We speak of nail fungus when a nail is infected with a fungal nail infection. Fungal nails can become thickened or discolored, brittle and can crumble. Sometimes they are inconvenient or annoying at daily activities. An infection can be caused by:
- Fungal foot infection (caught during exercise, swimming or sauna visit);
- Warm and moist climate
- Damage to the nail;
- Malfunctioning blood circulation in the feet.
Fungal nail infections are very common. It is more common in toenails than fingernails, especially the big toes. But the fingernails can also be affected.
Until recently it was difficult to treat fungal infections well. The application of ointments, creams or fluids often does not lead to the desired result. The usage of tablets often causes side-effects and usually does not go together with usage of other medication. Treatment with tablets generally takes months up to a year, and even then success is not guaranteed.
The latest advance in nail fungus treatment is laser treatment. Clinical studies have shown that this laser treatment may lead to sustained improvement. During the treatment, the laser destroys the fungi without harming the nail, nailbed or the surrounding skin. The laser heats only the nail, so that fungi are destroyed. You can feel the heat, but it is very endurable. During the next months, the affected nail grows out and makes way for a new and healthy nail.
Number of treatments
The fungal nails are treated four times, with intervals of one to three weeks. After these four treatments a follow-up appointment is scheduled and sometimes an additional treatment is advised. Generally, it takes a few months up to more than a year until the nail is healthy again. How long it takes before you have a fully grown nail, depends on the extensiveness the fungal infection and your personal situation.