NAIL FUNGUS REMOVAL
Do your nails appear to be yellow, brittle or thickened?
Dermatophytic onychomycosis or Tinea Unquium as it is sometimes known, is a condition also known as toenail fungus (but can be fingernails also). Until now, the only solutions for toenail fungus were to surgically remove the nail, apply topical treatments, which have poor success rate; or more recently, prescription medications, which have many potentially dangerous side effects.
The fungus is usually the same as that that causes athlete’s foot – a common infection of the skin of the feet, especially between the toes. In athlete’s foot the responsible fungus lives in the keratin that makes up the outer layer of the skin. When the fungus spreads to the keratin of the nails, the result is a fungal nail infection.
What causes fungal infections?
Fungi spreading from athlete’s foot (known as ‘dermatophyte fungi’) cause most fungal nail infections. Fungal infections of the toenails are very common (1 in 4 people can be affected at a given time), those of fingernails less so. Fungal infection is seen most often in those with impaired immune systems, and in people with diabetes and poor peripheral circulation.
Warm, moist environment such as Gyms, swimming pools areas, saunas help fungi grow increasing the risk of infection to the foot or hand. Wearing closed toed footwear and nylon stockings and socks help the fungi to grow.
Once eradicated it is important to wear either new footwear and/or clean footwear with an anti-fungal spray and laundered. If toe nails have become thickened then you should seek help treatment from a podiatrist.
Some fungal infections can be very difficult to eradicate. The use of topical applications can be a long lengthy process and may not work, some medications can take months of use which may be harmful to your liver.
It can be difficult to tell if fungal infection has been completely eradicated by some means such as oral medication and topical application. In some instances, the infection will return.
The Q switched laser at Erasure Skin can effectively rid your toenails of unsightly toenail fungus in a few short treatments, depending on the severity of the condition. A course would be 4+ treatments at one or two weeks apart, depending on the thickness of the infected nails. The mid-infrared laser wavelength penetrates the nail, eliminating the destructive fungus that causes the infection and revitalizing your nail as it grows out. The nail will remain discoloured until the nail has fully grown out. Toenails grow on average 3mm per month, so it takes 12 to 18 months for the full toenail to be clear. A return visit to the clinic to follow up will determine whether a second treatment is necessary or not. In many instances one treatment is adequate.
What to expect
Please remove your nail polish, if worn, the day prior to receiving your treatment as your toenails will be cleaned prior to the laser treatment. As each toe is treated with the laser you will feel no pain. The laser treatment will take about 20 minutes to treat both feet. Your therapist will discuss post-treatment care to avoid fungal re-infection.
Your laser technician will pass over the infected nail and surrounding tissue and beyond the cuticle to treat parts of the nail that have not yet grown forward. Part of the cuticle lies below the skin and cannot be seen with the naked eye. The procedure will take up to 20 minutes which will be dependent on whether 1 or all 10 toes are treated.
Is it pain free?
Yes, and there is no down time.
Is it safe for children?
Yes, although those under the age of 18 will require to be accompanied by a guardian who will sign the consent form.
Can I have the treatment done if I am pregnant?
Yes, there are no contra-indications for those about to or have had children.
Can I have treatment on a partial nail?
Yes, however, we will charge for the entire toe since it is necessary to ensure all potentially affected areas have been treated.
Can I go back to work after the treatment? Are there any activity restrictions?
Yes you can return to work immediately following the procedure there are also no restrictions on activities after the procedure.
Keep your nails short, dry, and clean. Do not use a nail clipper on healthy nails if you have used on a suspected infected nail. Metal tools that are used can be cleaned in barbicide.
If you have Athletes foot use an anti-fungal cream to treat the skin that has athlete’s foot as well. This can be found on the base of the foot and in-between toes and should be diagnosed and treated.
Avoid cutting the cuticle, either yourself or by a manicurist, since this increases the risk of nail damage and infection. Toe nails should always be cut straight to avoid in grown toe nails.
Wear well-fitting shoes, without high heels or narrow toes.
Keep your feet dry, wear cotton socks, changed daily, and use ‘breathable’ shoes. Normal launder socks in hot water to clear most of the affected socks.
Maintain good foot hygiene, including treating any athlete's foot.
Wear clean shower shoes when using a communal shower.
Be meticulous with the hygiene of affected feet.
Consider seeking treatment from a podiatrist if thickened toenails cause discomfort when walking.
You should not shower in public gyms during the 3-6 months post treatment while the nail bed is still growing out the treated nail.