Nail fungus makes up at about 50% of all nail abnormalities. Clinically named, onychomycosis, it infects the nail and nail bed, causing a wide variety of changes in toenails a well as fingernails. Initially, the location of the infection made treatment very difficult, however, nail fungus laser treatment has made it safer and faster.
There are four main types of nail fungus, named according to where the infection begins.
1. Distal Subungual Onychomycosis
Caused by dermatophytes, this type of infection begins at the end of the nail bed, resulting in portions of the nail turning whitish or yellowish. In addition to this discoloration, debris builds up beneath the nail, which may cause the nail to separate from the skin when the condition worsens. As the debris builds up and the nail thickens, patients experience discomfort, especially when wearing footwear.
2. White Superficial Onychomycosis
The second most common fungal nail abnormality, it affects the nail’s top layer. Accounting for about seven percent of fungal nail infections, it begins by the formation of white spots on the surface of the nail, but with time, a chalky, crumbly powder covers the entire nail surface.
3. Yeast Infection
Medically called, candida onychomycosis, this condition is rare. It infects the nail folds and the nail. This type of infection is most common in fingernails than toenails, mainly attacking weakened parts of the nail. The infection causes nails to appear thickened, discolored and odd shaped. The nail fold becomes tender, swollen and warm to the touch.
4. Proximal Subungual Onychomycosis
Accounting for a mere three percent of all fungal nail abnormalities, it is mostly common in people infected with HIV. The infection begins in the base of the nail, causing the thickening of the skin fold, which may lead to separation of the nail from the skin. The nail appears opaque and whitish at the base.
Fungal Laser Treatment
Nail fungus is often difficult to deal with, often resulting in repeated infections. The condition is treatable by taking oral medication, applying antifungal lacquer, using tropical medication and surgery to remove the nail, however, the quickest way to cure toenail fungus is through laser treatment. Laser treatment is the safest, most effective, and most painless treatment procedure that is being recommended by more and more podiatrists.
Patients who undergo this procedure feel no pain at all, thereby needing no anesthesia. The procedure takes less than half an hour, and patients can resume their normal activities immediately after. Clinical studies have shown impressive results. The procedure works by focusing a laser into the infected areas causing the fungus to vaporize.
Nail fungus laser treatment does not require taking of any oral medication and patients are able to walk out comfortably after the procedure. Only qualified and experienced specialists should perform this procedure.