Fungal Nails

Fungal Nails

Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the nail and is estimated to affect up to 1.6 million Nail fungus is a common fungal condition that begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As the fungal infection goes deeper, nail fungus may cause your nail to discolour, thicken and crumble at the edge

Signs of Fungal Nail Infection are:

  • Discolouration (yellow, white, or black)
  • Distorted or deformed shape
  • Crumbly looking, and raised or separated from the nail bed

Causes

Fungal nail problems are caused by a fungus spreading under the nail into the nail bed. The fungus may infect a broken or injured nail or may spread to the nail from a nearby skin infection like athlete’s foot (tinea).

Risk Factors:

Factors that can increase your risk of developing nail fungus include:

  • Trauma to the nail. Acute or repetitive micro-trauma such as rubbing on your shoe.
  • Poor hygiene – not drying off the feet thoroughly after bathing or exercise
  • Excessive sweating
  • People with a compromised immune system – including people with Diabetes.
  • Poor peripheral circulation
  • Warm, moist environment from occlusive footwear
  • Working in a wet environment
  • Walking barefoot in damp communal areas, such as swimming pools, gyms and shower rooms

Self-care and prevention:

To help manage or prevent a fungal nail infection (and prevent further infections from developing):

  • Rotate shoes regularly to allow them to air and dry
  • Use a separate pair of nail scissors for infected nails
  • Wear waterproof shoes when doing wet work
  • Wear clean, dry socks that absorb moisture, especially if your feet sweat a lot
  • change your socks when they are damp from sweat, and
  • wear thongs in public change rooms, pools, or showers
  • Don’t share nail clippers
  • Apply an antifungal powder or spray to rid shoes of fungus

Treatment:

1. Pact Fungal Treatment

PACT ® is an abbreviation and a scientific term for Photodynamic Antimicrobial Therapy. PACT works by using a special blue dye which makes fungal cells sensitive to light at a certain wavelength. Exposing the fungal toenail to the light activates the blue dye, which then kills fungal cells in a short time.

Fungal cells are less sensitive than other organisms and harder to penetrate when they are in the nail plate. PACT therapy can reach the infection without harming the skin. This makes it a quick, safe, and painless fungal toenail treatment

2. Oral Antifungal Drugs – can clear the infected area faster than topical drugs but it needs to be taken for 6-12 weeks or until the nail grows back. You need to check with your doctor if this medication is suitable for you. As this medication can have side effects.

3. Medicated Nail Cream – this works better on thin nails. This helps the medication get through the hard nail surface to the fungus under the nail. Our podiatrist can help with the nail thinning and the best cream / solutions to use.  Again, it is important that you understand how to prevent the condition reoccurring.

What you should do next?

If you think you have fungal nails and would like to seek help, then book an appointment with us today. We will give an initial assessment and discuss further solutions.

Book your appointment online today!

Remember- the harder it will be to treat if you don’t solve the problem as soon as possible.