Fungal nails / Ongles Fongiques

Thick, yellow, ugly toenails; Fungal nails. Find out how to treat them and tips on keeping it from coming back.

"I have thick yellow ugly toenails!"

My toenails are brownish and breaking off easily!”

Ah, this sounds like you might have Onychomycosis, which is just a fancy term for fungus in your toenails!

Fungus lives everywhere and is most often found in warm, moist places like a shower or swimming pool.

Again, I can’t say this often enough to people: “Don’t walk barefoot especially in public places!”. Walking barefoot in public places is like playing the lottery but this is one lottery you definitely don’t want to win!

What are fungal nails?

Fungus is very common, it loves mostly in moist, warm and dark places. It often finds its way into a toenail after an injury of some kind:  bumping your toe, dropping something on your toe, cutting the nail too short.  Once the fungus gets in there it starts multiplying like bunnies!

Your nail starts to get thicker, yellowy, brownish, maybe even black spots,  hard and crumbly.  This makes it look ugly and you don’t want to show your toes in public anymore.

Treatment for fungal nails

Topicals: most topicals are available with very little side-effects but also have a low success rate.  You have to apply the treatment religiously every day for at least 1 year and even then the success rate can vary between 1- to 25%.

Oral:  the oral treatment is a pill you take every day for 3-4 months.  It has a success rate of around 65% but there can be serious side-effects.  The most common one used today can cause side-effects with your liver.  Who wants to damage their liver for the sake of ugly toenails.

Laser: Health Canada is advising Canadians that all laser-based medical devices are not authorized to treat fungal nail infections (onychomycosis).   Before receiving any treatment for a fungal nail infection, Canadians should seek the advice of a health care professional (Physician, Podiatrist, Chiropodist) who can diagnose the infection and recommend an effective course of treatment. An incorrect diagnosis may result in unnecessary and inappropriate treatments.

At Bruyere Foot Specialists we use PTD technology, which consists of an LED light which activates a photosensitizer formulation that creates radical oxygen to kill the fungus.

As you may know, nothing in health care is 100% but the technique we use has shown amazing results and is safe with no side-effects!

Before and After

No matter which treatment you choose, it is important to know that nothing is foolproof.  Depending on how bad your fungal infection is, and how long its been there, your chances of getting rid of it will vary.

At Bruyere Foot Specialists, the Chiropodist will be very honest in letting you know if you can get rid of it, or if you may have to live with it.  You will also be given homework to do and the more you follow the instructions the better chance you have of success.

Tips for preventing thick yellow ugly toenails – fungal nails:

  • Don’t share nail clippers or nail files with others.
  • Don’t share shoes or socks with others.
  • Try not to injure your nail, such as by cutting it too short (trauma to the nail may lead to infections).
  • Wear dry cotton socks, and change them two or three times a day if necessary.
  • Wear dry shoes that allow air to circulate around your feet (tight, enclosed, moist shoes contribute to fungal toenail infections).
  • Wear shower sandals or shower shoes when you are at a public pool or shower.