Onychomycosis (Nail Fungus)
Onychomycosis means fungal infection of the nail. It is the most common disease of the nails and constitutes about a half of all nail abnormalities. This condition may affect toenails or fingernails. There are four types of onychomycosis. The most common form is distal subungual onychomycosis, which invades the nail bed and the underside of the nail plate. White superficial onychomycosis is caused by fungal invasion of the superficial layers of the nail plate. Proximal subungual onychomycosis is fungal penetration of the newly formed nail plate through the proximal nail fold. Lastly, Candidal onychomycosis is the invasion of the fingernail, usually occurring in persons who frequently immerse their hands in water.
The most common symptoms of a fungal nail infection is the nail becoming thickened and discolored (white, black, yellow, or green). As the infection progresses the nail can become brittle, with pieces breaking off or coming away from the toe or finger completely. If untreated, the skin can become inflamed and painful underneath and around the nail.
With the use of the ND:YAG 1064 laser, tiny pulses of light pass through the nail, surrounding tissue, and the fungus underneath. The laser light causes the pigment in the fungus to heat and kill or damage the fungal organism. The fungus is eradicated without any damage to the surrounding nail or skin.
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