ClearSteps™ is an innovative new procedure for treating onychomycosis (toenail fungus). It is a safe and non-invasive toenail fungus treatment that uses laser technology. Onychomycosis, also known as nail infection, is a tenacious nail fungus infection. It is the most frequent nail disorder in adults, accounting for one-third of all nail diseases. Fingernails are affected less often than toenails. Onychomycosis can cause nails to become discoloured. Advanced infection causes opaque, fragile nails that oftentimes separate from the nail bed.
How does this toenail fungus treatment work?
The procedure involves passing a laser over the infected toenail and neighbouring tissue, resulting in a photo-thermal heating effect that weakens and kills the fungus that causes the infection. A single toenail fungus treatment usually takes about 45 minutes for five nails. We treat all five nails to prevent the fungus from spreading further or recurring. This is a requirement to ensure the fungus is no longer present. You may feel a heating sensation during the treatment. Nevertheless, you can leave directly after the procedure and continue your activities. You may also feel some slight nail discolouration after the treatment.
What are the benefits?
You may see improvement after a single ClearStep session; however, patients must complete 4 treatments. A successful procedure will result in the growth of a new, normal nail. However, it can take up to one year to see a completely clear nail, depending on the rate of growth.
The most frequent cause of nail infection is dermatophyte fungus that invades the dead tissue of skin or nails. Other causes include contact with certain moulds or species of yeasts. The overall prevalence of nail infection ranges from 2 to 15 % of the population.
Who is at risk of getting Onychomycosis?
Contact with infective fungal agents causes toenail fungus. Since these agents are everywhere in our environment, everyone is at risk for infection. Common sources of infection could include public showers, swimming pools, nail spas and gums. Nail trauma and tight-fitting shoes can also encourage infection.
How to identify toenail fungus?
One or more of the following signs may indicate that you suffer from onychomycosis. Distorted, thickened or discoloured nails, yellow or white stripes on or beneath the nails, brittle, crumbly or ragged nails and nails that have separated from the underlying skin.
What are the other treatment options?
Common toenail fungus treatment options include topical drugs and oral antifungal drugs. Topical medication is applied directly to the nails every day for 6 to 12 months. This approach is rarely practical because the drug has difficulty passing through the toenail to reach the infection site. Oral drugs can be effective and are taken for 6 to 12 months. However, there are several side effects associated with these drugs, and in some cases, weekly blood analyses are required to keep track of liver function.
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