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Fungal Nails

Nail Fungus (onychomycosis) is a very common condition that until now has been very difficult to treat.

 

Many people don't realize they have a fungal nail problem. Moreover, many don't seek treatment until the infection has spread through the entire nail or to other nails including finger nails.

 

Also referred to as Onychomycosis, fungal nail infections are present in the nail plate and the nail bed beneath the plate.
The fungi attack the nail and live off the protein structure of the nail called keratin. When the fungi start to take over, the nail may become thicker, yellowish-brown or darker in color, and often foul smelling.

 

You may have a fungal nail infection if you have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Discoloured nails
  • Yellow streaks under the nail
  • Distorted or thickened nails    
  • Brittle, crumbly or ragged nail
  • Nails separated from the underlying nail bed
  • Build up of debris (nail fragments, skin) under the nail
  • White spots or streaks on the nail surface
 


As the fungal nail infection advances the nail can become thick, brittle and separate from the nail bed. With advancing deformity of the nail it is possible for secondary bacterial infections to develop. This is of particular concern and an unwanted complication for people suffering with diabetes.

 

Treatment options for fungal nails in the past have been topical nail paints, oral medication and surgical removal of the nail. Topical nail paints need to be applied for up to 1 year and have a clinical success rate of 10-15% .Oral medication has a clinical success rate of approximately 60-70% but it is recommended that monthly liver function testing is performed as liver irritation can be a side effect. The antifungal drugs can also be contraindicated with other medication including warfrin and certain diabetic drugs. Surgical removal of the nail plate and treatment of the nail bed with antifungal cream can be successful but the post operative discomfort and disfiguration as the nail re-grows can be a deterrent for many people.


Recently there has been a significant scientific breakthrough in the treatment of fungal nails. The treatment is painless and has no side effects.

Cutera USA has developed the GenesisPlus laser for the safe and effective treatment of  fungal nails. Waverley Podiatry is the first Podiatry Clinic in Victoria to introduce the Cutera GenesisPlus Laser!


How Does The Genesis Plus Laser Work?

Genesis Plus is a Nd:YAG  1064nm laser with light penetration depth of 3 mm. 

 

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When used to treat fungal nails, the light passes through the nail plate and the surrounding tissue including the nail bed. The laser light is absorbed by the pigment in the fungi which is darker than the surrounding cells, and this causes the fungi cells to heat. This small rise in temperature kills the fungi and its spores and as your nail continues to grow the infected area grows out with it.

 

How many treatments are required and how successful is it?

Most fungal nails will require only 2 treatments and the success rate has been recently documented in a dermatology research paper at 85%

 

The Cutera Genesis Plus is the only laser designed to treat fungal nails and warts that has both TGA approval in Australia and FDA approval in USA.

 

TGA ( Theraputic Goods Administration) is Australia’s regulatory agency more medical drugs and devices

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