If your toenail looks like the picture, you may have a fungal toenail infection. Typically toenails look discloured, thick and unsightly. They can be very frustrating to treat and embarrassing to the point of avoiding barefeet and wearing open shoes in public.
Fungal toenail infections are actually fairly common affecting approximately 10% of the adult population with an increased percentage in those over 60 years of age and those with conditions such as diabetes. Approximately 90% of fungal nail infections originate from a fungal skin infection, that in a lot of cases produce little to no symptoms, and as such remain untreated enabling a cycle of reinfection of the nail and nail bed.
Treating fungal nail infections can be frustrating, time consuming and expensive. Topically applied antifungal nail polish/lacquers often have inadequate penetration through the thickened nail rendering them less effective. Prescribed antifungal medication in the form of tablets, are a successful option for some people but may produce undesirable adverse effects and may interact with medications they are already taking. Lasers to treat fungal nail infections have been used more recently. Although potentially effective, destroying the fungus through heat may be intolerable to some patients due to discomfort during the treatment process.
At Lefort Podiatry in Melbourne we are proud to offer one of the most effective treatments for fungal nail infections using Photodynamic Laser Therapy or PACT fungal nail therapy. This uses a low level wavelength that reacts with a gel placed on the nail to destroy the fungal cells. This new form of fungal nail treatment is safe, effective and painless.
Of course there can be other reason for a discloured, thick and ugly nail (discoloured nails), so if there is any doubt our Podiatrists can send a sample of your nail for examination under a microscope to confirm diagnosis prior to advising best treatment options for your fungal toenail.