What are the signs and symptoms of a toenail infection?
Toenail infections can cause permanent deformity of the nail that can interfere with being able to wear shoes, walking and with sports or other activities. Infected nails often have one or more of the following signs that may be unsightly:
- Yellow streaks in the skin under the nail (the nail bed) and on the underside of the nail
- Buildup of bits and pieces of skin and nail fragments under the skin
- Discolored and thickened nail that may separate from the skin under the nail
- Brittle, broken and thickened nail
- White spots or streaks on nail surface
- Soft and powdery nail surface (as the infection worsens)
- Damaged, crumbly and brown or gray surface (with no separation of the nail from the underlying skin)
What causes a toenail infection?
Nail infections are usually caused by fungi (including yeasts and molds). Most fungal infections are caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes, which means “skin plants” in Greek. The most common fungi that cause nail infection disease in animals and humans are Trichophyton mentagrophyte and Candida albicans. These fungi can live in the layer of dead skin around your nails, in the space under your nailand in the nail itself.
How does a nail infection occur?
A nail infection is a complex problem. It can start due to a family history of susceptibility, increasing age, poor health, nail trauma, climate (warm or moist), exposure to infected nails (gym/communal bathing areas) and tight shoes. The treatment of nail infection is difficult because the infection is under and inside the nail. This makes it hard for any treatment to reach and destroy the infection. In addition, even after successful treatment, patients may experience recurrence of nail infection.
Options for infected nails include:
- Oral drugs (taken by mouth and swallowed)
- Topical drugs (applied to the surface of nail and skin)
- Laser procedure
How does the CoolTouch VARIABreeze laser procedure work?
The VARIABreeze laser sends invisible laser energy into and through the nail and/or surrounding skin that is absorbed by the fungal organisms. This process causes heat damage and kills the fungal organisms. If all of the fungal organisms are killed, your toenail could grow out normally. The nail clearance that you may experience is dependent upon your individual circumstances and should be discussed with your doctor.
What to expect…
Your toenails will be cleaned and filed prior to the laser treatment. Most patients only feel warmth during the treatment and the laser treatment can be reduced or ended if the procedure becomes uncomfortable. The laser procedure will take about 15 minutes to treat both feet and there is usually no discomfort after the treatment. Your doctor will discuss post-treatment care to avoid fungal re-infection. You may return to your normal daily routine immediately after your toenail treatment.
You will notice results within 10-12 months, depending on how quickly your toenails grow. New, clear growth begins to appear at the bottom portion of your nail as the diseased portion of the nail grows out.
Why choose the CoolTouch laser treatment to treat your toenail fungus?
Finally, a treatment that provides clear nails without the risks of oral medications and the strict regimen of topical creams. The VARIABreeze laser offers new hope to patients who suffer from onychomycosis (nail fungus). The CoolTouch VARIABreeze laser toenail treatment is an effective, rapid procedure that provides results. CoolTouch, the manufacturer of the VARIABreeze laser, is a pioneer in the laser industry with over 17 years experience in the aesthetic and surgical medical device industry.