Toenail and fingernail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a common fungal infection of the toenail and fingernail.
Fungus is everywhere so infection is common: up to 20% of the population has the condition. The main cause of fungus is that some people are just more prone than others—individual immune systems vary in their ability to fight off the infection. Patients with athlete’s foot are more likely to contract nail fungus as well.
Also, fungal nails occur more frequently in diabetics and can put the diabetic foot at risk for more serious problems. Because our feet are in a dark moist place, shoes, this also promotes fungal growth. Any kind of injury to the nail may also cause a fungal infection to start as its thought that the crack or fissure that was created allows access of the fungus
It is common in wet, warm, damp places like:
- Public pools or showers
- Closed shoes
- Nails salons that reuse or do not sterilize instruments and basins between clients
Symptoms of Fungal Nails
- Thick nails
- Brittle or peeling nails
- Discoloration or yellowing appearance
- The nail may break or pull away from the toe
It is generally not painful, although if the toenail fungus is left untreated, the skin beneath or around the affected nail could become inflamed or infected. If that occurs, walking or even wearing shoes could become difficult.
For many the appearance of the nail is a source of embarrassment causing patients to want to hide their toenails. Also when the fungus gets into the nail bed it can create so much damage to the nail that it begins to separate from the skin beneath the nail plate. In severe cases a significant portion of the nail is no longer present on the toe or partially adhered to the skin beneath it.
Fungal nails are usually more resistant and more difficult to treat than Athlete’s foot. Once it gets into the nail it becomes far more difficult to treat. Oral and topical treatments just don’t do the job for many. Laser is much more effective and resolving the fungal nail problem.
Laser therapy for nail fungus can be extremely effective in treating fungus for both the fingernails and toenails.
We were the first to bring the Pinpointe laser treatment to the Rocky Mountain region. Therefore, we have vast experience in dealing with the most difficult cases. The Pinpointe laser was the first laser created exclusively for the treatment of toenail fungus and has been FDA cleared for safety.
Advantage of our laser treatment
- No need for a 12 week course of toxic medication
- No pain or recovery
- Laser targets the fungus in the nail selectively with no damage to the surrounding skin or nail
- Thick nail are ground down to allow the laser to penetrate better and many appreciate the immediate improvement of their appearance.
- Keep feet and toes dry, let shoes dry out between wearing, and change socks during the day if needed
- Don’t share nail clippers or nail files with others
- Have manicures or pedicures performed at medical spas that disinfect and sterilize their supplies
- Don’t share shoes or socks with others
- Wear shower sandals or shower shoes when you are at a public pool or shower