Fungal Toenails

What is it?

Fungal nail infection (onychomycosis) occurs when a fungus spreads under a nail and into the nail bed causing brittle, crumbly and discoloured nails. It can spread to the nail from a nearby skin infection and affect several nails. Fungi generally thrive in hot and moist environments, which is often why it’s more common in toenails rather than fingernails.

There are different types of fungus which cause fungal nail infection, These treatments don’t always penetrate the nail plate and, as a result, may not work in all cases. Oral antifungals may be recommended for an infection which

  • covers the majority of the nail
  • is in the base of the nail
  • is deep.

Antifungals are prescribed by your GP after carefully evaluating your health status. Note – these medications can have significant side effects.

Our clinic also offers PACT Fungal Nail Laser Therapy – an innovative and non-invasive treatment which uses photodynamic therapy to eliminate fungi in the nail.

Your podiatrist can recommend a course of treatment as well as ways to prevent recurrence. Podiatrists also have special tools to reduce and manage the thickness of fungal nails. This makes it easier for the nail to absorb topical medications and also improves the appearance. The nail feels more comfortable through the use of dermatophytes, yeast and moulds.

Often, the main problem is cosmetic in nature due to the change in appearance of the nail. This condition rarely causes pain and odour.

Fungal nail infection is usually diagnosed clinically due to its fairly distinctive appearance on the nail. Sometimes other conditions such as psoriasis can mimic fungal nail infection. If there’s any doubt, you may be referred to your GP for testing of nail samples to identify the underlying cause

Risk factors:

  • Diabetes
  • Poor circulation
  • Problems with your immune system
  • Working in a humid or moist environment
  • Excessively sweaty feet/skin.
  • Wearing enclosed footwear with poor ventilation and/or doesn’t absorb sweat.
  • Being barefoot in public areas where there is high footfall (eg. public pools, gyms, changerooms).

Treatment:

A fungal infection is often stubborn to treat and recurrence is common. It can take a year before the nail starts to appear normal, but this depends on the rate of nail growth and how consistent you are with treatment.

Topical antifungals are recommended if the infection is superficial or affects the end of the nail. These treatments don’t always penetrate the nail plate, and as result, may not work in all cases. Oral antifungals may be recommended for infection which

  • covers the entire nail
  • affects the base of the nail
  • is deep

These are prescribed by your GP after carefully evaluating your health status as these medications can have significant side effects.

Our clinic also offers PACT Fungal Nail Laser Therapy– an innovative and non-invasive treatment which uses photodynamic therapy to eliminate fungi in the nail.

Your podiatrist can recommend a course of treatment as well as ways to prevent recurrence. Podiatrists also have special tools to reduce and manage the thickness of fungal nails. This makes it easier for the nail to absorb topical medications, improves the appearance and provides more comfort to the patient.

In clinic statistic:

Pactmed fungal laser therapy can improve the appearance of fungal nails in 80% of cases

We’ll find a solution that suits you

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We are committed to solving the problem rather than offering a quick fix. In addition to treatment we’ll provide advice on how you can make small adjustments to reduce your pain, minimise the risk of injury and improve your quality of life.