Also known as “ringworm of the nail” and “tinea ungium.” This is the most common disease of the nails and constitutes about a half of all nail abnormalities. It may affect fingernails and toenails but toenails are more commonly affected.

How do we get it?

Our feet are spent most of the day in closed shoes and it creates a moist environment for a group of fungi dermatophytes to multiply and invade the nail bed. It may also be contagious and picked up in public places such as communal showers at gyms, hotel showers, nail polishes and pedicures at beauty salons. Other predisposing factors include previous fungal infections of the skin that may have spread to the nails, underlying conditions such as diabetes, poor circulation, lowered immune system, trauma to the nail and constant washing of the hands and feet.

What does it look like?

The most common sign of a fungal nail infection is the nail becoming thickened and discoloured: 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 and can result in ingrowing toenails. There is usually no pain or other bodily symptoms, unless the disease is severe. Patients with nail fungus may experience significant psychosocial problems due to the appearance of the nail, particularly when fingers – which are always visible – rather than toenails are affected.

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How does the laser treatment work?

The Fungus is heat and light sensitive. The light from the laser passes through the nail plate and the surrounding tissue including the nail bed and is absorbed by the pigment in the fungi which is darker than the surrounding cells causing the fungal cells to heat. The slight rise in temperature and repetitive light exposure kills the fungi and its spores. As your nail continues to grow the infected area grows out with it, leaving a new clean nail. Visual improvement is not immediate and will require at least 6-9 months for your old nail to grow out. A single treatment lasts only a few minutes and the patient experiences NO pain. Depending on the severity of the nail fungus a patient will require more than one treatment.



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