Fungal Toe Nails
A fungal infection to the nail, known medically as onychomycosis, affect 1 in 5 people in the UK. Fungal infections can be easily spread, from sharing nail files and polishes to a nail trauma.
The infection can appear as:
- Chalky white patches
- Thickened nails
- Yellow/brown discolouration
- Crumbling nails
- Redness to the surrounding skin
- Loosening of the nail
Your podiatrist will be able to diagnose this for you.
How to avoid fungal nail infections:
- Wear shoes in communal showers, pools and gyms
- Avoid sharing socks, shoes and towels
- Wash your bathmat regularly
- Wash your feet regularly
- Dry in-between your toes thoroughly
- Clip your nails regularly – if sharing clippers and files at home, ensure they are cleaned after each use.
- Wearing well-fitting socks and shoes.
- Nail salon equipment can often be the source of fungal nails, so ensure your nail technician is cleaning instruments between clients
Sometimes the active infection is in the skin underneath the nail, which makes it particularly difficult to treat. Unfortunately, there is no ‘quick fix’ for fungal toenails – each treatment involves waiting for the fungal part of the nail to effectively grow out. A big toenail, for example, will take a year to 18 months to fully grow out.
Topical treatments, including nail lacquers, ointments and herbal remedies such as tea tree oil, are not always able to penetrate the nail plate to reach the infected area. Therefore, patients often give up on the treatment within a few weeks.
Oral antifungal tablets are another option. They treat the infection systemically (from the inside out) and are generally taken daily for at least 3-6 months. These are only indicated if more than 50% of the nail is affected by the fungus and if a satisfactory blood test has been acquired to assess liver function.
The Lacuna Method involves drilling several rows of tiny holes into the affected area of the nail. An anti-fungal spray containing 1% Terbinafine solution is then applied to the area and soaks through the holes into the nail bed. The spray is then applied daily at home until the infection is cleared – this could take 6 months or more depending on the growth rate of your toenails.
Prior to the procedure
Please ensure your feet are clean and remove all traces of nail varnish from your toes.
The risks and benefits of the procedure will be explained to you. You will then be asked to sign a consent form.
After the procedure
You will be unable to wear nail polish for the duration of the treatment.
You will need to return to the clinic every 6 weeks to have your nails trimmed and the progress checked. As the nail grows further holes will be drilled if needed.
NOTE: Lamisil spray is a treatment for fungal infection of the skin, not the nail. Using it for the nail is deemed as ‘off-licence’. There have however been several clinical trials using Lamisil this way with good results and by drilling through the nail, the treatment is actually being applied to the skin.
Initial Assessment: £38.00
Treatment: (price includes first bottle of Lamisil spray)
- 1-2 nails £60.00
- 3-5 nails £90.00
- 6 nails + £135.00
Follow-up treatments: £30.00 per visit