Onychomycosis: Good healing prospects for nail fungus

Onychomycosis is a fungi-determined infection of the finger- and/or toenails. The nail plates change colour into yellow and white, they thicken and get crumbly; a process that, in most cases, begins at the far end of the nail. In particular, mechanical damages of the nail, as, for instance, a blue mark under the nail or regular contact of the nail in tight shoes when walking or doing sports can provide the basis for a nail infection. In most cases, in addition, an athlete’s foot disease has already existed, which can be recognized by scaly, whitish, torn and partly itchy spaces between the toes or by a scaly sole of the foot.

Diagnosis

Should you have noticed any changes of the nail we recommend to consult a dermatologist. With the help of a historical examination and a culture he can prove a fungal infection. In most cases trichophyton rubrum is responsible for a nail infection. Has the presumptive clinical diagnosis been confirmed (the cultivation takes about 4 weeks and can only be carried out when the nails are untreated, that means that antimycotic nail varnishes are not allowed to be applied 4 weeks before the diagnosis) together with the treating doctor a therapy is laid down that is suitable for you.

Local treatment

For the greatest possible effect we recommend the combination of different treatment procedures. The treatment is locally carried out with an antimycotic varnish that, depending on the preparation, is applied once a day or once a week. An accompanying athlete’s foot infection should be treated with an anti-fungus crème. Furthermore, a laser treatment of the affected nails is possible at intervals of 4 weeks. The laser causes a short and strong stimulus of heat at the nail plate which leads to the thermal destruction of the spores and hyphae of the fungus. As a supporting measure we also recommend medical foot care at monthly intervals, with the help of which the nails are flattened and thus can be prepared for an optimal treatment.

Concomitant therapies

If more than 50% of the nail plate, especially of the big toe, are affected an additional therapy with tablets will mostly be inevitable. Contrary to their bad reputation the pills, however, are highly compatible and will be taken at low doses (once a week). Blood samples for the control of laboratory values take place before the therapy, 4 weeks after the beginning and then at intervals of three months.

Duration of treatment

The duration of treatment varies and can, depending on the findings, last up to 12 months, because the fungi are extremely resistant and well adjusted and the nails grow slowly. In order to accelerate the growth a bit we recommend to take Biotin as a food supplement. We also very much recommend to disinfect your shoes (Fungal spores can persevere here up to 6 months!) with special sprays and to wash your socks at 60° C and to use hygienic rinse. The therapy is lengthy, but the aim to have beautiful nails again is within your reach, consistent treatment provided!

Don’t hesitate to contact us if your nails change; we would be pleased to advise you individually and in detail and are looking forward to accompany you on your way. And next summer you can show off your nails again!

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Medical Dermatology

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2019-10-25T13:48:38+02:00