Fungal Nail Infection – 6 Top Questions Answered

Fungal Nail Infection – 6 Top Questions Answered

Fungal Nail Infections

6 Top Questions Answered

Fungal Nail Infection - 6 Questions Answered

In this article, we are going to answer some of your questions around Fungal Nail Infections! 6 Top Questions Answered:  What exactly is nail fungus?  How does nail fungus spread? Where do I catch this nasty little blighter from? What is the cause of the nasty nail fungus? What does it look like? And finally, are fungal nails infectious?

Yes yes yes this is an exciting foot topic so hold on to your socks we are ready to Rock! (Yes, I am a fun-guy (boom-tish)

Fungal Nail Infection - Heavy

Fungal Nail Infection - Heavy

What is nail fungus?

Nail fungus is also called onychomycosis (on-ih-koh-my-KOH-sis). Nail fungus is caused by Fungal organisms or “Fungi.”

The most common type is Dermatophytes. These appear to be most prevalent in temperate climates while Candida is more common in tropical or subtropical (think Warmer northern areas of Australia. Another possibility is nondermatophytic molds, which is more common in warmer climates.

When the fungal nail infection is due to Dermatophytes, it is often referred to as tinea unguium. Of these, it is most likely to be a Trichophyton rubrum. Now, less common but also possible runners up in the dermatophytes stakes are,  T. interdigitaleEpidermophyton floccosum, T. violaceum, Microsporum gypseumT. tonsurans, and T. soudanense.

If you’re a layperson wondering why your nail looks odd the names of these are going to be important, but perhaps you’re a nerdy foot geek and this is really exciting stuff. OK, perhaps not!

What does fungal nail look like?

Most nail fungus Will start by looking like a yellow or brown spot or streak in your toenail. Most people will notice that their nail seems to be lifting away from the skin.

Nails that are heavily infected will become very yellow or brown discoloured and may also appear thickened. At times it may look a little crumbly and even “worm-eaten”. This appearance, for most people, will take years to occur and does not spontaneously happen overnight.

How does fungal nail spread?

Fungal nail infections are highly contagious. The fungus produces spores or perhaps easier thought of as eggs. These are invisible to the human eye. They are also very hearty and may Live in multiple areas that have come in contact with a live fungus, such as your socks or shoes. They may also be found in areas such as showers. This makes communal areas in gymnasiums and swimming pools such as change rooms A hotbed for fungal nail transmission.

Reinfection of fungal nails is also quite high if the areas that they live in, and produced spores in,  is not treated also. Or the patient continues to use the same infected spaces that they did before their treatment

Tinea - flaky skin blisters-mild

Tinea - flaky skin blisters-mild

How does fungal nail start?

Obviously, patients need to come in contact with a live fungus or with the spores (or eggs).

The first sign for many people is a tinea infection on their skin. This usually presents as dry white flaky skin or in its very early stages tiny waterless blisters on feet

There are certain groups of people that are more predisposed to fungal infections. Patients with diabetes, those who are immunosuppressed, and there seems to be an increased incidence in people over 60 years of age; which of course may include the two previously mentioned groups

What is the cause of fungal nail?

Most laypeople commonly misunderstand fungal infections. They are a completely different group to both bacteria and viruses. With this in mind, their treatment is also significantly different. For example, antibiotics and antivirals will not affect fungal nail infections.

Fungal nail infections are not a result of being unclean or unhygienic. Many people mistakenly believe that they simply need to wash their towels or socks more frequently and wash between their toes, and the infection will go away. However, this will have no result on the fungal infection whatsoever.

Worried you have a Fungal Nail Infection? See your GP or Podiatrist for a diagnosis.

Worried you have a Fungal Nail Infection? See your GP or Podiatrist for a diagnosis.

Are fungal nail infectious or contagious? 

Fungal nail Infections are highly infectious! It is common to see in family groups, in particular, those that share the same communal wet areas such as showers and bathrooms.

They are also highly infectious in the same communal areas in workplaces and also gymnasiums and schools, for example.

Where to from here? 

Fungal nails are one of the most challenging and annoying to treat conditions that podiatrists and other medical professionals come across. This, in my experience, is mostly due to The high reinfection rate and the need to treat not only the infected area but the surrounding environment as well.

In a later article, I will discuss treatments that are recommended for onychomycosis. (Stay tuned)

Written by

Dr Brenden Brown
Sydney based Podiatrist and Founder of A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Care
St Mary’s and Penrith

Articles used

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onychomycosis

https://www.healthline.com/health/fungal-nail-infection#diagnosis (Although much of this information I disagree with based on my 24 plus years of experience)

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nail-fungus/symptoms-causes/syc-20353294

https://www.scirp.org/(S(oyulxb452alnt1aej1nfow45))/reference/ReferencesPapers.aspx?ReferenceID=1407378

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.0933-7407.2003.00933.x

Fungal Nail calculator

You may also like to try our fungal nail calculator. This is the first fungal nail calculator in the world and will help guide you to potential treatment protocols. Use this guide to help guide you to understand better the level of infection that you may have present and give helpful suggestions as to what the best therapies maybe. Head to fungalnailDr.com.au

ABOUT DR BRENDEN BROWN

Dr Brenden Brown, Podiatrist & Shendi Brown

Dr Brenden Brown, Podiatrist & Shendi Brown

Founder of A Step Ahead Foot + Ankle Care in Sydney, and former president of the Australasian Podiatry Council, Dr Brenden Brown (A.K.A Dr Foot) is a wealth of knowledge on how to take care of your feet, including how to find the best shoes.

Follow him on social media:
 instagram.com/askdrfoot
 facebook.com/podiatristsydney
 twitter.com/AStepAheadFAC

Ten-things-to-know-before-choosing-a-podiatrist

Free Report “10 things to know before choosing a Podiatrist”

Choosing your Sydney foot doctor is an important decision and can mean the difference between getting mediocre results and living pain-free. Learn about the top 10 things you should know when choosing your podiatrist in St Marys or Penrith.

Shameless Plug or where to get real help!

Need help? Need another opinion? Just want to get this sorted? Great, we'd love to help you 😊 You can start by calling our wonderfully helpful team on 9673 2987. They are all parents and will be able to help answer questions and guide you in the right direction.

Another option is to use our call back service, pop your details in the very short form and we will call YOU back on a number and times that suits YOU best. 😊

How to choose an awesome Podiatrist

How to choose an awesome Podiatrist

How to choose an awesome Podiatrist

and what you need to know

How to choose an awesome Podiatrist?

How to choose an awesome Podiatrist? He needs to be more than your Prince Charming...... (Cinderella, Prince trying on shoes.....no?)

So just how do you choose an awesome Podiatrist? The best advice is to find a practitioner to help you. As crazy as it may seem, trolling through social media Instagram pages and Facebook posts for your answers is probably not going to result in you getting better (who’d have thought).

The first step, though? Try heading back to our earlier post about making sure you have the right shoes for the job! Here is the link. You can also head to our video content here. 

How to Get the right advice

Unfortunately, as Podiatry is an area in medicine that is continually improving, it is often hard for practitioners to keep up with those changes. Did you know that there is evidence that suggests that it can take up to anywhere between seven and seventeen (Yes! 17 years!) for a medical principle to become accepted. What does this mean? Once a medical idea or a new treatment become the Gold Standard, it can take as long as 17 years before some therapists begin to use it with their patients.

Commonly therapists have headed to two well-oiled treatments such as Stretching and Ice. Unfortunately, while these are well known by practitioners, they are not always helpful. And in fact, at least one of these treatments can make a condition far worse.

Asking about their experience is ok

A good therapist will develop a treatment plan. They won’t just rely on one magical therapy or cure. 
It’s essential, therefore, to look for a practitioner that is well versed in the new understanding of tendon physiology. It’s also necessary to ensure that that practitioner has mountain loads of experience diagnosing and treating patients with these conditions. While from the outside, all practitioners may look the same, it stands to reason that many practitioners have different areas of expertise experience and practice.

Don’t be afraid to ask their reception team questions. What type of work do they see? How old are the average patients of the clinic? Do they see a lot of sports injuries? How often do they see this type of condition every day, every week? Every month?

For more information download our FREE report on 10 Things to Know Before Choosing a Podiatrist.

 

Ten-things-to-know-before-choosing-a-podiatrist

Free Report “10 things to know before choosing a Podiatrist”

Choosing your Sydney foot doctor is an important decision and can mean the difference between getting mediocre results and living pain-free. Learn about the top 10 things you should know when choosing your podiatrist in St Marys or Penrith.

Shameless Plug or where to get real help!

Need help? Need another opinion? Just want to get this sorted? Great, we'd love to help you 😊 You can start by calling our wonderfully helpful team on 9673 2987. They will be able to help answer questions and guide you in the right direction.

Another option is to use our Call Back Service, pop your details in the very short form and we will call YOU back on a number and times that suits YOU best. 😊

Run – Walk – PLAY with a big smile is the name of the game!

Run – Walk – PLAY with a big smile is the name of the game!

Run - Walk - PLAY

with a big smile is the name of the game!

Run-Walk-PLAY-Tibialis-posterior-pain

Run-Walk-PLAY Tibialis posterior pain can be often misdiagnosed

Run - Walk - PLAY with a big smile is the name of the game! That's exactly what Kyra can do now! Thanks to a correct diagnosis of her Tibialis posterior pain.

Did you know that there is a really powerful muscle that runs down the inside of your lower leg called the Tibialis posterior! The muscle helps control your arch, and it helps roll your foot back out, Giving you an arch.

A Tibialis posterior can become really sore and tired if it becomes overused. Often the pain is in your arch or just under your inside ankle bone. People with this problem who walk a little more than usual, spend longer on their feet, perhaps play sport may find that this area becomes very sore.

This is what lead Kyra's parents to bring her along to visit us. She had six months with pain in her feet, legs ankles. Her parents had tried several things before visiting us. A month into care with awesome orthotics and Kyra has NO more PAIN in her feet.

Her orthotics work by balancing her foot posture so that her arch is the right spot at the right time when walking + running. The Tibialis muscle then doesn't need to do as much work!

She is LOVING HER new orthotics and comfortable in them. She happily runs walks and plays sport in them.

Pain like this is widespread and is often misdiagnosed as things like growing pains. Frequently parents are told that there is nothing they can do. We are here to tell you that's not the case!

If you'd like help the first step is to call our helpful front desk team, they can run through what's been going on for you and what you have tried so far. They can then work out what type of appointment is best for you and the costs. They can then look at reserving your appointment time.

Our number is 02 9673 2987 we would love to be able to help!

Orthotics-Helped-with-Kyras-Tibialis-posterior-pain

Orthotics Helped with Kyra's Tibialis posterior pain

FREE Growing Pain Report by Dr Brenden Brown

Is it really growing pains?

 

7 simple signs every parent should know!

Are you worried about pain in your child feet? Not sure whats normal and whats not? Try accessing Dr Brenden’s helpful report on the “Growing pains - 7 simple signs every parent should know!” As a recognised expert in lower limb health with over 20 years’ experience, A past advisor for Clarks Kids footwear and lecturer on growing pains. Dr Brenden outlines what every Parent should know about Growing Pains and gives you fast ways to identify the “what and when” you need to know!

Shameless Plug or where to get real help!

Need help? Need another opinion? Just want to get this sorted? Great, we'd love to help you 😊 You can start by calling our wonderfully helpful team on 9673 2987. They are all parents and will be able to help answer questions and guide you in the right direction.

Another option is to use our call back service, pop your details in the very short form and we will call YOU back on a number and times that suits YOU best. 😊

Fungal Nail Laser Therapy Mistakes Therapists Make

Fungal Nail Laser Therapy Mistakes Therapists Make

Fungal Nail Laser Therapy Mistakes Therapists Make

Do you have a Fungal infection and want to know what treatments to avoid? Laser has fast become a gold standard treatment for fungal toenail infections. Over the counter medications that do not penetrate the nail have been shown to at times be highly ineffective. Dr Brenden Brown, Podiatrist, takes you through Fungal Nail Laser Therapy and the Mistakes Therapists Make.

Fungal Nail Laser Therapy Mistakes Therapists Make Transcript

The warning signs from me that your fungal nail laser treatment won't be successful are really whether or not the therapist is actually treating all ten toes, so the fungal nail is actually infected. Those little fungal infections are actually laying eggs all over your skin and the other nail. If you only treat the nail that you can see that's been infected, then you won't get rid of this infection.

The moment you stop treating it, those spores or eggs are going to come back exactly to where they were.

The other thing that I see as a big mistake when people treat this is that they don't remove as much as possible of the dead nail or the area that's actually been attacked by the fungal infection. That's where we actually start to remove that area or penetrate that area as much as possible so that your treatment can access there.

The other thing that I see as a big mistake when people treat this is that they don't remove as much as possible of the dead nail or the area that's actually been attacked by the fungal infection. That's where we actually start to remove that area or penetrate that area as much as possible so that your treatment can access there.

Finally, I think the really important thing that many people miss out on doing is that they don't treat the entire environment. Again, those spores actually not only live in the nail, but they leave in the skin around the outside. They live in your socks, they live in your shoes, and they live in the base of your shower. If you're not treating that whole environment, then the moment you stop treatment or you no longer have your laser therapy, then those fungal infections are just going to come straight back and starting infecting again, and you're back to square one.

If you haven't booked your appointment time for your gap-free heel pain assessment yet, please call our friendly reception team on (02) 9673 2987 to secure your appointment today.

Fungal Nail calculator

You may also like to try our fungal nail calculator. This is the first fungal nail calculator in the world and will help guide you to potential treatment protocols. Use this guide to help guide you to understand better the level of infection that you may have present and give helpful suggestions as to what the best therapies maybe. Head to fungalnailDr.com.au

ABOUT DR BRENDEN BROWN

Dr Brenden Brown, Podiatrist & Shendi Brown

Dr Brenden Brown, Podiatrist & Shendi Brown

Founder of A Step Ahead Foot + Ankle Care in Sydney, and former president of the Australasian Podiatry Council, Dr Brenden Brown (A.K.A Dr Foot) is a wealth of knowledge on how to take care of your feet, including how to find the best shoes.

Follow him on social media:
 instagram.com/askdrfoot
 facebook.com/podiatristsydney
 twitter.com/AStepAheadFAC

Ten-things-to-know-before-choosing-a-podiatrist

Free Report “10 things to know before choosing a Podiatrist”

Choosing your Sydney foot doctor is an important decision and can mean the difference between getting mediocre results and living pain-free. Learn about the top 10 things you should know when choosing your podiatrist in St Marys or Penrith.

Shameless Plug or where to get real help!

Need help? Need another opinion? Just want to get this sorted? Great, we'd love to help you 😊 You can start by calling our wonderfully helpful team on 9673 2987. They are all parents and will be able to help answer questions and guide you in the right direction.

Another option is to use our call back service, pop your details in the very short form and we will call YOU back on a number and times that suits YOU best. 😊

Fungal Nail Infection – 5 questions to ask anyone providing Fungal nail treatment

Fungal Nail Infection – 5 questions to ask anyone providing Fungal nail treatment

Fungal Nail Infections

5 questions to ask anyone providing Fungal nail treatment

Fungal Nail Infections - 5 questions to ask

Fungal nail infection treatment options are wide and varied; there are several different options anywhere from prescription medication to over-the-counter paints and ointments and also several laser light treatments. In particular Thermal laser has become one of the gold standards for treating patients with fungal nail infections. Dr Brenden Brown, Podiatrist in Penrith, talks about fungal nail infections and 5 questions to ask anyone providing Fungal nail treatment.

Not all lasers are the same, and in particular, we are talking about Thermal laser. This laser uses both the laser light spectrum but more importantly, the temperature increase occurring in the nail bed, which is highly effective at killing both the live fungal infection and it's smalls or eggs.

Fungal infection and spores cannot live when exposed to temperatures above 40°C Celsius.

Fungal-Nail-Infections-5-Questions-to-Ask-Your-Therapist

Fungal Nail Infections just love feet. Proper care needs to be provided to stop reinfection

Are Fungal Nail Reinfection Rates High?

An issue that occurs with fungal nails is the highly contagious nature of the fungal infection is meaning that it is both easy to contract and, despite having a successful treatment, easy to re-contract after your therapy - leading to high levels of reinfection without proper care and advice

Fungal spores are invisible and are not seen when living in nails. Any evidence of fungal infection on a toenail is the result of a past infection. What you are seeing when looking at the yellow or brown discolouration is the area that has essentially been attacked by the fungal infection.

Are Fungal Nail Spores Invisible?

The eggs that are produced by the fungal infection are completely invisible; they will often live in the other toenails and on the skin surrounding the nails with no evidence whatsoever. Be warned that if you do not treat these, they will simply wait till the treatment is completed on the nail you are treating and because the two toes are in such close proximity to will simply transfer across to the freshly treated nail

Is Thermal Laser advanced treatment the Answer for Fungal Nail Infections?

As a foot doctor or podiatrist with more than 24 years experience, this is one of the most frustrating conditions to deal with. Fungal Nail infections are notoriously difficult to beat.

In 2014 I travelled to the United States to investigate the emerging thermal laser treatment protocols. After this trip, I returned to Australia and introduced the thermal laser technology we now use in our clinics and now numerous others across Australia

As I am highly involved in this area, these are the questions I would ask before undertaking treatment with any clinic!

Here are 5 questions to ask any clinic before undergoing treatment for fungal nail infections.

1) Why is the clinic only treating one nail?

As I have explained fungal infection is are incredibly contagious and also riotously difficult to eradicate. The spores regularly live on at least 3 to 4 nails on each foot, despite the fact that these cannot be seen, it is estimated that there is a 97% chance that the other nails have live spores infecting them!

Treating one nail only that being the nail that has obvious signs of the past infection is most would suggest a guaranteed way of not successfully treating this condition

2) How does a patient treat the unseen fungal nail infection?

All clinics should address with the patients they see a number of after-care steps this includes eradicating the unseen spores that are living in numerous other areas, these include on your skin, in your shoes, in your socks, in your shower and living areas. Ask the clinic treating you how they suggest you Address these areas.

3) What system does the clinic have to keep the Fungal Nail Infection at bay?

It's fine to treat the infection while you are there but what after-care is the clinic suggesting do they have a thorough after-care protocol for patients to undertake. This is a highly contagious infection and to think that it only resides on the nails is either misinformed or naive.

4) What treatment do they advise for current footwear?

It is almost 100% positive that patients with fungal nail infections will have spores living inside the shoes, that they have been wearing while they have a fungal nail infection. If a clinic does not suggest patients should treat footwear that the client has been wearing, I will put forward they do not entirely understand how to manage this incredibly contagious condition. Find another clinic!

5) Are all Fungal Nail treatments the same?

Since later therapy for fungal nails was introduced to Australia, there have been a number of clinics add this technology as a way of increasing clinical turnover.

Unfortunately, they do not completely understand the condition or understand how to reduce the very high reinfection rate.

There is no way to prevent reinfection completely; however, without a significant Plan put in place it is almost a certainty that after treatment, it will quickly return. For this reason, it is important to ensure the clinic that is treating you has a thorough understanding of how to reduce this reinfection rate and to assist patients in beating this nasty condition.

How can we help?

We have treated thousands of patients with fungal nail infections literally. As one of the first clinics to introduce thermal laser technology, we are pioneers in the field and with this extensive experience have developed treatment protocols to overcome many of the problems surrounding the reinfection of nails. Yes, we think we are pretty good at beating this!

Our Doctors all fully qualified Podiatrists have extensive hands-on experience treating fungal nail infection.

Where to from here?

If you are serious about beating fungal nail infection and then the quickest and most effective way is to call our clinic on 9673 2987 we are based in western Sydney, with patients travelling from all over New South Wales to have this treatment due to our team's profession leading experience.

Our helpful front desk team have spoken to thousands of people with fungal nail infection and will help guide you through the suggested process and guide you to the best laser package for beating this.

Fungal Nail calculator

You may also like to try our fungal nail calculator. This is the first fungal nail calculator in the world and will help guide you to potential treatment protocols. Use this guide to help guide you to understand better the level of infection that you may have present and give helpful suggestions as to what the best therapies maybe. Head to fungalnailDr.com.au

ABOUT DR BRENDEN BROWN

Dr Brenden Brown, Podiatrist & Shendi Brown

Dr Brenden Brown, Podiatrist & Shendi Brown

Founder of A Step Ahead Foot + Ankle Care in Sydney, and former president of the Australasian Podiatry Council, Dr Brenden Brown (A.K.A Dr Foot) is a wealth of knowledge on how to take care of your feet, including how to find the best shoes.

Follow him on social media:
 instagram.com/askdrfoot
 facebook.com/podiatristsydney
 twitter.com/AStepAheadFAC

Ten-things-to-know-before-choosing-a-podiatrist

Free Report “10 things to know before choosing a Podiatrist”

Choosing your Sydney foot doctor is an important decision and can mean the difference between getting mediocre results and living pain-free. Learn about the top 10 things you should know when choosing your podiatrist in St Marys or Penrith.

Shameless Plug or where to get real help!

Need help? Need another opinion? Just want to get this sorted? Great, we'd love to help you 😊 You can start by calling our wonderfully helpful team on 9673 2987. They are all parents and will be able to help answer questions and guide you in the right direction.

Another option is to use our call back service, pop your details in the very short form and we will call YOU back on a number and times that suits YOU best. 😊