Nail fungus is common and in many cases goes undiagnosed. The condition often presents as white or yellow areas under the tip of fingernails or toenails. As the infection progresses the area of discolouration becomes larger, thickened and with crumbling features. It is not uncommon for there to be an unpleasant odour in infected feet and the footwear of those
infected. This infection has the potential to spread to other nails and other people. Where the sufferer has diabetes or another chronic systemic ailment, it is advisable to seek assistance from a podiatrist, who will advise on the best way to manage the condition.
The condition is usually pain-free. Any discomfort is usually associated with nail changes and thickening. Resolving nail fungal infections is often a slow and laborious job, needing
commitment and cooperation from the patient. Understanding how the fungus lives can help in the prevention and treatment of infections.
A fungus is a normal part of the natural flora and fauna of our skin. If one swabbed the general population, many would show positive for fungus, without
necessarily having an infection. Fungus thrives in warm, moist conditions, typical of most sports shoes. Fungus often infects the spaces between the toes – athletes foot, presenting
as white, macerated skin with associated itching. The area may then split and become secondarily infected with bacteria and be incredibly painful. In advanced infection, small red vesicles/blisters develop beyond the toe spaces, followed potentially by generalised infection across the whole foot, often dry, white and flakey in appearance. Generalised skin infection of this nature often leads to nail involvement, particularly if there has been damage or trauma to the nail. Characteristically looking in the early stages like fingers reaching up
towards the cuticle from the free edge.
Prevention is better than cure.
Wash feet, including between the toes, ensuring that soap is properly rinsed. Check for any signs of damage to nails, maceration between the toes etc.
Apply a foot cream to maintain good skin quality. Keep the feet and spaces between the toes dry.If prone to maceration between the toes, apply surgical spirit on a cotton bud after bathing and thoroughly drying the area.
Where possible, wear socks and hosiery with a high proportion of natural fibers for their absorbent properties. Socks and hosiery should be changed daily and after sporting activities.
Where possible washed at 60 degrees and before wearing, spray with a dry powder antifungal product. Try and swap footwear on at least a daily basis to avoid moisture build up.
Apply dry powder antifungal product to internal surfaces of footwear. Consider a UV footwear insert to reduce the fungal load. Avoid sharing footwear, socks, towels and nail clippers etc.
Remember that all our instruments and tools are either disposable or subject to rigorous sterilisation regimes as per medical regulations. Many nail spas and pedicurists reuse files and drill bits for many many clients -potentially spreading undiagnosed fungal infections.
Fungal nail infections can be difficult to treat. Very few over the counter medicines have any success rates. As the results may take months, it is advisable to get professional support as quickly as possible, to look after and cure your fungal infections.
Podiatry treatments available at Bucks Foot Clinic
It is possible to take a nail sample and confirm, within a few minutes, whether there is a presence of fungal infection in the nail before investing
in or commencing treatment.
The clinic has invested in the latest technology for fungal nail treatments:
Noveon Laser. This high powered, safe equipment, targets the nails,
destroying the infected area. There are relatively few practices with this
equipment and trained practitioners.
A natural algae nail paint or nail cream to help the body fight the fungus.
Antifungal nail lacquer available only through podiatrists.
Antifungal creams and sprays
For use on the skin and in footwear/socks.
The podiatrist can debride the effected areas and reduce the thickening, which will improve the appearance and enable better penetration of any nail
product being used. Skin protector spray creates a permeable layer over the skin reducing the potential of collecting spores when in communal places.
With so many options available and with consideration of your particular case, we can find the right solution to get rid of your fungus.
Let us help you to fight the fungus.