Fungal Nails and Laser Treatments
Fungal infections can affect both the skin and nails, particularly in a warm, dark and moist environment. Commonly on the skin we know it as athlete’s foot. The medical name is Tinea Pedis. It can cause red and itchy skin anywhere from between the toes to the bottom of the foot. Sometimes we will have athlete’s foot without having any symptoms.
If athletes foot is left untreated it can start to affect the nail leading to a discoloured, thickened and crumbly nail.
Fungal infections themselves are not serious but can be unsightly and cause secondary problems. Cracks between the toes can allow other infections to spread and when the nail gets infected it can become thickened and uncomfortable, leading to excessive pressure on the nail. It will often become difficult to cut.
Those who are at risk of infection are people of:
- Increasing age
- Those with circulatory issues
- Diabetes and immunosuppressive conditions
- Sweaty feet
- Increased prevalence in males
- Sharing of towels, socks and shoes
We can assess and diagnose if you have a fungal infection, affecting your skin and/or nails. We will assess your individual needs and what treatment options may suit you best. Not all treatments are suitable for everyone, it depends on the severity of the condition and other medical conditions. There are several options which the podiatrists will explain in more detail, these include:
- Topical anti-fungals for both the nails and the skin
- Laser treatment
- Systemic Medication
Fungal nail infections have been found to affect up to 8% of the population. Laser treatment is used for fungal infections and works through pulses of light energy to heat the tissues to a high temperature, with the ultimate effect being to destroy the pathogens.
It is a safe and effective treatment with research showing up to 63% success rate.
This treatment is best found to work alongside a topical treatment.