShoe treatment. You’ll no longer be hiding your feet but flaunting them!!
The bright lights of the SteriShoe working
About the Author
Daniel joined the team at The Podiatrist in January 2016.
Before joining The Podiatrist, he educated disadvantaged children about podiatry and general health with The Smith Family Group.
It is Daniel’s passion to be able to treat and care for patients, while continually learning and improving his professional and podiatric knowledge.
When not working, Daniel is playing basketball, swimming or watching all kinds of sport, especially basketball and American Football