What is it?
Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the nail that affect up to 1.6 million Australians. It is caused by fungus that thrives in humid and warm areas, for example in your shoes, socks, toe spacers, showers etc.
How is it transmitted?
Going barefoot at public swimming pools and showers
Sharing socks, shoes or towels of people already infected
How does the fungus affect your toenails?
The nail may change gradually all over or in small areas.
It may become:
- Discoloured- yellowish, brown or white
- Thickened, cracked or brittle
- Accumulation of debris or callus under and around the nail
What treatment is available for it?
The typical treatment consists of daily application of topical antifungal nail lacquers or prescription oral medication.
Success rates of topical antifungals are variable, and oral medication for fungal toenails can interact with other drugs or lead to adverse side effects making them a last resort treatment.
Podiatry on Williamson are now offering Bendigo an alternative…. Photodynamic Antimicrobial Chemical Therapy (PACT).
How does photodynamic therapy work?
PACT uses a gel that targets the cell wall and makes it sensitive to light. Fungus cells possess a cell wall, however human cells do not, only having a cell membrane. Exposure to the particular wavelength of light is able to destroy the fungal cells. This means that the targeted cells are killed without any damage to healthy nail or skin cells.
How many PACT treatments are needed?
Depending on the nature of the infection and severity of each case, it may vary. The initial treatment regime includes 3 separate applications of PACT with a review between 6-12 weeks later. Further treatment may be required for more resistant or longstanding cases.
For more information please talk to your podiatrist or request a brochure from reception.