Fungal Nail Infections
Laser Therapy for Fungal Nail Infections
Fungal infection of the nails is known as onychomycosis. This can be caused by fungi, yeasts or moulds and gives rise to discolouration and destruction of the nail plate.
It may affect one or all toe and/or fingernails. It may be the only cause of an abnormal nail or might be ‘piggy-backing’ on a damaged nail from another cause eg psoriasis.
It is diagnosed by sending nail clippings to the laboratory for analysis. Once diagnosed the patient has a number of treatment options:
- Topical agents
- Prescribed oral anti fungal therapy – the best treatment
- Laser treatment
Onychomycosis rarely responds to expensive topical agents such as those available over the counter, i.e. nail varnish remedies.
Oral anti fungal treatments do work in up to 80% of cases, however in the case of toe nail infection the medication has to be taken for at least 12 weeks and frequently recurs. Furthermore, these medications are associated with the potential risk of serious side effects such as allergic reactions, permanent loss of taste and liver damage.
There has been a breakthrough in the treatment of fungal nail infections with the Nd Yag Laser.
Studies have shown that laser treatment can safely eradicate nail fungi in just 4 treatment sessions spaced one to two weeks apart. Most importantly clearance rates are reportedly comparable to oral medications without the risks of side-effects.
It is a relatively painless procedure with absolutely no downtime and is completed in just 15 minutes.