It started as a little white spot on your toenail but it didn’t really bother you – perhaps you thought it was caused by leaving your nail polish on too long, or maybe you stubbed your toe – and thought it would go away. But now your entire nail has yellowed, thickened and is getting crumbly. It’s kind of disgusting to look at, really, and it embarrasses you.
You are frustrated because have tried everything to treat it – prescription medication, tea tree oil, cream from the pharmacy, vinegar – but absolutely nothing has worked, and worst of all, the infection is spreading to your other toenails.
Does this sound familiar? Toenail fungus is an opportunist that lives naturally on your feet and in your shoes. If there is trauma to your toenail the fungus can infect the nail through small openings, causing out of control growth of a live and active fungus. The method of survival for the fungus is by eating your skin and nails. Over time, a thick, discolored nail will appear. If you ignore it, the infection will get worse and will spread to other toenails and the skin on your feet, causing Athlete’s foot.
I want you to know that you are not alone. Toenail fungus affects thousands of people and is the most common foot problem our Chiropodists (foot health experts) treat. Many of our patients are just like you. They often hide their toes for YEARS because they didn’t think anything could be done to fix them. They have often given up hope that anything could be done.
The first thing you need to do is prevent re-infecting yourself and passing it along to other people. Fungus thrives in warm, moist places. You can easily pick it up by walking barefoot around public pools and showers. If you have sweaty feet, your feet will attract fungus. Make sure you always wear shoes, such as flip-flops or water moccasins, around these areas.
The earlier you get treatment the faster and easier it will be to get your healthy nails back again. Until recently there have only been two options available to treat fungus in the toenails: topical medications and oral medications. Topical preparations need to be painted on to the nails daily and can take up to a year of application to see improvement. Oral medication can have potentially dangerous side effects and it is recommended that your liver and kidney function be tested (blood test) while you are taking them.
Fortunately there is a safer and more successful way to resolve toenail fungus. One year ago we were thrilled to introduce a successful new treatment protocol using LASER – a revolutionary way to treat fungal nail infections. The LASER is so sophisticated that it can detect and reach the proper target temperature leading to elimination of the toenail fungus. At the same time, the nail bed is stimulated to produce collagen, resulting in healthier, stronger nails. You may feel a warm or tingling sensation at the treatment site, but it is not painful. We have been exceptionally pleased with the success of our patients who are now rid of ugly, unsightly toenail fungus.