And…why topical agents and creams do not cure toe fungus.
If your toenails are yellow, brittle, tender and red, and/or Itchy, you most likely are suffering from toe fungus. It’s medical name is Onychomycosis. The nail fungus usually begins growing on the skin around the nail and then enters the nail bed and nail plate.
Toenail fungus affects the nail bed, especially if the nails are exposed continually to moisture. As the fungal growth seeps down into the nail bed, it creates an unhealthy bio-environment resulting in inflammation, tenderness and brittle, hardened and discolored nails.
Five reasons to STOP ignoring your toe fungus:
- Spread of the infection: what may start in and around the toenail can result in spreading throughout the foot causing athlete’s foot. It is a condition marked by red,cracked and itchy skin. Oowww!
- Difficulty walking: the toenail become so tender and red and swollen, it is difficult to walk, especially in a shoe. Ouch!
- Secondary conditions: if you have a chronic condition (such as diabetes) or a weakened immune system, having this infection can affect areas already susceptible to illness.
- Losing a toenail: if the condition becomes too severe, you can permanently lose your toenail. If the nail bed begins to separate from the nail bed (a condition known as onycholysis), the fungus can cause such damage that a technique called avulsion has to be performed to remove the entire nail. And worse, you may have to have the toenail permanently removed (matrixectomy) and can never grow back.
- Fungus and mold can be a gateway to bacteria: Many people mistaken toenail fungus as being treated as a bacteria. It is not a bacteria! But if your skin has open lesions and cracks because of the fungus, bacteria easily enters in and this results in cellulitis, a condition resulting in painful, swollen and tender skin, it may reach the stage of acute cellulitis, where it can potentially enter the bloodstream and be life threatening.
Creams and topical applications have difficulty reaching the source of the fungus.
Treating toe fungus is no light matter! In fact, the most effective way to treat it is with a special light- Laser light therapy.
Laser Therapy at Mad Peaches Med Spa: Laser energy vaporizes the fungus embedded under the toenails by gently passing through the nail with high levels of heat without causing damage. The warmth from the laser is felt, but it is a pain free procedure.
ClearSense laser technology heats the nail and the nail bed with laser energy resulting in a decrease of nail fungus and an increase in the growth of clear nails. The treatment involves passing the laser beam over the infected nails and surrounding skin.
Treatment Plan: 5 things to do while you are healing
Toenail fungus removal can take several treatments. As the fungus is killed, the toenail grows in healthy. While the treatment is effective, it can take time for the new toenail to grow in. In order to get the most effective treatment, we have some tips for during your treatments:
- Replace shoes that are worn often, such as athletic footwear
- Replace socks everyday or more if you have profuse sweating or moisture
- Continue to cut nails regularly to remove a space for the fungus to live; DO NOT dig underneath the nail bed or allow nail technicians to do so. As tempting as it may be, it loosens a place for water. Water is the fungus’ friend.
- Wear those flip flops or walk barefoot as often as you can, exposure to dry air can help to expedite the healing; and
- File down the tops of the nails with a basic nail file, this will allow the laser to penetrate deeper if the fungal infection has caused a thickening of your nails
At Mad Peaches, we always discuss lifestyle choices alongside your treatment plan. Using an anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory toning mist spray is strongly recommended throughout your treatment.
Let us help you get back to having beautiful and healthy nails!