Fungal infections of the nails, especially of the toenails, are one of the most common fungal diseases. About five percent of the population requests treatment for these, but the estimated number of people affected is approximately four to five times higher. Most patients consider the changes and discoloration of the nails as unattractive and maybe a little embarrassing, but they do not pay this too much heed. Onychomycosis is not a minor cosmetic problem only, however; if left untreated, the infection can spread and eventually destroy the nail cells completely, which leads to the separation of the nail plate from the nail bed.
This infection can be treated with special nail polishes or anti-mycotics, but they have to be used for a very long time, do not always work and can cause side effects. The infection does not heal by itself and may destroy the nail plate completely. In addition, other nails may become infected and disorders of blood circulation are more likely (due to shoes that press on the toes). A new method for the regrowth of beautiful clear nails is laser treatment with the QuadroStarPRO980 from Asclepion. The high-energy light emitted by the laser penetrates the nail and is absorbed. This leads to the heating of the nail and the surrounding skin. The special infrared wavelength of 980 nm of the QuadroStarPRO980 is able to penetrate through the nail plate and to heat the nail bed. During the laser treatment, the handpiece is moved quickly in a snake-like pattern from left to right, from top to bottom etc. above the nail (including about 2mm skin surrounding the nail) until a noticeable warming sensation can be felt. The treatment is painless and its goal is to keep a tolerable temperature as long as possible in order to heat the parasites causing the infection long enough to destroy them. The treatment time depends on the size of the nail (a big toe takes about 2 minutes) and on how much the nail is discolored and thickened. Normally, one or two treatments are sufficient to achieve satisfactory results.
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