Fungal nails are a common concern for many patients as they are often a difficult nail condition to treat. Fungal nails occur when an opportunistic fungi (microorganism) infect the nails. Some symptoms may include discolouration, thickening, brittleness and debris under the nails.
There are multiple causes of fungal toenail infections such as trauma or injury to the nail plate, poor circulation, diabetes, sweaty feet, wearing shoes and socks for lengthy periods of time, showering in shared public spaces such as swimming pools or gym showers, or after visiting unhygienic nail bars.
A typical Fungal Nail Consultation would involve the Podiatrist assessing and diagnosing the infected nails. In some cases, clippings or scrapings are taken and sent off site to be tested. The Podiatrist would then prep the nails, by cutting them back and grinding them down to remove some of the thickness. We would then discuss the best treatment options for you, whether that be topical, oral or the PACT light therapy.
Topical treatment is usually the first line therapy for fungal nails. All Waitakere Foot clinics offer a range of topical treatment products, from solutions to sprays, creams and gels. The condition of the nail can reflect the effectiveness of the treatment, so it is recommended you visit a Podiatrist before starting treatment. It is advised for all topical treatments, to gain the best results, that the nail is thinned as much as possible and, nail that may have lifted or become brittle, is cut away and exposes the nail bed. Without this, it may delay or lower the effectiveness of treatment. This allows the solution to penetrate the nail bed more effectively. It is advised that a visit to the Podiatrist before starting treatment is booked so they can thin and removed any fungal nail that may delay or lower the effectiveness of treatment.
Oral antifungal medication can also be prescribed by a GP but many patients are not eligible for this treatment as can be quite harsh on the liver. This needs to be checked via blood test by your GP. Ask your Podiatrist if you would like more information.
(available at Waitakere Foot New Lynn only)
At Waitakere Foot New Lynn, we offer PACT Nail Fungal Therapy. PACT is an abbreviation for Photodynamic Antimicrobial Therapy and works by combining the interaction of light with a photosensitive gel to produce an energy transfer and a chemical effect. Using the light therapy, bacteria, viruses and fungi can be killed off effectively from both skin and nail surfaces without pain.
For further information on PACT Nail Fungal Therapy: