What are Fungal Infections?

Are your Toenails Looking a Little Different Lately? Perhaps, a Different Colour, Feeling a Little Brittle or Painful? Well…You May Have a Fungal Nail Infection!

What are fungal infections?

A fungal infection of the nail is termed onychomycosis or tinea pedis. Onychomycosis is a common nail condition primarily caused by a fungus called dermatophytes, which results in slow nail growth, nail shape distortion, debris trapped under the nail, crumbling and thickening of the nail plate and associated pain.

Onychomycosis thrives in dark and humid environments such as your footwear and can spread via nearby skin infections, person to person contact, sharing of towels or communal pools / showers.

 

what are fungal infections

What are the Causes?

  • Warm, moist, dark and humid environments
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nail plate trauma
  • Poor hygiene
  • Impaired peripheral circulation
  • Individuals with compromised immune system – diabetics, elderly etc.


Common Misconceptions?

People think bacteria and fungus are the same. Although, fungus causes spore development which results in that tough appearance you may see or feel. Fungal infections therefore reduce the ability of anti-fungal treatments to penetrate the nail affectively. So thats why no topical anti-fungal treatment has worked…correct!

How is it Treated?

The Podiatry Centre’s Podiatry can treat your fungal infection in three ways:

Conservative treatment

  • Comprehensively assess the nail and if a nail infection is present
  • Reduce nail thickness and fungus, allowing anti-fungal solutions to penetrate effectively through the nail plate and nail bed
  • Recommend topical anti-fungal solutions available at The Podiatry Centre and give hygiene advice
  • Oral anti-fungal medication may have severe systemic effects, thus clearance should be obtained from a family doctor prior to use.

Arc Laser therapy

Arc laser therapy uses infrared laser radiation to damage the fungi cytoplasmic membranes or denature enzyme content as a result of the heat therapy. So, pretty much what we’re trying to say is the success rate with laser therapy is 80% and most patients regrow a nail free of fungus. YAY!

  • Reduce nail thickness and fungus
  • Assess treatment area for reduced sensation or numbness
  • Administer laser therapy
  • Advice on topical applications to apply daily until signs and symptoms have subsided

Surgical treatment

  • Local anaesthetic administered
  • Removal of the nail plate
  • A medical solution may be applied to prevent the nail from reoccurring

Call The Podiatry Centre today to treat your fungal nail infection.