Since approved by the USA’s Food and Drug Administration in 2010, toenail fungus laser treatment became a very common procedure all over the world – with its influence and popularity easily reaching Australia. As a matter of fact, more and more foot doctor in Perth offer many different types of laser treatment toenail fungus in their clinics. But is it really effective? Read on and find out.
What is Nail Fungus?
Before we dig deeper into this treatment procedure, we should first define and understand what exactly a nail fungus is.
Nail fungus is a common dermatological condition that usually starts as an unsuspecting yellow or white spot beneath the toenails (toenails are commonly affected, but it can affect fingernails as well). As it lives and thrives under the nail, the infection gets deeper – causing the nail to change in color, crumble at the edge, or even thicken. This can look very unsightly and painful, but the worst part of this condition is it can and usually affects other nails (nail close to the infected one).
How Nail Fungal Infection Starts
There are many reasons why we get toenail fungus, with the most common having an athlete’s foot.
Fingernail infection usually occurs after toenail infection, especially if one constantly scratches the itchy toes and toenails. Fingers that are usually soaked in water also get nail fungal infection, as water damages the protective skin that lies at the nail base – allowing fungi to slip through and enter. People with general poor state of health and with existing conditions like diabetes, psoriasis, people on chemotherapy, and those who are affected by AIDS tend to be at high risk of nail fungal infection as well.
How the Infection Spreads
Often times, the infection starts with one nail and it doesn’t usually feel painful or itchy. However, the thickening and discoloration of the nail can be obvious at its early stage. When the infection starts to get worse, yellow and white patches will start to appear at the space between the nail and the skin. In some cases, the whole nail comes away – while some may have bits of their nails falling off.
If left untreated, the infection will cause damage to the whole nail and can be very painful. Waling can become very uncomfortable as well.
If you opt for traditional treatments, Perth foot doctor would suggest antifungal tablets to clear fungal infection. Doctors usually recommend two types of medicines: Tarbinafine and Itraconazole tablets. Though they are proven to be effective in their own way, these drugs have their set of side-effects. Also, in very rare cases, many people are reluctant about these treatments as they may damage the liver.
And because these are oral medications, the treatment starts within your body. In most cases, however, toenails don’t respond to the treatment as fast as fingernails do.
How Toenail Fungus Laser Treatment Works
Many physicians and dermatologists are excited about the newest option of toenail fungus laser treatment. And so far, results have been promising.
The idea of laser treatment is that, it selectively treats the affected area with heat – destroying harmful fungi in the process and sparing all the healthy tissue that surrounds the area. A study from the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association also shows that, about 85% of patients who chose laser treatment experienced significant improvement with their condition after six months of treatment. This makes toenail fungus laser treatment highly-effective as their traditional oral counterparts, minus the side-effects.
Learn more facts here at http://www.prestonpodiatry.com.au/SkinandNail/fungal-nail-laser.