Latest Technology in Laser Treatment for Fungal Nail Infections
Deepika’s practice offers Laser Treatment at either of the 2 practices. Please call +27 (0)21 794 5789 (Constantia) or +27 (0)21 685 3930 (Rondebosch) for more information.
A treatment for nail fungus infections without the side effects which can result from drug therapy. The GBox Laser system treats skin conditions with lasers and is especially useful in treating onychomycosis, or fungal infections in the nail bed.
The advantages of this treatment are:
Surgery (removal of the nail) is avoided. The patient can resume normal activity immediately.
Oral drug therapy is avoided. It is expensive and has the potential for side effects. Many patients may not be good candidates and those who are should undergo liver-function tests whilst on the course. Laser treatment penetrates under the nail, without having to remove the nail. Repeated treatments are possible, without a build-up of side effects (Especially beneficial to patients who are susceptible to toenail infections, such as Diabetics.) Treatment is almost pain-free, and does not involve local or general anaesthetics.
What causes fungal nail infections?
The most common fungi are members of the Tricophyton family of fungi, nicknamed “trike” by doctors, or yeasts like Candida (one of which also causes the common infection “thrush”). Fungi are all around us, in air, dust and soil. It is thought that warm, wet environments like shower rooms, gym floors, saunas and swimming pools can also harbor fungi. Infection usually starts on the edge of the nail, but then penetrates beneath the nail, where it is difficult to reach using creams.
What are the symptoms:
While not life-threatening, infected nails are unsightly: Dull, brittle, thick and sometimes separated from the nail bed, and streaked or patchy in yellow or white. An unpleasant smell can result. If fingernails are affected, the sufferer can suffer severe anxiety, because the nails are unsightly.
How does GBox Laser work?
Using a custom-designed handset, the clinician focuses lasers on the infected nail. A gauge on the hand piece measures the exact temperature that the tissue under the nail reaches patient feels a sensation of warmth, which heats up the nail plate. This heat kills off fungi. Infections should improve after each treatment. Because fungal infections are so tenacious, repeat treatments may be prescribed: Typically, two or three treatments at six week intervals will result in healthy nail growth. Most clinicians will check progress, using before and after photographs. Side effects are rare, but skin redness may occur. if the skin is broken, antibiotic cream might be prescribed.
Can fungus come back?
Because fungi are all around us, re-infection is possible. Even hot washing of infected shoes and socks will not guarantee that these do not cause re-infection. Patients would wear new shoes and socks, or soak old footwear in a fungicide such as FungiSolve, to prevent re-infection.