Fungus thrives in any warm, damp place. So feet, often confined in sweaty athletic shoes and socks, are a prime target. Tineapedis, or “athlete’s foot,” isn’t just a problem for fitness enthusiasts. Many people are troubled by this foot fungus, which causes cracked and inflamed skin, painful oozing blisters and, sometimes, a truly offensive smell.
Nail fungus, known to doctors as onychomycosis, is caused by a fungus spreading under the nail into the nail bed. For women who choose style over function in footwear, theirtight-fitting toe boxes create a perfect incubator for fungal infections.
On its website, the Australian Podiatry Association (NSW & ACT) reports that:
“Approximately 50 percent of all nail disorders are fungal infections. There are many contributing causes, including physical damage to the nail, a weakened immune system due to conditions such as diabetes and cancer, and overexposure to water or detergents.”
Lasers are a non-invasive treatment protocol for nail fungus.The treatment requires no anaesthesia, and no side effects are anticipated when you have this “walk in, walk out” treatment. Other positive benefits of laser treatment include:
A focused and organised beam of light is directed into the infected area with fungus. It is tuned to a specific frequency that affects the cells responsible for the infection. This tailored laser beam penetrates the nail and vaporise fungus embedded in the nail plate or nail bed.
Each laser manufacturer’s equipment has proprietary wavelengths, pulse frequency and duration schedule for treatment. Many doctors report that it takes approximately 10 minutes to treat a single toe that has developed fungus. If more toes are affected, the treatment session will be longer.
That being said, a specific treatment plan and duration of each session will need to be determined by your personal physician based on your unique case.
As with any medical concern, the treatment of nail fungus begins with a physical exam. If the presence of a nail fungus infection is confirmed, treatment options will be discussed. As part of establishing a treatment plan, your physician will recommend and explain a treatment and discuss whether (and how many) follow-up visits may be required.
On the day before treatment, patients should
On the day of treatment, patients should
In many instances, a single treatment is sufficient to put an end to toe and foot fungus. With toenail fungus, which causes a yellowing and thickening of the nail, treatment does not immediately produce a clear nail. It takes time for the affected nail to grow out and be replaced by a new healthy nail.
A podiatry laser has no effect on healthy tissue. It targets only the infected areas. Happily, patients who undergo laser nail treatment for fungus removal should experience no discomfort during or after the treatment.
In some cases, patients have reported feeling a warming sensation or a slight pinprick.
Oral antifungal medications offer a different approach to treating nail fungus. Studies have shown the most effective treatments to beterbinafine and itraconazole. They help a new nail grow free of infection, slowly replacing the infected portion of your nail.
Oral medications are generally prescribed for foot fungus and nail fungus related to
The course of treatment generally lasts from 6 to12 weeks, but full results are not realised until the nail grows back completely, which can take up to four months. Recurrent infections are common, particularly if your feet become warm and moist inside your shoes.
Antifungal drugs for foot fungus may cause side effects from mild (skin rash) to extreme (liver damage). This course of therapy is not recommended for people suffering from congestive heart failure, who have liver disease or take certain types of medications.
Other treatment options for nail fungus
Your doctor may also suggest these nail fungus treatment options:
There are several factors that affect the cost of laser treatment for your feet:
Costs will also depend on where you are and where your doctor practices. Different doctors and other providers may also have varying rates for the same laser treatment.
This information is correct as of 2017.
Sometimes surgery is used in combination with a topical solution that treats the nail bed to further inhibit the fungus.