Nail fungus, also called onychomycosis, is a common condition estimated to affect up to 10% of the population worldwide. It can cause nails to become yellow or discolored. As the infection advances the nail can become thick, brittle and separate from the nail bed. It can also cause pain when wearing shoes or walking.
What causes nail infection? (onychomycosis)
Dermatophytes are the fungi most commonly responsible for causing this condition. They are specialized organisms that live off of keratin which is the main component of nails and skin. The most common fungi that cause nail infection disease are Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, and Candida albicans. Everyone is at risk for infection because fungus is present everywhere in the environment.
Where does nail infection come from?
Nail infection is caused by contact with dermatophytes which are everywhere in our environment. Common sources of infection include swimming pools, public showers, gyms, and nail spas. Tight fitting shoes and
nail trauma can also lead to infection. Genetic susceptibility, poor health, and increasing age are also factors that increase the risk of nail infection.
What are the symptoms of nail infection?
You may suffer from nail infection (onychomycosis) if you have one or more of the following symptoms:
Discoloured toenails (yellow, white or brown discolouration)
How it works?
We use the Cutera Xeo to treat this fungus with a high-intensity laser that uses focused energy and heat to penetrate through the nails into the nail bed to treat the root cause of nail fungus. The main advantage of this treatment over topical treatments is the laser’s ability to penetrate through the nail and into the nail bed where the fungus has taken up residence. The heat from the laser destroys the fungus during treatment and removes the oxygen necessary for the fungus to live. Treatment will be performed by a certified laser technician; slight discomfort will be felt during treatment as it is required to heat up the nail bed. The procedure is noninvasive with no post-procedure recovery time preventing you from working. Most cases are resolved with one to two laser treatments. A single treatment session takes approximately 20 minutes to treat 5-10 nails. severe infections may require more treatments.
How Do You Prevent Nail Fungus?
Prevention is important to minimize your risk of getting a first nail fungus infection, but it is also important during treatment to increase your chances of a successful treatment and reduce the chances of subsequent nail fungus infections.
Public spas, swimming pools, showers, and locker rooms are all high-risk areas where fungi are more likely to be picked up. Avoid these high-risk areas during treatment if possible and, if you do visit these areas, protect yourself by wearing flip flops, washing your hands and feet thoroughly and drying them afterwards.
Wash your feet frequently and keep them dry. Wear cotton socks to absorb the sweat from your feet. Change your socks frequently to keep them dry and fresh.
Wear shoes that are comfortable and allow adequate air circulation.
Keep your nails cut short and avoid using nail polish while you have an infection.
Avoid sharing towels, shoes and other items. This is especially important to prevent transmission to family members.