Onychomycosis (OM) or Fungal Nail infections are common. They're not serious but they can take a long time to treat and many patients dislike the appearance of them as they can cause the nail to become thickened and discoloured. Onychomycosis mainly occurs in your toenails but can present in your fingernails too.
Fungal nail infections are caused by an overgrowth of fungi in, under, or on the nail. These fungi thrive in warm moist environments - (think sweaty socks or shoes.) The same fungi also cause athletes foot.
Onychomycosis can develop in people at any age, but it's more common in older adults. As the nail ages, it can become brittle and dry. The resulting cracks in the nails allow fungi to enter. Other risk factors include; reduced blood circulation, diabetes and a weakened immune system.
Prevention is more effective than cure.
- Washing your feet daily and wearing clean socks every day.
- Sweat wicking socks - I like the Thought Bamboo Socks (available at S8 Podiatry Clinic)
- Shoes that allow your feet to breathe.
- See a Podiatrist for regular foot health checks, advice and treatment.
There are different treatment options. depending on the severity of your condition and the type of fungus causing it. It can take months to see results. And even if your nail condition improves, repeat infections are common.
Oral anti fungal medications such as Terbinafine
Topical Lamisil which you can apply directly to the nails
Nail surgey to remove the infected nail.
Lacuna Method - A qualified Podiatrist painlessly drills tiny micro holes (fenestration) in to the infected nail plate through to the skin under the nail (the nail bed)., the nails are then treated with Terbinafine spray which is able to get through these holes directly to the source of infection.