Laser nail fungus treatment
Although herbal remedies, oral medications and all topical nail fungus treatment might help in getting rid of the problem, all these methods take a lot of time and care. Moreover, some fungi are hard to kill and may not be cured with any of the medications or herbal remedies. For a safe and quick solution, dermatologists now recommend the laser nail fungus treatment.
The laser nail fungus treatment is the newest technology which has been approved by FDA. It is free from any side effects and the entire procedure take up to an hour. Number of treatments required varies from patient to patient but mostly the disease goes away two or three sittings. According to the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, a laser treatment study was conducted with 26 toes having nail fungus “(ten mild, seven moderate, and nine severe),” and 85% nails showed significant improvement.
Laser nails fungus treatment mechanism
To cure Onychomycosis via laser, a beam of narrow range light (870- and 930-nm Light Exposure) is targeted to the infected area which vaporizes the fungi. A fungus is a living organism and it needs just to be killed. Laser beam helps in killing this microorganism residing in the nail bed and nails. The laser beam used is carefully regulated so that it only affects the cells causing the infection. Specific temperature of laser heats up and, hence, kills the fungus. This is a painless procedure with immediate results.
Doctors regard laser treatment for nail fungus to be the safest cure for the problem; any medication used to get rid of fungus may adversely affect kidneys and liver while laser treatment does not have any such harmful effects and it is monitored so that it kills only the cells responsible for the infection.
Among other precautions, an important thing to consider is the clinic chosen for the procedure. It is highly recommended to opt for a well reputed and established clinic for laser treatments.
Onychomycosis, or nail fungal infection, is the most common disease occurring in the nails; making up to more than 50% of nail problems. It may transpire in fingernails and toenails but toenails are more susceptible to it. Men and elderly are more likely to develop nail fungus than women and younger people. However, children who share communal showers are also more vulnerable to this disease.
Nail fungus is usually caused by the dermatophyte fungi. These are micro organisms which grow in damp and warm areas and are capable of nurturing without sunlight. The fungi enter the nail through small cuts or gaps between the nail bed and the nail, and start thriving when they get the suitable moist environment.
People who are more vulnerable to Onychomycosis are those;
- Who perspire heavily and work in damp warm environment
- Who wear shoes or socks which don’t allow air circulation
- With diminished blood circulation in the toes
- Who wear tight shoes where fingers stay crowded
- Who share public showers or walk in damp areas barefoot
- Who have fungal infection problems in their genes
- Who have a weak immunity systems or who suffer from fatal diseases like AIDS or Diabetes
Apart from these, nail fungus may also develop as a result of any previous infection or injury in the nails or the area around them.
Types of Nail Fungi
Dermatophytes fungi like Tricophyton rubrum are the most common type of nail fungi. In addition to this, Tricophyton interdigitale, Trycophyton veruccosum, Epidermophyton floccosum, Tricophyton violaceum and Microsporum gypseum are other dermatophyte fungi causing nail infections. Some non-dermatophtytic fungi which effect people in humid regions are Scytalidium, Scopulariopsis and Aspergillus.
Different types of nail fungi can be categorized as follows;
- Distal subungual onychomycosis (DSO): This is most common type of nail fungus infection caused by dermatophytic fungus. It starts to grow at the end of the nail affecting the skin under the nail as well as the nail itself. As a result, the nail may change to yellow or white and if the problem gets worse, the nail ultimately crumbles and separates from the nail bed.
- White superficial onychomycosis (WSO): accounting for about 7% of all nail fungal diseases, the WSO is the second most common type of nail fungal infection. It is easier to treat than DSO which may become a lifelong problem. In WSO the nail surface get affected and small white spots start forming on the nail surface and ultimately the entire nail gets covered in white chalky powder.
- Candida: this is also called yeast infection and is an uncommon type of nail fungus. Affecting the nail folds, it is more likely to occur in fingernails than toenails.
Nail fungus symptoms
Common symptoms include
- Nails turn to yellow or white
- Nails start to get brittle
- Crumbling of nails
- Separation of nails from nail bed
- Darkening and thickening of nails
- Swelling around the nail
Nail fungus treatment
As the saying rightly goes that prevention is better than cure, the people residing in humid and hot areas or the people with lifestyle that makes them more vulnerable to nail fungus should pay great attention to their personal hygiene. They should keep their nails short, dry and clean. It is also important to wear appropriate socks and shoes that allow sufficient ventilation for the nails as well as to use anti fungal sprays if the problem manifests. Moreover, avoiding walking barefoot in public showers, using rubber gloves and keeping the nails pampered are little basic prevention against nail fungus.
However, if the fungus starts growing, it needs to be cured immediately before it spreads or gets worse. There are many oral and topical medications for nail fungus treatment which may help in getting rid of the problem.
Herbal remedies and natural cures
Some basic home remedies are;
- Olive leaf extract: this is particularly useful for toenail fungus treatment. It is a natural antibiotic that kills the fungus from inside out
- Listerine and vinegar: a solution of Listerine and vinegar in warm water can help in nail fungus treatment. Soak the effected nails in the mixture for thirty minutes every day and the fungus will go away.
- Epsom salt and apple cider vinegar: soaking the nails in a mixture of apple cider vinegar and Epsom salt in warm water twice or thrice a day can also help.