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Nail fungus is a very common infection. It is also referred to as onychomycosis, and many professionals recommend laser nail fungus treatment to remedy it. Nail fungus can affect both toe nails and finger nails, but it is more common with toe nails because they are more predisposed to the conditions in which the infection thrives. It develops slowly and is painless at first, but affects the nail by causing discoloration and distorts its shape and appearance.

What are the symptoms?

Laser-Nail-Fungus-Treatment-by-Mission-Viejo-Foot-and-Ankle-Surgeon--(2)-ThumbThe symptoms are easy to identify just by inspecting your nails from time to time. At the beginning of the infection, you will notice a small white spot under your nail tips. Gradually, the fungus spreads to the other parts of the nail, causing it to change color to an unattractive, darker shade than normal. You will also notice that the affected nail becomes thick and begins to crumble at the edges due to the brittleness.

The dark color is usually caused by accumulation of dirt and debris in the nail as a result of the infection. If not treated through laser nail fungus treatment or other effective means, the infection may gradually spread to other nails and deteriorate into a serious condition called onycholysis, where the nail starts separating from the underlying flesh.

What causes nail fungus?

Laser-Nail-Fungus-Treatment-by-Mission-Viejo-Foot-and-Ankle-Surgeon--(1)-ThumbDermatophyte fungal organisms, including yeast, are the main causes of nail fungus. They get into the body through microscopic spaces in the flesh surrounding the nail and eventually attack the nail. They thrive best in warm temperatures and excessive moisture, and can be found in pools and other humid places. When you leave your feet in socks or shoes for a long time, the sweat, coupled with the warmth, provides a convenient environment for mold and yeast to grow. Lack of proper treatment leads to recurrent infections, but if you choose to undergo laser nail fungus treatment, you can get rid of recurring infections completely.

Toe nails are more prone to the infection because they spend a lot of their time in socks and shoes that provide warmth and dampness due to sweating, or due to lack of proper drying techniques after getting into contact with water. Toe nails also experience less blood circulation than fingernails, making it more difficult for your immunity to fight off the infection in time.

How is nail fungus diagnosed?

It is advisable to visit your doctor as soon as possible if you think that the fungal infection is getting worse or if you are experiencing complications. This is especially true if you have other serious illnesses, like diabetes. Book an appointment and get the infection tested to determine the real cause of the problem. This is done by scraping off part of your nail and the underlying infected flesh, and placing it under a microscope for observation. The right diagnosis helps your doctor to determine the best treatment plan.

How does laser nail fungus treatment work?

This procedure was approved several years ago, and it involves the use of powerful laser technology to kill the fungal organisms and cure the infection. The laser isolates the infected parts from those that are not infected, and deals with them separately while leaving the healthy parts intact. The heat and precision with which the laser beams hit the infected parts is what ensures treatment and prevents non-recurrence in the future. The success rate for laser nail fungus treatment is very high, and the investment is well worth the quick acting treatment and effectiveness that laser treatment provides.

How can I prevent nail fungus?

Nail fungus infection can be prevented by reducing your exposure to wet environments, or ensuring that you dry your feet properly afterwards. Take time to clean your socks and air the inside of your shoes so as to expel any moisture that has accumulated over time. Always maintain short and clean nails, and exfoliate regularly to remove the dead skin. Avoid walking barefoot on public ground, and wash up thoroughly after touching infected areas.

Contact our office today to find out how we can help you to reduce pain and complications associated with nail fungus. Our laser nail fungus treatment can help you to restore your beautiful and healthy toe nails. If laser treatments are not a good fit for you, we can still help you find a treatment method that works best for you and your condition. We can also help you to find ways to prevent the nail fungus from returning.