Aesthetics, Conditions Services
Fungal Nail Infections
Fungal nail infections, also known as onychomycosis, are a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. This condition occurs when a fungus infects one or more nails, causing them to become discolored, brittle, and thickened. While fungal nail infections are generally not life-threatening, they can be unsightly and cause discomfort.
Causes of Fungal Nail Infections
Fungal nail infections are primarily caused by dermatophyte fungi, though other types of fungi and yeasts can also be responsible. These fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, making nails susceptible to infection when exposed to such conditions. Common causes of fungal nail infections include:
- Poor foot hygiene: Not properly washing and drying the feet can create an environment conducive to fungal growth.
- Walking barefoot in public places: Public showers, pools, and gyms can harbour fungi that can infect the nails if proper precautions are not taken.
- Tight-fitting shoes: Shoes that do not allow proper ventilation can create a warm and moist environment, promoting fungal growth.
- Trauma to the nail: Injuries or damage to the nail can make it more susceptible to fungal infection.
- Chronic Gut or autoimmune issues
- Mold Infections
Severity of Fungal Nail Infections
Fungal nail infections can vary in severity depending on several factors, including the type of fungus involved, the duration of the infection, and the individual’s immune response. Common symptoms of fungal nail infections include:
- Discoloration: The affected nail may turn yellow, brown, or white.
- Thickening: The nail may become thicker and more difficult to trim.
- Brittleness: Infected nails can become brittle, making them more prone to cracking and breaking.
- Deformation: In some cases, the nail may become misshapen or distorted.
- Pain or discomfort: Advanced fungal nail infections can cause pain or discomfort, especially when pressure is applied.
If left untreated, fungal nail infections can spread to other nails or even the surrounding skin, leading to more severe complications.
Over-the-counter or prescription antifungal creams, ointments, or nail paints can be effective for mild to moderate infections. These medications are typically applied directly to the affected nails.
In cases of more severe infections, oral antifungal medications may be prescribed. These medications are taken for a specified duration and work by targeting the fungal infection from within the body.
FOTONA laser therapy is a relatively new and innovative treatment option for fungal nail infections. This non-invasive procedure uses laser technology to selectively heat and destroy the fungal infection while leaving the surrounding tissues unharmed. FOTONA laser treatment is generally well-tolerated, with minimal pain and no downtime. Multiple sessions may be required for optimal results.
**Q: Can I prevent fungal nail infections?**
A: Yes, there are several preventive measures you can take, such as keeping your feet clean and dry, wearing breathable shoes and socks, avoiding walking barefoot in public areas, and regularly changing your socks.
**Q: How long does it take to treat a fungal nail infection?**
A: The duration of treatment can vary depending on the severity of the infection, the chosen treatment method, and individual factors. It can take several weeks to months to fully eliminate the infection.
**Q: Is FOTONA laser treatment painful?**
A: FOTONA laser treatment is generally well-tolerated and causes minimal discomfort. Some individuals may experience a warming or tingling sensation during the procedure, but it is not typically painful.
**Q: Are there any side effects of FOTONA laser treatment?**
A: FOTONA laser treatment is considered safe and has minimal side effects. Some individuals may experience temporary redness or mild swelling in the treated area, but these usually subside within a few hours.
Fungal nail infections are a common condition that can cause discomfort and affect the appearance of the nails. While there are various treatment options available, including topical and oral medications, FOTONA laser treatment offers a non-invasive and effective alternative. By understanding the causes, severity, and available treatments for fungal nail infections, individuals can take proactive steps to prevent and address this condition, ensuring healthier and more aesthetically pleasing nails.