ND:YAG Laser for Fungus Treatment

Are you tired of hiding your feet in embarrassment due to nail fungal infections? Welcome to our guide on nail fungal treatment, where we provide a roadmap of how we treat this condition, and what we do to help toward achieving beautiful, infection-free nails at our Orlando med spa with laser treatment. We’ll explain the many options to treat this, but our favorite without a doubt is via a few painless sessions of an ND YAG laser.

Nail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, can be a stubborn and persistent problem that affects millions of people worldwide. With the right knowledge and effective treatments, you can regain your confidence and flaunt your flawless nails once again. In this guide, we will explore the causes and symptoms of nail fungal infections, debunk common myths, and present you with a range of proven treatment options. From over-the-counter remedies to prescription medications and natural remedies, we’ll help you navigate through the maze of choices and find the most suitable solution for your unique needs.

Understanding Nail Fungal Infections

Nail Fungal Treatment in Orlando
Laser treatment can
reliably resolve nail fungus.

Nail fungal infections, or onychomycosis, are caused by various types of fungi that thrive in warm and moist environments. These fungi can easily enter your nails through tiny cuts or gaps between the nail and its bed. Once inside, they can multiply and cause the nail to become discolored, thickened, and brittle. The most common type of fungus responsible for nail infections is called dermatophyte, but molds and yeast can also be culprits.

Nail fungal infections are highly contagious and can spread from person to person, as well as from one nail to another. They are more common in adults than children and are more likely to affect toenails than fingernails due to the warm and humid conditions inside shoes. Poor hygiene, excessive sweating, wearing tight shoes, and having a weakened immune system can increase the risk of developing a fungal infection.

It’s important to note that nail fungal infections are not only a cosmetic concern but can also lead to serious complications if left untreated. The infection can spread to other nails or even the surrounding skin, causing pain and discomfort. In severe cases, it can lead to permanent nail damage or secondary bacterial infections. Therefore, early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for successful outcomes.

Laser Treatment for Nail Fungus

Laser Treatment is a procedure that uses laser technology (ND:YAG laser) to target and eliminate fungal infections in the nails. It is a non-invasive and painless treatment option that aims to restore the appearance and health of affected nails. For these reasons, if a patient is a good candidate for laser treatment, this is our favorite treatment option to pair with some of the natural options we mention later like tea tree oil or an over the counter ointment.

During the treatment, a focused laser beam is directed onto the infected nail and surrounding tissue. The laser emits heat, which penetrates deep into the nail and targets the fungus without causing harm to the surrounding skin or tissue. The heat from the laser destroys the fungal cells, effectively treating the infection in a targeted fashion. We list the positives below on why we try this treatment option early on whenever possible.

The Advantages of Laser To Treat Nail Fungus

  • It does not hurt or require anesthesia
  • It has minimal side effects
  • It’s affordable versus some expensive pharmaceutical treatments
  • It typically does not damage the nail or surrounding tissue
  • Some medications for onychomycosis can be hard on organs, or come with unwanted side-effects
  • The procedure is relatively quick, and can be performed in our Orlando med spa
  • While it typically does require multiple treatments over a period of time, it doesn’t require daily pills or ointments

The Importance of Early Treatment

Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for successful management of nail fungal infections. If left untreated, the infection can spread to other nails, increase in severity, and become more challenging to treat. It’s also important to note that nail fungal infections can be stubborn and may require weeks or months of treatment to fully resolve. Therefore, it’s best to start treatment as soon as symptoms appear and follow the recommended course of action to ensure the best possible outcome.

Common Causes of Nail Fungal Infections

Understanding the causes of nail fungal infections can help you take preventive measures to keep your nails healthy. Some common causes include:

  • Warm and moist environments: Fungi thrive in warm and moist conditions, making places like public swimming pools, gyms, and communal showers breeding grounds for nail fungus.
  • Poor nail hygiene: Not keeping your nails clean and dry can create an ideal environment for fungi to grow and multiply.
  • Injury to the nail: Any trauma to the nail, such as a stubbed toe or repetitive micro-trauma from ill-fitting shoes, can make it more susceptible to fungal infections.
  • Weakened immune system: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or autoimmune disorders, can weaken the immune system and make you more prone to infections, including nail fungus.
  • Weakened immune system: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or autoimmune disorders, can weaken the immune system and make you more prone to infections, including nail fungus.
  • Age: As we age, our nails become more brittle and prone to damage, making them more susceptible to fungal infections.

Symptoms and Signs of Nail Fungal Infections

Nail fungal infections can manifest in various ways, and the symptoms may vary depending on the severity of the infection. Common signs to watch out for include:

1. Discoloration: The infected nail may turn yellow, brown, or white. In some cases, the nail may develop dark patches or spots.
2. Thickening: The infected nail may become thicker than usual and may be difficult to trim.
3. Brittleness: Infected nails tend to become brittle and may crumble or break easily.
4. Distorted shape: The shape of the infected nail may become distorted, with irregular edges or a raised appearance.
5. Loosening of the nail: The nail may separate from the nail bed, causing pain and discomfort.
6. Foul odor: In advanced cases, the infected nail may emit a foul smell.

It’s important to note that these symptoms can also be caused by other nail conditions or injuries, so it’s best to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis.

Nail Fungal Treatment Options: Over-the-Counter Remedies

When it comes to treating nail fungal infections, there are various over-the-counter remedies available that can help manage the infection and promote nail health. These remedies typically include antifungal creams, ointments, sprays, and nail lacquers that can be applied directly to the affected nail. Over-the-counter treatments are generally effective for mild to moderate infections and can help improve the appearance of the nail and prevent further spread of the infection.

One popular over-the-counter treatment option is the use of topical antifungal creams or ointments. These products contain active ingredients such as clotrimazole, terbinafine, or miconazole, which work by inhibiting the growth of fungi and preventing them from multiplying. It’s important to follow the instructions carefully and apply the cream or ointment as directed. Consistency is key, as it may take several weeks or months of regular use to see noticeable improvements.

Another option is the use of anti-fungal nail lacquers, which are applied directly to the affected nail like nail polish. These lacquers typically contain ingredients like ciclopirox or amorolfine, which penetrate the nail plate and help eliminate the fungus. Nail lacquers are easy to use and can be applied at home, but they require regular application over a prolonged period to achieve the desired results.

In addition to topical treatments, there are also anti-fungal sprays and powders available that can be used to treat fungal infections in the surrounding skin and shoes. These products help create an inhospitable environment for fungi to thrive, reducing the risk of reinfection.

While over-the-counter remedies can be effective for mild cases of nail fungal infections, they may not be sufficient for more severe or persistent infections. In such cases, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for further evaluation and appropriate treatment.

Prescription Treatments for Nail Fungal Infections

In cases where over-the-counter remedies have not been effective or the infection is severe, prescription medications may be necessary. Prescription treatments for nail fungal infections are typically more potent and can help eradicate the infection more effectively. Here are some common prescription options:

  1. Oral antifungal medications: These medications, such as terbinafine or itraconazole, are taken orally and work by targeting the fungus from within the body. They are usually prescribed for several weeks or months, depending on the severity of the infection. Oral antifungal medications may have potential side effects and interactions with other medications, so it’s important to follow the healthcare professional’s instructions and discuss any concerns or underlying medical conditions.
  2. Antifungal nail polishes: Similar to over-the-counter nail lacquers, prescription-strength nail polishes contain higher concentrations of active ingredients, such as ciclopirox. These polishes are usually applied once or twice a week and may require longer treatment durations than over-the-counter options.
  3. Nail debridement: In some cases, a healthcare professional may recommend debriding or thinning the infected nail to enhance the effectiveness of topical treatments. This procedure involves removing the infected parts of the nail to allow better penetration of antifungal medications.

Prescription treatments should always be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional, as they may have potential side effects and require regular monitoring.

Natural and Home Remedies for Nail Fungal Infections

If you prefer natural or home remedies, there are several options that can help manage nail fungal infections. While these remedies may not have the same level of scientific evidence as pharmaceutical treatments, many people find them helpful in alleviating symptoms and promoting nail health. Here are some popular natural and home remedies:

  1. Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil has natural antifungal properties and can be applied directly to the affected nail using a cotton swab or dropper. It’s important to dilute the tea tree oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil, to avoid skin irritation.
  2. Vinegar soak: Soaking the affected nail in a mixture of equal parts vinegar and warm water can help create an acidic environment that inhibits fungal growth. The soak should be done for 15-20 minutes daily, followed by thorough drying of the feet or hands.
  3. Garlic: Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which has antifungal properties. Crushing a few garlic cloves and applying the paste to the affected nail can help fight the infection. It’s important to cover the nail with a bandage or gauze to keep the garlic in place.
  4. Coconut oil: Coconut oil has moisturizing properties and can help reduce nail brittleness. Applying coconut oil to the affected nail and massaging it gently can promote nail health and soften the surrounding skin.
  5. Probiotics: Some studies suggest that certain probiotics, such as lactobacillus, can help inhibit the growth of fungi. Consuming probiotic-rich foods or taking probiotic supplements may have potential benefits for overall nail health.

While natural and home remedies can be complementary to conventional treatments, it’s important to note that they may not be as effective in severe or persistent cases. If symptoms persist or worsen, it’s advisable to seek medical advice.

Preventing Nail Fungal Infections: Tips and Practices

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to nail fungal infections. By following some simple tips and practices, you can minimize your risk of developing a fungal infection and maintain healthy nails:

  1. Practice good nail hygiene: Keep your nails clean and dry. Trim them regularly, and avoid cutting them too short or rounding the edges, as this can increase the risk of ingrown nails.
  2. Wear breathable footwear: Opt for shoes made of breathable materials, such as leather or canvas, to allow air circulation and reduce moisture buildup.
  3. Use protective footwear: When using public swimming pools, gyms, or communal showers, wear waterproof sandals or shoes to minimize direct contact with damp surfaces.
  4. Avoid sharing personal items: Do not share nail clippers, files, or other personal items with others to prevent the spread of fungal infections.
  5. Choose moisture-wicking socks: Wear socks made of moisture-wicking materials, such as cotton or wool, to keep your feet dry and reduce the risk of fungal growth.
  6. Disinfect your nail tools: Regularly clean and disinfect your nail tools, including clippers, files, and cuticle pushers, to prevent the spread of fungi.
  7. Maintain a healthy lifestyle: A strong immune system can help fight off infections, including nail fungal infections. Follow a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep to support your immune system.

By incorporating these preventive measures into your daily routine, you can significantly reduce the chances of developing a nail fungal infection.

When to See a Healthcare Professional for Nail Fungal Treatment

While mild cases of nail fungal infections can often be managed with over-the-counter remedies or natural remedies, there are situations where it’s advisable to seek professional medical advice. You should consider consulting a healthcare professional if:

  1. The infection is severe or persistent: If your symptoms worsen or persist despite using over-the-counter or natural remedies, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional for further evaluation and treatment options.
  2. You have an underlying medical condition: If you have diabetes, a weakened immune system, or other medical conditions that increase the risk of complications, it’s important to seek medical advice as soon as possible.
  3. You experience pain or discomfort: Nail fungal infections can sometimes cause pain, especially if the infection spreads or leads to complications. Seeking medical attention can help alleviate your symptoms and prevent further complications.
  4. You have signs of secondary bacterial infection: If you notice signs of a secondary bacterial infection, such as increased redness, swelling, warmth, or pus, it’s important to seek medical attention promptly.

A healthcare professional can provide a proper diagnosis, recommend appropriate treatment options, and monitor your progress to ensure the best possible outcome. Please schedule a consult with Vitality Medical Aesthetics if you’d like help treating nail fungus.

Additional Reading

Nail Fungal Treatment in Orlando @ Vitality Med Spa

Vitality Med Spa is conveniently located for Orlando, Winter Park, and the greater Central Florida Area.

Disclaimer: This page is for informational and educational purposes, and is not intended as medical advice. Please schedule an appoint with one of our licensed medical professionals, or consult with your physician for individual medical advice.