About nail fungus
Nail fungus (medical name ‘onychomycosis’) is a fungal infection of the fingernails or (more often) the toenails.
It is a relatively common condition and not usually serious, but it can be difficult to treat.
Traditional treatments such as medications or topical creams are only likely to have limited success.
While the infection may clear up after a while with good foot hygiene, it can be unpleasant if you have it – and you can pass it on if it’s left untreated.
Treatment for nail fungus
At Dr MediSpa, we believe we have found the most effective treatment for nail fungus that will quickly and safely deal with the root cause of the condition.
We use the innovative Alma laser, which combines two clinically-proven light-based technologies:
- Q-switched Nd:YAG
- Long-pulsed Nd:YAG.
The lasers target the source of the infection under the nail plate, clearing the nail fungus in a few, short treatment sessions.
How does the treatment work?
The lasers emit powerful bursts of light that transmit through the nail plate to the nail bed, to be absorbed by the pigmented yeasts responsible for the infection.
The first part of the treatment creates microcavitation and acoustic shock waves. This heats up the area beneath the nail bed, without affecting the surrounding skin tissue, and breaks the hard outer shell of the fungus spore.
The second part causes ‘non-specific heat conduction’. As the target area absorbs the beam of radiation, the thermal energy ‘deactivates’ the unwanted micro-organism.
What happens during the treatment?
Before we start the procedure, we will clean the affected nail and make sure it is clear of any nail polish, creams or powder.
We then make a series of passes over the infected nails with the Alma laser device, pausing for a few seconds between each pass.
The thicker the nail, the more passes we need to make.
Most treatment sessions take only a few minutes.
Is the treatment painful?
You will feel the heat generated by the laser, which might cause some slight discomfort but should not be painful.
The sensation of heat is only temporary, and usually subsides within a few minutes.
The Alma laser is designed to heat up the affected area gradually, and we use an external skin cooling system to prevent over-heating.
But if you start to feel uncomfortable, we can stop the procedure for a moment, until you are ready to continue.
Are there any side effects?
Unlike with other types of laser, this treatment should not cause any significant of long-term side effects.
The heat generated subsides quite quickly, and the cold air device stops your skin from overheating or burning.
How many treatments will I need?
For most people, 3 or 4 treatments once every 2 to 3 weeks are enough to fully treat the condition.
Is the treatment suitable for everyone?
We cannot offer this treatment if any of the following situations or conditions applies to you.
- Skin cancer.
- Systemic anti-fungal therapy in the last 6 months.
- Use of nail-colouring dyes that change nail pigmentation.
- Presence of bacterial nail infection that causes nail pigmentation.
- Existence of concomitant nail disorders such as psoriasis of the nail plate, atopic dermatitis.
After the treatment, you should:
- not wear obstructive footwear for the first 48 hours
- apply anti-fungal cream to the affected area twice a day for 3 months, and
- use an anti-fungal powder in your shoes once a week for 1 month.
For more information about treatment for nail fungus, and to book your consultation with one of our specialists, please contact us at Dr MediSpa.