Don’t Despair If You Have Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus not only creates unsightly nails, it is also difficult to get rid of without professional help. The condition, known as onychomycosis, causes the nails to become discolored; they can be yellow, white or brown. The nails may change shape, thicken or detach from the nail bed and the nails may become brittle or flaky.

In 2010, according to IMS Health, a health-care information company quoted in an article in the Washington Post, “Americans spent $354 million on prescription and over-the-counter treatments for toenail fungus.” Until recently, topical creams, ointments and prescription medication were the only treatments available to people with fungal nails. The topical treatments have limited success because they do not penetrate the nail or treat the nail bed underneath where the fungus grows. Oral antifungals are more effective but have unwanted side effects and can interact with other medications. Meanwhile, this embarrassing condition may still be making you miserable

According to an abstract of a research paper published on ncbi.nlm.nih.gov in the year 2000, the prevalence of fungal nails in Canadians is 6.5%. Some Podiatrists think this is a conservative estimate but there is a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of treatment of this stubborn condition—laser therapy.

Simply put, laser therapy penetrates the fungal nail, heats up the fungus and destroys it. The results do not show up immediately because the damaged nails have to grow out and this can take 6-12 months. Depending on the extent of the damage, the nails may require more than one treatment and not all laser treatments are equal—success may be achieved with approved devices in the hands of qualified professionals like Sheldon H. Nadal, D.P.M, your Toronto Podiatrist. He will assess the extent of your condition and will tailor a treatment plan for you.

Resources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10906646

http://www.wbaltv.com/health/Have-bad-toenail-fungus-Try-laser-treatments/19105274

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health/new-laser-treatment-takes-aim-at-toenail-fungus/2011/05/19/gIQAHTdK9H_story.html

http://www.podiatrytoday.com/exploring-potential-laser-treatment-fungal-nails

http://foothealth.about.com/od/toenailproblems/fl/Laser-Treatment-of-Toenail-Fungus.htm