Fungal Nail Treatment
Onychomycosis is a very common condition that accounts for 50% of all nail pathologies. Currently 2–5% of the world population suffers from this disorder.
Onychomycosis is a common nail pathology which has proven to be a treatment challenge to healthcare professionals. Anti-fungal drugs have been the mainstay of therapy for many years. Recently, laser technologies have been introduced as a treatment for onychomycosis avoiding the disadvantages of systemic and topical drug therapies, offering a rapid treatment for an often persistent nail condition.
How does the treatment work?
Light is selectively absorbed by melanin, the pigment in the hair follicle. The light energy heats the pigment and effectively destroys the hair follicle without damaging the surrounding cells.
How does the treatment feel?
A degree of heating and some discomfort is felt during treatment. However, a skin cooling device can be used to make treatment as comfortable as possible.
Are there any side effects?
The side-effects of laser treatments are generally mild and transient (unlike the side-effects of some of the medications used to treat fungal infections). The area may be red immediately after treatment and may be a little swollen and tender, but this usually subsides within a few hours. Unwanted reactions are rare but may include a small blister in the area around the nail, or temporary lightening or darkening of the skin. In rare cases, if the nail is very badly infected, the nail may fall off, but if this occurs, it will be replaced by a smoother, uninfected nail.
How many treatments are necessary?
Treatments are conducted every 6 to 8 weeks depending on the area being treated. The number of treatments required varies, although typically 2 – 6 treatments are needed for optimum results. These results become apparent as the nail grows out, and due to the slow rate of growth of toenails it may take several months for the full results to become apparent.
How long does treatment take?
Treatments generally take in the region of 30 minutes.