If you’re anything like me, as soon as the sun pops its head out of the clouds on a regular basis, you ditch the socks, put away your shoes, trainers and boots, and start rummaging in your wardrobe for flip flops and sandals…Spring and Summer means ‘get those toes out’! There’s nothing nicer than having cool, sweat-free feet whilst you enjoy the warmer weather, but the one thing guaranteed to stop you from getting your ‘little piggies’ out is a fungal nail infection, known medically as onychomycosis.
Having a fungal nail infection in your toes is not an attractive feature and is usually something you want to hide, either with brightly coloured nail varnish for women, or simply by refraining from walking around bare foot, or in open-toed shoes of any kind. It can make you very self-conscious, and frankly hiding away is not a positive long-term solution, and the condition should be addressed.
If you have toe nails that have started to discolour, thicken, flake or crumble, then chances are you have nail fungus. But don’t worry, firstly it’s very common and secondly, it’s treatable.
Both men and woman can get fungal nail infections. They are more common on toe nails, than finger nails, but both can be affected. It’s estimated that between 3 and 8 out of every 100 British people have had onychomycosis.
The trouble is we spend most of our year with our feet in hot, sweaty environments, cooped up in socks and shoes which make for an ideal, warm and moist location for fungi to grow, just like when you get athlete’s foot; in fact, the two are related. The fungus is harmless, but if it takes hold of the toe nail then it will start to destroy it and you’ll notice this as it changes colour, looks like it’s brittle, dry and falling apart and can in some cases also be painful or uncomfortable.
You can buy over-the-counter solutions in chemists that you can paint on to your toe nails, but these are notoriously ineffective as they take a long time and need you to file and paint your toe nails regularly for months on end, and even then, successful clearance of the fungus is far from guaranteed. Frankly, most of us have neither the time, nor the sticking power for that kind of battle. Thankfully, there is a much better solution available at Hilton Skin Clinics…laser treatment.
ClearChoice™ for treating fungal nail infection (onychomycosis)
Yes, we can properly target that toe nail fungus with our ClearChoice™ machine. This uses a 1064nm Nd:YAG laser which is Q-switched and has a long-pulsed high repetition rate to target that menace in a way that Luke Skywalker would be proud of!
Granted it’s not a light saber, but it uses powerful bursts of light which are targeted through the outer nail and right to the nail bed where the fungus is lurking. The laser light is absorbed by the fungus and yeasts, that have colonised and taken over the area, and this heats them up and leads to their destruction. With the fungus destroyed the body can start producing new healthy nail, and as time goes on the damaged nail will grow out and be replaced by this fresh nail, free from discolouration and strong again. It’s then up to you to look after your feet with a good hygiene regime so that this invader can’t come back again in future; although if it does then we can zap it again.