Searching for fungal nail treatment can be easy in some ways but difficult in others. If you have a fungal nail infection or have had one in the past, you’ll be familiar with the often-confusing process! There are many forms of fungal nail treatment available, but they all differ so much in how podiatrists use them, whether you can use them at home, and how long they may take to work. So how are you meant to know what to do when you have a fungal nail infection?
This article discusses the various types of fungal nail treatments available, including laser treatments, and how they work. For personalised advice, contact our team at Doubleview Podiatry today.
What Are Fungal Nails?
‘Fungal nails’ is a term often used to refer to a fungal nail infection, known medically as ‘onychomycosis’. This condition typically occurs if you encounter the bacteria that causes an infection, usually by walking barefoot in warm and moist environments such as public pools, showers, and gyms.
A fungal nail infection often causes nails to look discoloured, become thickened, or crumble at the edge. It may also cause other symptoms such as an odour or the nail separating from the nail bed or becoming misshapen. It most commonly affects toenails but can occur in fingernails as well.
Who Gets Fungal Nail Infections?
Some people are more likely to get fungal nail infections than others, though anybody can get a fungal nail infection. Most often, people who are older, have weakened immune systems, or additional conditions such as diabetes are most at risk of developing a fungal nail infection. You can reduce your risk of developing a fungal nail infection by keeping your feet clean and dry and refraining from walking barefoot in high-risk areas.
Fungal Nail Treatment Options
You may be prescribed an oral medication that aims to combat your fungal nail infection. Treatment may take several months, and in some cases may not be effective. Oral medication is typically not prescribed as often these days, as they may cause serious side effects such as negatively affecting your liver function.
Creams and ointments such as Canesten® have been used for many years in an effort to treat fungal nail infections. However, this type of treatment doesn’t address the root of the problem and is only a possible option if your fungal nail infection affects three or fewer nails, affects less than 50% of the nail, and doesn’t affect the cuticle end of the nail.
Laser therapies for fungal nail infections are a modern approach to addressing fungal nail infections. They use lasers, either hot or cold, to destroy the fungal cells that have caused the infection. The laser emits a specific wavelength of light that is absorbed by the fungus, which causes the cells to break down and die. Quick and easy, the treatment is non-invasive and goes so quickly that you can schedule a session in your lunch break!
Common questions that people who are considering laser fungal nail treatment include:
1. Can toenail fungus be cured with laser?
Laser treatments aim to kill the toenail fungus and encourage healthy nail growth. While it is not a guaranteed cure, laser treatment has shown to be up to 63% effective.
2. Does laser fungal nail treatment work?
Nothing is guaranteed, but laser treatment has been shown to work well for the majority of people.
3. How long does it take for toenail fungus to go away with laser?
The length of time it takes for toenail fungus to go away with laser treatment can vary depending on the severity of the infection and how well the person responds to the treatment. Typically, it takes several months for the toenail to grow out and for clear, healthy nail to replace the infected nail.
In general, laser treatment for toenail fungus requires multiple sessions, spaced several weeks apart, to achieve the best results.
4. What is the best laser fungal nail treatment?
Lunula laser is a popular option used by many podiatrists in Australia. However, there are several different types of laser fungal nail treatments available, and the best one for one person may not be an option for another. It depends on several factors, including the severity of the infection and the individual’s response to treatment.
5. Is laser treatment for toenail fungus worth it?
Whether or not laser fungal nail treatment is ‘worth it’ will depend on each individual. For some, they may be willing to pay for the cost of laser treatment, which can make it ‘worth it’, while others will have different points of view. The most important thing is finding the treatment that works best for you overall when you factor in time, comfort, cost, and so on.
6. How many laser treatments are needed for toenail fungus?
In general, laser treatment for toenail fungus requires multiple sessions to achieve the best results. The exact number of sessions required will depend on the severity of the infection, but the initial treatment course is often four treatments spread one week apart.
It’s important to note that the effectiveness of the treatment can depend on several factors, and the fungus can sometimes return even after successful treatment. Therefore, it’s important to work with an experienced podiatrist to determine the best treatment plan for you and to follow up with appropriate nail care to prevent possible reinfection.
7. How much does it cost to remove nail fungus?
The cost of treatment will depend on several factors, though the type of treatment will usually be the largest factor. Over-the-counter antifungal medications can range between $10 to $50 on average, while laser treatments may cost between $100 to $500 or even up to $1,000.
8. Does toenail fungus come back after laser treatment?
Toenail fungus may come back after laser treatment, but the chances of recurrence are typically lower than with other treatments. Even after successful laser treatment, it is possible for the fungus to return if proper foot hygiene and preventative measures are not taken. This can include regularly washing and drying your feet, avoiding tight-fitting shoes, changing your socks frequently, and not walking barefoot in public places.
Looking For Laser Fungal Nail Treatment In Perth?
If you’ve been considering all of your options for fungal nail treatment, we hope this article has helped you to come to a decision! It’s important to note that no treatment, including laser treatment, is guaranteed to cure toenail fungus, but it is always a good idea to see a podiatrist to discuss your options. At Doubleview Podiatry, we offer Lunula laser treatments in our modern and comfortable clinic, with a team of knowledgeable and experienced podiatrists ready to help you. If you’re considering laser fungal nail treatment in Perth, come and see us today!