Fungal toenails

Fungal toenails

Nail fungal infections are an invasion of microorganisms on, in and under the nail plate. The nail is a nonvascular tissue and as such is disconnected from the general circulation. Therefore there is no antibody reaction to the presence of a fungal infection like say skin would have and thus generally painless. However this is the reason they are so prevalent and hard to get rid of because the body doesn’t help kill the bug.

Even though fungal infections don’t generally hurt they can cause deformed, thickened nails resulting in painful ingrown nails with a secondary bacterial infection. The condition can be transferred to adjacent nails and slowly involve all the whole foot by fungal spore contamination of socks and footwear.

Treatment takes 3 major forms.

Topical daily chemical applications

These are mostly obtained from the pharmacist. They have a low to moderate success rate. This can be improved by having your Podiatrist reduce the thickness of the nail to increase the penetration of the chemical.

Systemic treatments

These usually involve seeing your G.P. for a prescription and taking oral antifungal medication. The success rate is better than the topical applications but may require pathology studies to determine the type of organism and blood tests to check on toxicity.

Medical laser therapies

These are relatively new and show promise of becoming the Gold Standard in antifungal treatments with success rates around 80-90%. They are expensive treatments but usually only require 1-4 treatments depending on the laser system used. If you wish to get rid of the infection quickly, this is best option.

To get a correct diagnosis and the best chance of ridding yourself of that unsightly fungal infection and methods to prevent reinfection, come in for a consultation.