Causes and treatment
Nail fungus is an embarrassing chronic condition that impacts your quality of life and can lead to serious health problems for those with diabetes or immune disorders. Infections can start as a result of a family history of susceptibility, increasing age, poor health, warm or moist climates, exposure to others’ infections and communal bathing areas, and tight shoes.
Infected nails often show one or more of the following signs:
- Yellow streaks in the skin under the nail
- Build up of bits and pieces of skin and nail fragments
- Discoloured and thickened nail that may separate from the skin
- Brittle, broken, and thickened nails
- White spots or streaks on the surface
- Soft and powdery surface which appears as the infection worsens
- Damaged, crumbly and brown or gray surface, with no separation of the nail from the underlying skin
The treatment of fungal infection is difficult because the infection is under and inside the nail, which makes it hard for other treatments to reach and destroy the infection. Treatments such as medicated polish or oral medications may be associated with side effects or serious drug interactions. Home remedies such as using bleach, vinegar, mouthwash, or household cleaners to resolve the problem are often tried but, ultimately, fail to resolve it.
These may not be effective for all patients, and may come with side effects. They also need to be taken for 6-12 weeks and results are not seen until the nail grows out.
These can be more effective than oral drugs, but they have to be applied daily for long periods to clear up the fungus.
Surgical Removal In extreme cases, the nail can be removed, with two choices. 1) To allow the nail to regrow clean, 2) or to seal off the nail bed and not allow the nail to regrow. The nail can be removed surgically . It is a simple procedure that is relatively painless under local anesthesia. although it does take time to heal, and the nail to grow out.
The second option is normally done when we assume the nail is permanently damaged and has no chance of growing back normal.
Most patients receive some improvement in 3, 6, 9 and/or 12 months after one session. New nail grows out with no signs of infection. The main benefit of this treatment is that it is a much faster solution. We offer treatments with two types of laser. At our North West London clinic in Northwood, we have a PinPointe FootLaser, and Lunula . At our clinic in Reigate, Surrey, we have the Lunula Laser and The S30 Podylas