If you’ve been noticing changes in the colour, thickness, flakiness or odour in your nails, there’s a good chance you may have picked up a fungal nail infection. This is clinically referred to as Onychomycosis. They spread easily and are much more common that you know. They are also very treatable!
Fungus spreads through spores. For a nail to become infected, fungal spores must come in contact with the nail and the growth begins from there in or under the nail. Because fungus thrives in damp, moist environments and our feet spend a majority of the day in shoes and socks, it creates a perfect breeding ground for infections to arise. This is also why fungus is often picked up from public showers, at the gym, nail salons, and swimming pools - it only takes the infected person before you to stand in the same spot for you to be at risk of picking up the infection yourself.
Of course, there are factors that make you extra vulnerable, such as being male, increased age, a compromised ability to fight infection, diabetes, smoking and toenail injuries, among others.
Just like the many strains of colds and flus out there, there are definitely many types of nail-infecting fungi out there. We’ve broken them down into two different types of fungi - Distal Subungal Onychomycosis (the fungal infection that discolours your nails and makes them thick, crumbly and uncomfortable) and White Superficial Onychomycosis (the type that only affects the very top layer of the nail and leaves white spots and chalkiness with no added thickness or separation between the nail and skin).
The tricky part is that fungal infections can have the appearance of other medical conditions such as psoriasis and bacterial infections, so save yourself time and money in trying antifungal treatments that won’t work and get it checked by a podiatrist to make sure that you really do have a fungal nail infection to begin with.
Currently, the 3 main ways of treating nail fungus is through topical ointments/creams, oral anti-fungal medications and through laser treatment.
Option one is a topical cream. While widely used, as podiatrists, we see a lot of unhappy patients that have spent a lot of money on many of these different ointments, creams and lacquers from the pharmacy with no success. This can occur because:
Option two is oral antifungal medications. These can be more powerful than topical ointments, and you must get a prescription for one. These are, however, contraindicated for certain people as their potency poses a risk for serious long-term health risks such as liver damage, and cannot be taken in combination with certain medications.
The final option is laser treatment. To date, laser treatment has proven to be very effective while having no adverse effects. It’s 100% safe! Just make sure you chat to your podiatrist about which laser they use. Some lasers can be painful and burn your nail with the heat damaging the skin below.
Here at The Podiatrist, we wanted to offer our patients the best and most effective laser solution to eliminate their fungal nail infection once and for all, so have invested into the Lunula Laser system - and we haven’t looked back! We love it because:
Alongside the treatment we also ensure to provide you with everything you need to know about caring for your feet and the steps to take to reduce the chance of anyone in your household picking up the infection or you becoming reinfected.
If you’ve tried creams and ointments and are struggling to beat your fungal nail infection, this could be why: Struggling to Beat Your Fungal Nail Infection? The Podiatrist Explains Why!
To see the results our Podiatrist Jays has had with the Lunula Laser, see here: Laser for Fungal Nails – What’s It All About? Our Podiatrist Jays Shares His Experience!
To read our review of using the Lunula Laser treatment for its first 6 months in our clinic, read here: The Lunula Laser for Fungal Nails: Over 6 Months in Practice and Here’s Our Review!
For our Podiatrist Dan’s experience and tips for fighting fungal nails, read see here: Fighting Fungal Nails - Wise words from Podiatrist Daniel Lau
Two weeks with Calcaneal Spur and finally got to see Doc. He sent me to Kevin @ Eleven and with One Appointment, he had me walking without Crutches. Yes! It still hurt. Did the Stretching, Rolling my Foot on a Spikey ball and Iced it occasionally. Return visit, after he had his Holiday, and I' am walking fine. They do NOT want to see me again, unless it deteriorates. Which it has not :-)