Call Us: 1300 975 980

Fungal Nail Infections and Treatment Options

Fungal Nail Infections and Treatment Options

Toenail fungus is more common than you would think. According to the Australian Podiatry Association, around 10% of the Australian adult population is affected by Onychomycosis (Tinea unguium) a common form of nail fungus, often found on the foot.

These infections tend to remain in the nail if they are left untreated and can infect the nail bed as well as spread to other nails and skin. They are frequently caused by a dermatophyte, a pathogenic fungus found growing on skin, hair, nails and other bodily surfaces. When a dermatophyte gets in underneath your nail, it causes the yellow/brownish discolouration and often associated with a fungal infection. In addition, the nail will become quite thick, and maintain a crumbly texture when cut. If left untreated for a significant amount of time, there is a chance that the skin underneath your nail will become inflamed and/or painful and may retain a purulent smell. It is extremely important to contact a podiatrist at the first indication of a fungal or nail infection.

Best Ways to Avoid Fungal Nail Infections

The best way to avoid a fungal or nail infection is to maintain good foot hygiene by:

  • Washing your feet daily
  • Avoid pedicures in nail salons that do not sterilise their instruments
  • Avoid occlusive footwear
  • Not share nail polish and nail care instruments such as clippers and filed.
  • Not walking barefoot outside and in public areas such as pools and showers
  • Trimming toenails short. This will prevent dirt and other germ-prone substances from getting stuck under your nails

 

How to Treat Fungal Nail Infections?

Treatment options available are topical nail lacquers, oral antimycotics and laser therapy. The best treatment option depends on your past treatment, extent of infection, time management, overall health and budget.

 

Topical nail lacquers are the cheapest option available. They are applied to the nail like a nail varnish. Depending on the product it will have to be applied daily to weekly. It can take up to 6-12 months to see results. Some topical treatments are not recommended for children 12 years and under, pregnant women and women breastfeeding.

 

Oral antimycotics are recommended if resistance to topical antifungal therapy. There are a range of oral antimycotics such as griseofulvin, ketoconazole (Nizoral), fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox)and terbinafine (Lamisil tablets). They are systemic drugs meaning they have an effect on the entire body. They require a prescription from your General Practitioner. They are contraindicated in children 12 years and under and persons with kidney and liver problems, pregnant women and women breastfeeding.

 

At Mint Foot Care we offer Photodynamic Antimicrobial Therapy (PACT) if other treatment options have been unsuccessful or are contraindicated. This innovative technology uses a combination of a sensitising drug and visible light to selectively destroy fungi in the toenails without affecting surrounding tissue, making it 100% safe!

 

Regardless of which treatment option you choose, you must also minimise reinfection until the treatment plan is finished by washing your socks in hot water or with an anti-fungal wash. Change socks and towels daily. Alternate between footwear daily and leave shoes in the sun to kill fungi. Avoid walking barefoot in the home. Keep all floor surfaces clean by vacuuming and mopping regularly. Clean the shower floor after use.

 

It takes time for fungal infections to resolve, so be sure to be diligent with your preferred treatment method until the fungus has cleared.

 

Latest News

  • UNCATEGORIZED

    How to Avoid & Treat Common Foot and Nail Conditions

    Athlete’s Foot Athlete’s Foot is very common among athletes (hence its name), but even those who aren’t as active can also suffer from this. Also known as Tinea Pedis, it can be caused by different types of fungus, many of which thrive damp and poorly ventilated environments (like sweaty socks and enclosed shoes). If you’ve […]

    Date:6 July 4, 2019
  • UNCATEGORIZED

    5 Ways a Podiatrist Can Improve The Health of Your Feet

    One of the biggest misconceptions about podiatrists is that they only specialise in treating athletes and those who play sport on a regular basis. But podiatrists can treat everyone, and we help people from all walks of life keep their feet healthy and in top condition. So, whatever lifestyle you lead, whether it involves playing […]

    Date:6 June 26, 2019
  • NAILS

    What Makes PACT Nail Treatment So Effective?

    Fungal nail infections can be incredibly frustrating to deal with, especially because of the incredibly long amount of time that needs to be endured while waiting for nails to healthily grow back. Oral medications are far from benign and often put patients at risk of a range of side effects. Because of this, many people […]

    Date:6 May 16, 2019
  • CHILDREN

    Common Foot Problems to Watch Out For in Children

    A child’s early years are critical to the growth and development of their feet. During this crucial stage in their lives, it’s important to make sure that their feet are developing correctly. Identifying warning signs or abnormalities early can help with treating foot conditions before they become worse. If you want to make sure your […]

    Date:6 February 27, 2019
  • NAILS

    The Most Common Causes of Nail Fungus – and How to Avoid It

    A fungal nail infection – also known as Onychomycosis – is undoubtedly one of the most annoying and irritating foot issues you can have. This infection is notorious for being difficult to remove once it’s settled in, requiring multiple treatments and a lot of patience to eliminate completely. It’s also an issue that people of […]

    Date:6 February 20, 2019
  • PODIATRY

    5 Ways to Proactively Care for Your Feet at Home

    Our feet are among the most easily abused parts of our bodies, so it’s important to take care of them and make sure they recover well at home every day. Fortunately, caring for your feet at home is easy if you know what to do. With proper care and maintenance, your feet can stay strong, […]

    Date:6 February 20, 2019