Category Archives: fungal nails

Are Your Toenails Yellow, Thick and Crumbly?

Have you noticed that your toenails have started to turn yellow, brittle, crumbly or thick recently?

These are the most common and visible signs of a toenail fungal infection.

Who is most at risk?

You are most likely to develop a fungal nail infection if you:

  • Wear artificial nails
  • Have spa pedicures or shellac nails done at a nail salon
  • Swim in a swimming pool
  • Trauma to the toenail
  • Wear tight, narrow, enclosed footwear on a daily basis
  • Have diabetes or a condition that causes poor circulation

 

What does it look like?

The infection may affect part of the nail, the entire nail and can often spread to other nails also. Signs may include:

  • Discolouring of the nail
  • Yellow or white streaks on the nail
  • Brittleness or crumbling of the tip of the nail
  • Thickening of the nail
  • A distorted nail
  • Nail lifting from the nail bed

                   

 

How do I know if I have a fungal infection?

As the appearance of a fungal nail infection can often be mistaken for other conditions, the best way to confirm the diagnosis is with a podiatrist. They will often take scrapings and a nail sample and send it off to a lab for it to be examined under a microscope for signs of any fungi.

 

 

How is it treated?

There are many different treatment options for this condition ranging from topical anti fungal treatments to PACT treatments to oral tablets. To determine the most suitable treatment option for you, please be sure to discuss this with your podiatrist.

If you are concerned about the appearance of your toenails or worried you may have a fungal nail infection, please call us on (03) 8645 9800 or book in online with one of our friendly podiatrists today!

How Does PACT Work Against Fungal Nails?

PACT is a treatment we do at Podiatry HQ to help treat fungal nails, it is a photodynamic therapy that is safe and painless.

 

How does PACT work?

 

PACT is a photodynamic therapy, the interaction between the light and the photosensitive agents (PACT gel) work to produce an energy transfer and local chemical effect. This then causes bacteria, viruses and fungi to be destroyed on the skin surface and on the nails.

When coming in for a PACT appointment firstly we debride the nail and reduce the thickness of the nail to allow for the highest penetration of the gel (PACT gel).

 

Secondly, we apply PACT gel to the affected nail and surrounding skin. This gel is applied for 10 minutes prior to light application.

 

Thirdly, we apply the PactMED LED light to each affected nail for 9.5 minutes.

 

And lastly, we remove the gel and clean the nail.

 

PACT is a safe and effective treatment that has no known contra-indications, however on the rare occasion it is stated that the PACT gel can cause an allergic reaction.

 

It is important to note the PACT treatment will not change the way the nail looks but will help kill the fungal nail infection and allow the nail to grow out healthy.

 

If you are suffering from a fungal nail infection, don’t hesitate to book an appointment at Podiatry HQ and find out more about our PACT treatment and what would work best for you.

Please call us on 8645 9888 to book your PACT appointment or,

Reference:

 https://www.briggatemedical.com/PACTmed_Brochure.pdf

Toe Nail Health and What to Look Out For

 

Changes to toe nail health may affect the colour, thickness and shape of our nails. These changes can occur for many reasons and commonly include fungal infections, ingrown toe nails, repetitive trauma and melanomas.
Knowing what to lookout for and how to successfully treat the underlying causes are key to having successful outcomes.

 

Fungal Nail Infections
Fungal nail infections are very common and difficult issues to treat in toe nail health. Signs to look out for include white, yellow and brown tone discolouration, thickening of the nail and lifting from the nail bed, odour and friability.

 

Ingrown Toenails
Ingrown toe nails are painful and often when left untreated become infected. Things to look out for include excessive curving of the nail, red tender skin along the nail boarder, pus/fluid, pain, heat and sensitivity.

 

Trauma
Repetitive trauma to toe nails often results in bruising of the nail and surrounding tissues, thickening, complete loss of the nail and permanent changes to shape. Often ill fitting shoes and long distance running are the main causes of these such changes.

 

Melanoma
Changes to nail colour, particularly if rapid and affecting the surrounding skin can indicate possible melanoma. It is important to note that not all changes in nail colour have this cause and some changes are harmless being linked to darker skin types. If any change occurs quickly however, effects the surrounding skin, causes bleeding and has no history of trauma these are possible indicators for subungual melanoma.

 

If you have any concerns regarding your nail health, book an appointment with your Podiatrist to discuss aetiology and begin treatment.

 

Call us on 8645 9888 or,

 

Reference:

Why Is It Important To Wear Thongs Around The Pool And In The Showers?

With pool and holiday season finally upon us it’s important to make sure that we are pulling out the thongs from the back of the cupboard to avoid picking up any nasties.

‘So what exactly are these nasties?’  you might ask.

Well, I am referring to those dreaded fungal infections of the skin and nails known as tinea pedis and onychomycosis.

Fungal infections will typically occur as a result of showering and walking on warm damp surfaces that fungus loves to breed on. By wearing thongs we reduce the chances of this occurring.

Typically it has been found that those who swim and walk around barefoot are more prone to developing fungal infection. If you think that you may have picked up a fungal infection recently you may notice the following symptoms occurring:

  • Itchy skin
  • Flaky skin especially between the toes and the balls of the feet
  • Small red dots which sometimes may appear as if filled with pus
  • Disclouration of your nails to a yellowish/ brown colour
  • Increased thickness to the nails

So if you or someone you know is about to travel and they enjoy the pools, this summer make sure you remind them to wear thongs or shoes to avoid developing a fungal infection.

Or if you have developed  fungal infection but are unsure about the best way to fight it off, book in today for an assessment.

 

This article was written by Lauren, one of our skilled Podiatrists. To book in with Lauren either give us a call or book online and select ‘Lauren’ as your practitioner.

You can call us on 8645 9888 or,

Why Choose Medical Pedicure Instead of a Salon Pedicure?

Salon pedicures are seen as glamorous and something to treat yourself to, but on the contrary, can cause a few issues that are not to the benefit of keeping your feet healthy.

These include, fungal nails, tinea, warts and in some cases, bacterial skin infections such as cellulitis.

The causes of these infections are not properly sterilizing equipment, the same instruments and nail files are being used on every second person that walks into the salon, and you do not know what the person before you may have wrong with their skin or nails. They could be suffering from tinea that they got at their local pool or a fungal nail infection that they got from someone at the nail salon from a previous appointment. In addition, the foot spas are breeding grounds for these fungal, viral and bacterial infections. If they are cleaned properly this reduces the risk of contracting an infection but it is not certain that this sterilization happens.

What should you do?

Our skilled podiatrists offer a service called Medical Pedicure. We use sterilized equipment, a hot towel that is only used for you and thrown away afterwards and it is all done in a safe environment with the luxuries included. We do not use nail polish as this has the potential to harbor fungal infections.

If you are wondering what a Medical Pedicure is in more detail and what type of Medical Pedicure would suit you best, have a look at our medical pedicure website – http://medicalpedicure.com.au/services/

You can call us on 8645 9888 if you have any questions or you want to book an appointment. Otherwise you can,

 

What I, As A Podiatrist, Think About Cheap Nail Salons

Going to the nail salon is seen as a glamorous thing to do when going to an event or treating yourself to some pampering. While going to the podiatrist is seen as an unglamorous thing to do and something you have to do rather than want to do.

But on the contrary, going to an appointment at the podiatrist is going into a clean environment with the use of sterile instruments where your individual needs will be assessed and met.

Unfortunately, due to poor regulations in some cheaper nail salons, it is highly likely that unsterile instruments are being used. These instruments that are not sterilized are also being used on other people attending the salon on a daily basis. It is unknown what the person before you could have wrong with the skin on their feet or their toe nails. For example, they could have a wart, tinea or a fungal nail infection and in some cases a bacterial infection.

In addition, foot spas are a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus so if the spa is not cleaned between clients or cleaned thoroughly, there is greater risk of contracting a bacterial infection or a fungal nail or skin infection. ​

 

If you would like a clean, sterile pedicure, try Podiatry HQ’s Medical Pedicure, where we will assess all nail, skin and foot conditions and help you with your needs.

Take a closer look at the Medical Pedicure website.

If you have any issues regarding your lower legs and feet, don’t hesitate to come in for treatment and pampering, all rolled into one.

HICAPS is available at our clinic and your private health insurance can be used to claim against our services!

 

This article was written by Alex, one of our skilled Podiatrists. To book in with Alex either give us a call or book online and select ‘Alexandra’ as your practitioner.

You can call us on 8645 9888 or,

Why Are My Nails Getting Thick?

Are you having issues with thick nails, and you’re not sure why they are getting thick?

Thick nails are a common issue that many podiatrists see in their clinics. At Podiatry HQ it is a condition we see on a weekly basis.

There are a few reasons that your nails could get thick, these include;

Trauma, trauma can be a cause of thick toe nails, either from tight footwear, dropping something on your foot, stabbing your toe or even from running and the toe hitting against the shoe during your run. The repetitive stress causes trauma within the nail and causes it to thicken.

Also

Nail fungus, nail fungus is a common cause of thick nails, as the fungus causes the nail to become thick, brittle and discoloured, in some cases. Nail fungus can be picked up from nail salons, public pools and showers.

In some cases, thick nails can cause pain or be unsightly and embarrassing for some individuals.

 

If you are having issues with thick nails, come in to see one of our friendly podiatrists who will assess your nails and diagnose the cause. From here a treatment plan will be made that best suits your needs.

You can call us on 8645 9800 to book your assessment or,

 

Reference:

http://www.md-health.com/images/OLD00472/0ea992fbe9c7f73fc80d3ad43fe0d9b1–thick-toenails-toenail-fungus-treatment.jpg

Does Nail Polish Affect My Toe Nails?

Nail polished toes look great but is nail polish really good for your nails and your health?

Nail polish can affect the nails in a few ways these include;

  • Discolouration of nails, turns the nails yellow when left on too long.
  • Doesn’t allow the nail to breath, which can cause a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • If a contaminated nail polish is applied to the nails or contaminated instruments are used at a nail salon, it can cause the nail to become fungal and infected. The nail polish can hold and spread the fungal infection through the nail.
  • Nail polish can weaken the nails.

 

It is important to check your nails and distinguish between discolouration due to nail polish and discolouration due to a fungal nail infection.

If you are worried about the health of your nails, don’t hesitate to book an appointment to get your nails checked. It is best to start treating fungal nails straight away before the infection spreads to multiple nails.

Call us on 03 8645 9888 to book an assessment with one of our skilled podiatrists or

Reference
http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/06/16/why-you-should-give-your-toenails-a-break-from-polish-in-winter/

How To Get Rid Of Fungal Nails With Household Objects?

Fungal nails are more common than you would imagine. If you have been a victim of this condition, you would know exactly how difficult it is to get rid of! Fungal Infections can affect people of all ages and it’s usually contracted in communal areas that are warm, dark and moist. The infection presents as yellowing, thickening and crumbling of the nail, like the image below.

If you’ve had no success with modern medicine and are fed up paying top dollar for products that just won’t work, why not give these home remedies a crack!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is known to have anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. It works by altering the pH level on our skin. Combine equal parts of Apple Cider Vinegar and water and soak your feet in the solution for about 15 mins. For best results, try to do it daily.

Vicks VapoRub
The ingredients menthol, eucalyptus oil, cedar leaf oil, nutmeg oil etc. found in Vicks VapoRub have anti-fungal properties that inhibit the growth of the fungus. This ointment should be applied daily to the infected area.

Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is extracted from the Melaleuca Alternifolia Tree. It is well known for its antiseptic properties and has been used for many years as a healing agent to fight infection. Trim your nails and file back the Fungal areas as best as possible. Apply a drop of the tea tree oil to the nail and let it penetrate to the base.

The best part about trying home remedies is that these products are often readily available and won’t break the bank! Keep in mind though, there has been very little to no scientific research done to prove the effectiveness of these remedies, so try these at your own discretion and always seek the advice of a professional.

If you have a Fungal Infection that isn’t improving, make sure to contact us at Medical Pedicure to get it looked at by a professional. Our friendly Podiatrist’s will be able to assess and treat you with the appropriate care for feet. You can call to make an appointment on 8645 9888 or book online here.

Image Reference:
//bit.ly/2hFL7n3

Why isn’t my toe nail antifungal treatment working?

This is one of the most common questions we are asked as Podiatrists’. To understand why your treatment does not appear to be working we need to ascertain what type of fungal infection you have, what your treatment procedure has been in the past and lifestyle factors.

To understand fungal infections please see: http://www.medicalpedicure.com.au/fungal-infection/

There are a number of different types of fungal infections, this, in addition to how long the fungal infection has been present, can determine which type of treatment would be most suitable.  There is never a “one treatment fits all” approach in my opinion.

Current treatments on the market include:

  • Topical antifungals (applied directly to the area as directed)
  • Oral antifungals (a tablet prescribed by your GP)
  • Laser
  • Photodynamic Light Therapy (PACT)

Treatment really should be prescribed on an individual basis.  When I prescribe treatment I always consider lifestyle factors as part of my treatment plan.  The reason for this is:  Fungal toe nail infections can take up to and over a year to treat!

Your big toe nail (which is the nail we most often see affected by fungal infections), takes a year to grow from bottom to top.  If you are expecting to see a miracle result in two weeks, sorry, that’s unlikely 🙁 I know that there are treatments out there that say that they are either a seven day or two week treatment, these should be reserved for fungal infections on the skin and even then, I wouldn’t suggest a miracle result would occur.  Please be aware that fungal portion of the nail must grow out (from nail bed out).

Honestly, regardless of the treatment method chosen, you can consider the following progression if treatment plan is adhered to:

 

(thanks to Dallas Laser Med for this great illustration)

RESULTS WILL VARY BETWEEN PEOPLE!

In recent years, the dawn of the “laser” age has been popular, in our clinic we often see patients who have tried laser with little success.  I am unable to say if the laser treatment itself was not successful, or the protocol used at home was the problem.  We know with any treatment, there will always be a failure rate, and with fungal infections so difficult to treat, it could be a combination of factors.

This year, after much research, I introduced Photodynamic Light Therapy treatment (PACT) into our clinic.  To date, we have had really encouraging results, however, I cannot stress that the protocol at home after in clinic treatment is key to treatment!  I chose the PACT treatment over laser for our clinic as the research showed great results, is more affordable than laser and had less side effects overall.

The most important consideration for treatment in our clinics is the “at home” treatment, that is, the daily protocol used at home by the patient.  The key to treatment is always to reduce the number of active fungal spores in all environments.  If you are not addressing this on a daily basis, this may be the reason why, your treatment is not being successful. This includes (but not limited to):

  • The infected area itself (nail or skin)
  • Shoes,
  • Socks/stockings,
  • Wet areas – bathrooms, communal showers in gyms etc

I can’t stress enough – If these areas are not addressed at the same time you can expect – success rates for treatment to significantly decline.

My advice is always to seek professional advice when looking to treat a fungal infection.

  • Ensure that the area is assessed (yes make sure that the area is seen, not just discussed), as in my experience, certain treatment options are more successful on some types of appearances of the fungus and not on others.
  • Know what is expected with each treatment option – how many appointments are required, what needs to be followed through with at home, when to return for review.
  • Understand that sometimes, treatment options may need to change throughout the course of treatment.
  • DON”T GIVE UP!