Treating fungal toenails

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kyleperryFungal toenail infections (onychomycosis) are estimated to infect at least 10 per cent of the worldwide population. Treatment for fungal nails however can be very frustrating and confusing with so many treatment options available.

How to spot a fungal infection

Fungal nail infections can cause a variety of changes in the nail, including:
• Thickening and roughness
• Crumbling or brittleness
• Discolouration (yellow, white or brown changes)
• Separation of the nail from the nail bed

Topical treatment

Early treatment of fungal infections will prevent further damage and or infection. Toenails grow slowly so it can take up to a year for complete clear nail regrowth to occur. The earlier treatment takes place, the faster improvements are seen. In a nail that is infected 30 per cent or less, treatment of topical antifungals are used.

Often change is evident after 2-3 months of daily applications. The best starting point for antifungal therapy is tea tree oil, a very simple and inexpensive antifungal option used both for its antifungal and preventative capabilities. When tea tree oil just isn’t aggressive enough, we will advise Canesten, Loceryl or Rejuvenail, which holds an approximate effectiveness rate of 30 per cent overall.

Laser treatment

With topical success rates generally low, overcoming fungal nails can be a long, frustrating process.

Lunular laser uses a cold laser beam to gain a 90 per cent fungal nail clearance rate. Using cold laser technology means the therapy is painless with no side effects, offering no risk of tissue damage or burning that hot laser therapy can cause.

Secondly, it avoids liver toxicity risks that oral antifungal tablets may cause, by using low-level laser to stimulate both your immune system and blood flow enabling clear nail regrowth changes that are generally evident at eight weeks.

Lunular laser is now available at OnePointHealth. If you are unsure about where to start in your nail treatment, we’re happy to help.

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