Onychomycosis is a fungal infection usually caused by a special type of fungus known as a dermatophyte. These sorts of fungi are generally confined to the dead, horny outer layers of the skin and gradually progress to involve the nail plate. Onychomycosis is particularly common in toenails of older men, but can affect of the nails of individuals of any age and sex. The treatment of this condition is complicated by the fact that these fungi live in dead tissue, and getting medications to these sites is problematic.
The most common symptom of a fungal nail infection is the nail becoming thickened and discolored i.e. white, black, yellow or green. As the infection progresses the nail can become brittle, with pieces breaking off or coming away from the toe or finger completely. If left untreated, the skin can become inflamed and painful underneath and around the nail. There may also be white or yellow patches on the nail bed or scaly skin next to the nail, and a foul smell. There have been usually no pain or other bodily symptoms, unless the disease is severe. People with onychomycosis may experience significant psychosocial problems due to the appearance of the nail, particularly when fingers – which are always visible – rather than toenails are affected.
Dermatophytids are fungus-free skin lesions that sometimes form as a result of a fungus infection in another part of the body. This could take the form of a rash or itch in an area of the body that is not infected with the fungus. Dermatophytids can be thought as an allergic reaction to the fungus.
Aging is the most common risk factor for onychomycosis due to diminished blood circulation, longer exposure to fungi, and nails which grow more slowly and thicken, increasing susceptibility to infection. Nail fungus tends to affect men more often than women, and is associated with a family history of this infection.
Other risk factors include perspiring heavily, being in a humid or moist environment, psoriasis, wearing socks and shoes that hinder ventilation and do not absorb perspiration, going barefoot in damp public places such as swimming pools, gyms and shower rooms, having athlete's foot (tinea pedis), minor skin or nail injury, damaged nail, or other infection, and having diabetes, circulation problems, which may also lead to lower peripheral temperatures on hands and feet, or a weakened immune system.
Our physician will work with you in selecting the choice that is best for you. You must return for follow-up visits for the laser therapy.
This kills the toenail fungus and eliminates them fully. Doctors usually use a unique laser that is directed on the fungus, so as to kill them. It simply takes a few minutes to do that on an individual toenail. This ensures that the infection has been eradicated entirely. Therefore, it is thorough, and it does not leave behind any fungus alive. This type of treatment makes sure that the surrounding skin, as well as the toenail, is in good condition and not harmed. This treatment process is painless, and it leaves the feet of the affected person free from fungus.
An initial assessment to determine if there is a fungal nail infection present
A review of the cause of the infection
A treatment plan outlining the most appropriate management - including laser treatment for nail fungus
Measures to ensure that once the infection is eradicated that the chances for re-infection are minimized
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