Toenail Fungal Infection and Its Treatment
One of the more common problems we come across at the Beauchamp Foot Care clinic is the toenail fungal infection. It seems a fairly easy thing to catch but often proves very difficult to get rid of. Yes, there are plenty of treatments you can buy instore but they can take many months to work, if they have any effect at all.
The signs of a toenail fungal infection are fairly easy to spot. Your nail, often the big toe, will look discoloured under the nail. If you have left it to develop, you may also notice the nail thickening and your nail will lose its normal shine. You could even notice the nail becoming more brittle and, in some circumstances, it can be painful when you are wearing shoes.
What to do if you think you might have a toenail fungal infection
The first thing you need to do is pay a visit to your podiatrist or doctor. They’ll be able to assess your condition and recommend the appropriate treatment to restore your nail. Podiatrists such as those at Beauchamp Foot Care are trained to diagnose and treat problems such as toenail fungal infections and have experience in using specialist equipment and medications.
Nail fungus may not only discolour your nail but can also make it become misshapen. This can look very unsightly, especially if you want to go barefoot on the beach or love to wear open toed sandals. Treatment success can depend on how serious the infection is and how long it’s been left to develop. You can get oral treatments that may be effective as well as topical treatments which typically involve applying daily. The trouble is that these can take a long time to work and often have limited effect. In addition, oral treatments can be very powerful medications that may even cause liver damage if not carefully administered and supervised.
Laser treatment for fungal infections
At the Beauchamp Foot Care Clinic, we use Lunula laser treatments which have proved effective for many of our patients with fungal infections. This combines two laser lights at set wavelengths which help to destroy the fungus under the nail. It is a completely pain free process as the laser uses a low power and takes just 10 to 12 minutes for each foot. How quickly the laser treatment begins to take effect can depend on the severity but it’s usual for the process to be repeated weekly until the fungal infection is eradicated.
If your nail has hardened and become thickened by the infection, your podiatrist will first thin down the area to give the laser better access to the fungus underneath. Once you have completed the initial laser session, you will be given an anti-fungal spray and cream to put on the nail to help reduce the fungal infection.
You won’t see immediate changes in the nail after the laser treatment but you could notice it beginning to reduce over the coming weeks. Much, as we’ve mentioned, will depend on the severity of the condition and your general health and physiology. We always recommend you to make an appointment when you first notice something is wrong with your nail as usually the quicker a fungal infection is tackled, the easier it is to treat.
If you have a nail condition such as a fungal infection, contact Beauchamp Foot Care today for a consultation and to review your treatment options by our professional team of podiatrists.