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Nail Fungus

Onychomycosis, a persistent fungal infection of the nail bed, accounting for one third if all fungal skin infections and up to 50 percent of all nail diseases [ 1-3]. Toenail are affected more often than fingernails.The causative agents of onychomycosis include dermatophytes ( fungi that invade only dead tissue of the skin, nails, or hair).

A clinical study was performed in which 72 patients with 194 nails affected by onychomycosis were treated with the laser, between 2-4 treatments every 2-4 weeks for an at least 2 year clearance rate if not longer/permanent.

The body normally hosts a variety of bacteria and fungi. Some of these are useful to the body. Others may multiply quickly and form infections. Fungi can live on the dead tissues of the hair, nails, and outer skin layers. Fungal infections include mold-like fungi that cause:

  • Athlete's foot
  • Jock itch
  • Ringworm on the skin of the body or head

Fungal nail infections are most often seen in adults. They often follow fungal infection of the feet. People who often go to public swimming pools, gyms, or shower rooms, and people who sweat a great deal, often have mold-like infections. The fungi that cause them thrive in warm, moist areas.

The following increase the risk of a fungal infection:

  1. Getting manicures and pedicures using utensils that have been used on other people
  2. Getting minor skin or nail injuries
  3. Having a nail deformity or nail disease
  4. Having moist skin for a long time
  5. Poorly functioning immune system
  6. Wearing closed-in footwear

Symptoms

  • Nail changes on one or more nails (usually toenails):
  • Brittleness
  • Change in nail shape
  • Crumbling of the outside edges of the nail
  • Debris trapped under the nail
  • Loosening or lifting up of the nail
  • Loss of luster and shine
  • Thickening of the nail
  • White or yellow streaks on the side of the nail

Over-the-counter creams and ointments generally do not help treat this condition.