How Do Fungal Nail Infections Spread
Fungal nail infections spread through direct contact with someone who is infected, or through coming in contact with the same surface they have been in contact with, like floors, showers, socks and shoes. As fungus thrives in warm and moist environments, public pool and shower areas, gyms, and changing rooms are the most common places to contract a fungal nail infection. Once you have the infection, it can grow and spread to your other nails inside your sneakers or work boots. You may also contract Athletes foot in the same way.
How To Treat Toenail Fungus
Traditional remedies for toenail fungus include creams and ointments, both over the counter and prescriptive. But the efficacy of these preparations is limited. The dermatophyte fungi burrow between the layers of your nails. Because those nails are nonporous, its difficult for ointments to penetrate enough to take effect. The success rate for topical ointments is therefore quite low.
Systemic medications, taken orally, use a more direct approach to address the fungus. You take the pill, the medication is absorbed into your bloodstream, and the fungus is attacked within the nail formation process.
What Are The Symptoms Of Onychomycosis In The Order That They Usually Appear
- A slowly growing white dot on the toenail.
- Discoloration of the nail. Parts of the nail turn yellow, brown, and/or white.
- The nail thickens and becomes warped or twisted.
- The nail becomes so brittle that it breaks easily, or even crumbles.
- The seal between the nail and its bed is broken. The nail loosens and begin to separate.
- The nail bed becomes painful.
- An odd and/or unpleasant smell emanates from the nail.
- The same process begins in another toenail.
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Avance Salon And Professional Nail Fungus Treatment Machine
This advanced system for the treatment of toenail fungus uses a powerful 655nm laser to penetrate the nail and target Onychomycosis fungus to improve nail health, return thick toenails to a normal thinness, and bring back a healthy color and appearance without damaging skin cells.
It also comes supplied with a fungicidal gel to enhance the effectiveness of the treatment, plus two pairs of protective goggles to ensure eyes arent damaged when using the laser.
The company claims that in 77% of cases this professional level piece of kit gives visible results as quickly as 1 -2 weeks following the start of treatment.
- Supplied with a good range of accessories
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Best Home Treatment Cures For Nail Fungus
Many at-home treatments for toenail fungus are natural, inexpensive, and have minimal if any, side effects. Its a much more favorable alternative to prescription treatments. Home remedies usually work the best on mild or moderate infections. If you have diabetes or a weakened immune system, contact your doctor before trying any at home methods. The effectiveness of these natural treatments will be dependent on how penetrated the fungus is in the nail, the severity of the fungal infection, and your overall health.
Below are my top recommendations for treating toenail fungus at home, with many items you probably already have in your pantry.
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Apple Cider Vinegar With Epsom Salt
Epsom salt gently exfoliates the skin and nail which helps the healing properties of apple cider vinegar to work more effectively and quickly.
- Combine 1/3 cup each of apple cider vinegar and Epsom salt and 2 cups of hot water.
- Stir well and soak your toes or fingers for 30 minutes.
- Repeat the process 1 2 times daily.
Note: The longer your soak, the better results you achieve.
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If I Have Only One Infected Nail Can I Treat Only That One And Save Time And Cost
Unfortunately, no. The reason for this is that if one of your nails is infected, the chances are that your other nails are infected as well. To allow the treatment to be successful and prevent future self infections, it is best to treat all the nails at once. An exception to this is for the treatment of an isolated fungal infection related to acrylic nail air pockets. In these incidences, we will treat the one affected finger nail.
Will It Improve The Look Of Your Nails
The eradication of infection does not always improve the appearance of the nail, as this may be due to previous trauma or trauma caused by the fungus itself. The goals of treatment of onychomycosis are mycological cure and clinical recovery of the nail. Since the nail has a slow growth rate , it will take months to recover their normal appearance. The final test of mycological cure is negative laboratory findings . Relapses after treatment are common and may be due to reinfection or incomplete eradication of the original fungus or not following the aftercare instructions given by the podiatrist. A nail can take 12-15 months to grow, the results may not be visible until after three months after the last application of laser. After treatment and even during the treatment, the nail may get reinfected, it is important to follow the aftercare instructions.
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Analysis Of Initial And Final Scores
The OSI scores were also determined before therapy started and after follow-up . The correlation between paired samples was assessed. The value obtained indicated the existence of a significant correlation, with a high association between scores. Students t test for paired samples was then performed and showed a significant difference between the analyzed means . Thus, in general, a reduction in OSI score was observed following onychomycosis treatment.
Next, we present data and photographs of 1 patient with onychomycosis before laser therapy and after follow-up . The OSI grades are shown. The area of involvement and the OSI score are also shown.
For additional information:
Support Your Body With Red Light To Fight Onychomycosis
Red light therapy for nail fungus is a viable complementary therapy for conventional antifungal treatments. It supports your body in fighting off the infection and in accelerating normal skin and nail growth.
You can treat yourself at home using high-quality LED panels that deliver both red and NIR light, which will offer you skin-deep and deep-tissue support.
PlatinumLED Bio and Biomax series panels are the most powerful LED red light therapy devices on the market. With dozens of clinically proven applications for red and NIR light, you can boost your overall health while treating localized conditions such as nail fungus.
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How Can I Be Sure I Have Toenail Fungus
Hands down, the best way to determine if you have toenail fungus is to get a nail culture done by a podiatrist. If you see any of the signs Ive mentioned, just make an appointment for an evaluation. Because the infection eventually spreads to every toe, it is better to get cracking and treat it early before bigger problems come around. With toenail fungus, its either treat it and fight it away, or dont treat it and let it get worse. Sounds simple, right? Well, the choice is up to you
Early detection also improves the chances for the treatment to work more effectively and quickly before the infection spreads. Also, this early nail culture will set a baseline so that, after treatment with the laser I often take another nail culture to determine the effectiveness of the laser. There are different components to the fungal culture, and your podiatrist is the best person to discuss the results with you. Most importantly, the laser is over 90% effective for just about every type of fungus out there.
What Training Do Electra Laser Technicians Have
In addition to having full manufacturer training and certification on the Fox Laser, our technicians are certified Medical Estheticians who have years of experience working on our variety of other laser equipment we use for laser hair removal, laser tattoo removal and IPL skin treatments. Laser treatments are our specialty and expertise! Who better to trust your laser treatments to than an experienced technician who operates a variety of lasers every day?
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How Long Does The Procedure Take
The amount of time varies on the degree of involvement of the nails. Very thick nails are mechanically reduced to a more normal thickness with specialized equipment. The laser is then applied typically taking only a few minutes. Overall, a visit for consultation and treatment will usually take about 30 minutes.
Laser Therapy For Fungal Toenails
Now, by many requests from patients, WE HAVE ACQUIRED THE FDA APPROVED LASER THE HYPERBLUE 1530 SYSTEM. This is approved for temporary clearing of fungus of the nail. The laser light penetrates through the nail and soft tissue to both kill fungus in its path, and promotes new nail growth. Once the living fungus is zapped by the laser, healthy nails begin to grow from the cuticle of the nail. This utilizes infrared radiation which is not painful and it is safe to gently heat the base of the nail. This area of the nail is where the fungus survives.
This system eradicates the fungus. It will require repeat visits for treatment over a 3 month period. The treatment is typically 5-15 minutes, spaced 30 days apart for 3 months. As the nail grows slowly, it can take approximately 6-12 months for the new nail to replace the old infected nail. It is VERY EFFECTIVE.
Clinical studies show that the laser kills toenail fungus and promotes clear nail growth with a single treatment in better than 80% of cases. The laser treatment is safe, effective, and most patients improve usually after their first treatment.
There are several advantages of applying laser treatment to toenail fungus. They are:
Safe, painless treatment
No side effects or drugs
No liver enzyme test required
No recovery time – just walk in and walk out
Only 15 minutes required to treat the toenail fungus on both feet, if all 10 nails are being treated.
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How Do I Know If I Have Toenail Fungus
A toenail fungal infection has a slow, eroding effect on your toenail but usually takes a while to develop and spread so you might not notice it at first.
Here are some of the toenail symptoms you may encounter:
- Change in color often the toenail turns yellow, brown, white, or eve green
- Nails become thicksometimes so thick you cant get a toenail clipper to work
- Toenail shape becomes curved, twisted, or ingrown on the sides
- Initially, a white dot may show itself which then slowly grows larger
- Toenails become brittle and break easily, sometimes they seem to crumble or get chalky
- Toenails become flaky and break off
- Sometimes the toenail has a “cottage-cheese” type substance especially under the hard-outer shell
- Toenails may loosen and separate off the nail bed occasionally they may even fall of entirely
- You get pain around the toenail as the hard, curved nail digs down into the sides
- There is a bad-cheese smell coming from your toenails
- Eventually, the fungus spreads to your other toes and even out onto the skin on your feet
If left untreated, you can develop a secondary bacterial infection and even get ulcerations, which are extremely dangerous if you are diabetic or have poor circulation. For some people, toenail fungus has even ultimately led to the surgical amputation of toes or even leg amputations.
Red Light: An Ally Against Fungal Nail Infections
Researchers have successfully used infrared laser treatment for onychomycosis infections. The treatment, called photodynamic antimicrobial chemotherapy , involves a combination of photosensitizing drugs and specific wavelengths of visible light. These wavelengths fall between 600 nanometers and 690nm, which is within the red light spectrum.
What researchers have discovered is that the combination of light and photosensitizing drugs causes the destruction of microbial cells. Most intriguing is that the treatment selectively targets problematic cells, leaving the surrounding cells alive and healthy.
Scientists have known about this potent combination for over a century, but with the rise in antibiotic-resistant pathogens, PACT is receiving much more attention in recent years.
PACT appears to be particularly effective against fungi, although very few studies have been published on the antifungal applications of photodynamic therapy. As researchers from the Queen’s University Belfast, UK School of Pharmacy explain in a 2008 article in Microbial Research:
In spite of the success of cell culture investigations, only a very small number of in vivo animal and human trials have been published. Photodynamic therapy has the potential to evolve into a useful treatment for difficult to eradicate fungal infections of accessible regions of the body.
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How Soon Will I Be Able To See Improvement To My Toenails Or Fingernails After Treatment
It usually depends on the origin of the fungal infection. If it was at the root of the nail, improvement can be seen as early as 3 weeks. A continuous improvement will be gradual as the nail continue to grow out. Typically, a significant overall improvement will be seen after 3 months. As a rough estimate, toenails may take 9 12 months to grow out completely, and fingernails may take 6 9 months.
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How Does It Work
Laser treatment for toenail fungus works by aiming a 1064nm wave-length laser at the affected area.
The laser delivers light energy to gently heat the toenail bed and kill the toenail fungus and the fungal spores that spread the fungus.
It does this by attacking the fungus in two ways by altering the cellular metabolism of the fungus and damaging the cell components, and with a photo-chemical effect that further damages fungal cell enzymes, proteins and membranes.
In a nutshell? It literally zaps that pesky fungus out of existence.
After the laser treatment takes place and the fungus is killed it requires a little patience to see the results.
The damaged toenail needs to grow out and be replaced by a healthy, fungus free nail, which can take anything from 3 months to a year depending on how much of the toenail was affected.
Take a look at this video to see exactly whats happening under the nail:
DIY laser treatment works a little differently.
In order to be safe, the lasers in the home devices are a pulse laser with a shorter wavelength of around 900 nm which isnt powerful enough to heat the flesh but is still capable of penetrating beneath the surface into the skin tissue.
This is usually coupled with a blue light which works on fighting the fungus cells found on the outer surface of the nail helps to stop the fungus from affecting other toes in the area.
Nail Polish And Onychomycosis
The use of nail polish has been primarily aesthetic since the elites of ancient Egypt and China had first used them. In a variety of shades and colors, may it be cracked, glittered, flaked, speckled, iridescent, or holographic, nail polish has definitely transcended through the times. Nail polish can instantly beautify the nails and give them a fresh and healthier look. While it holds true to its purpose, wearing nail polish all the time can also mask certain nail abnormalities. There are lesser chances of spotting early onset of nail problems. Discolorations can also be hard to differentiate because this may either be due to prolonged wear of nail polishes or a sign of a nail infection. Onychomycosis, or nail fungal infections as it is commonly known, is a common nail infection. It happens when fungus infects the nail causing it to be deformed or discolored. When left undetected and untreated due to the use of nail polish, nail fungus may progressively get harder to cure and difficult to manage.
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What Are The Problems With Oral Remedies For Toenail Fungus
The side effects take center stage. They include headache, nausea, diarrhea, and sometimes serious systemic reactions. Some of those side effects are so potentially hazardous that constant monitoring of liver function is required.
Another drawback of ointments and oral remedies for toenail fungus is the extended duration of treatment. Toenails grow slowly. The nail on a big toe can take well over a year to completely replace itself. So the traditional remedies must be administered for a correspondingly lengthy time period.
Even after a successful treatment, fungal colonies often reestablish themselves.
Does Laser Toenail Fungus Removal Work
Some people will experience improvement after one laser nail fungus removal treatment however, in most cases, it will take more than that. The treatment can last for months.
But dont worry! That doesnt mean that the laser is inefficient. That is simply the nature of the condition, and there is a good chance it will take a long time to treat it no matter what kind of therapy youre using.
Tolnaftate is a drug that is primarily used for nail fungus. The substance works well in subduing fungal infections, no
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