“For millions of suffers, nail fungus is an unsightly and potentially painful problem. Recently, nail salons have been in the news because of reports of unsanitary practices. Singer and American Idol judge, Paula Abdul went before the California Senate and Business Committee to urge them to pass legislation to provide stricter rules and regulations for nail salons in California. 

Abdul's concern stemmed from an incident in 2004, which had her in and out of hospitals for a year after a manicure gave her a nail infection. The most common way that nail fungus is spread is by using utensils that haven't been properly sterilized. One California salon spread infection through more than 110 of their clients. The sources were spa chairs that hadn't been properly cleaned.”

Although spas may be a source of the infection, they are certainly not the only route of transmission. Fungal spores can be picked up anywhere you may walk without shoes.  Showers, gyms, pools and even garden soil can be the source of these organisms. The source of infection is unknown in Madonna's case.  In April 2012, tabloids noticed in a runway picture that Madonna had a nail fungus when wearing open toed footwear.

If you find your nails are discoloured and thickened due to nail fungus, what are your options for treatment?

You could try a topical over-the-counter medication, which you would just rub over the surface of the nail. This is typically a relatively inexpensive method for treating nail fungus. The difficulty with a purely topical medicine is that, alone, it's virtually ineffective for treating the infection. It would only provide temporary relief from the pain and discomfort. The next option would be to go to your physician and get a prescription medication. This would actually get into your blood stream to treat the nail fungus from the inside out. Oral medications must be taken for a minimum of 3 months, cost more than $300 and have many side effects.

In recent years FDA and Health Canada have approved the use of 1064nm lasers to effectively eradicate nail fungus. This highly effective procedure is performed 2-3 times over a 4-6 month period and it is painless.

For more information, contact our office or your local Foot Specialist.