Nail fungus is among the most common nail abnormalities. It is a global problem, affecting about 5% of the world’s population, and over 20% of adults over 60 years old. The signs include discolored nails, which progressively thicken or even crumble. The condition may range from mild to severe, where it becomes painful.
The risk factor for developing the fungal infection is old age. Older people have a diminished blood flow and a more extended period of exposure to the fungus. A history of skin conditions such as psoriasis and athlete’s foot also increases the risk of developing the condition.
People are advised to avoid walking barefoot in public areas as it also increases the risk of developing nail fungus.
If nail fungus is not treated it can cause permanent damage to the nails and spread to the feet.
Treatment options for nail fungus
For a long time, there has not been a permanent solution for nail fungus. The available treatment options do not entirely get rid of the fungus. The ones that work are temporary; the infection may go away but comes back again after some time.
The available options include oral treatments, polishes, creams, and laser treatment.
- Antifungal pills
This can be considered the most effective option available today. Just like the other options, it may also take some time before patients see the effectiveness. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised not to use pills, since the drugs can damage the fetus if pregnant women use them.
In addition, the pills may have severe side effects, mostly related to liver damage.
- Topical treatment
There is a wide range of topical treatments for nail fungus. Although they are safer than the pills, they have their own set of cons. For one, it takes a long time before the results are seen and the effectiveness is quite limited. Also, the treatment is costly.
- Laser treatment
A large number of laser companies offer laser treatment for nail fungus, but the procedure is painful, effectiveness is very limited (such that the FDA did not recognize it as a curing method) and it’s also quite costly.
To summarize, to date, there is no real good solution for nail fungus.
Cold Plasma for nail fungus treatment
So far, there has not been a non-systemic treatment that can be considered entirely effective. However, there is some good news for people with nail fungus. Thanks to medical innovation, an effective treatment option may now be available: cold plasma.
Recent studies have shown the potential of cold plasma in the treatment for nail fungus. Nova Plasma is playing an important role in developing plasma treatment for nail fungus. The treatment is not available for use yet, but in-vitro studies have shown that it may be the perfect nail fungus solution.
- How will the treatment work?
As mentioned above, nail fungus is hard to get rid of, and Cold plasma could be the saving grace for this menace.
Cold plasma has a wide array of medical applications ranging from curing wounds, removing tumors, skin disinfection, coagulating blood and the list of things cold plasma technology can do is ever growing.
To understand how the treatment will work, it is vital to understand how the fungi exist. They thrive in warm and moist environments. Nail fungus also thrives in areas with slow blood flow and low immunity, making the toes their victim.
Nail fungus starts as a white or yellowish spot under your nails’ tips, which later spreads out to the corner of the nails.
Studies have shown that the application of cold plasma reduced the population of fungi in the applied area, including under the nail. On top of making the area inconducive for their survival, the cold plasma creates a mix of ions and excited chemical species that kill the fungi and disinfect the toe.
- How long will the treatment take to clear the fungi?
One of the drawbacks of the available nail fungi treatment is that they require a significant amount of commitment and time by the patient and take a long time until they clear the infection.
Cold plasma is expected to have a superior performance both in treatment time and outcome compared to the existing treatments. The procedures will last about -5 minutes per infected toe for each session.
In addition, since cold plasma treatment does not have side effects, the treatment is sustainable and can be completed properly, whereas patients using pills may have to discontinue treatment due to the side effects, without giving the infection time to clear.
Furthermore, because there are no side effects with cold plasma, patients will not have a hard time jumping back to the treatment if reinfection occurs.
Studies done in recent years offer hope that cold plasma can effectively combat bacteria and fungi. Nail fungus has had a history of difficulty in removal and its treatment can be tedious and expensive. In addition, if specific treatments are used, the patients may suffer serious side effects.
Cold plasma may offer an effective, safe and affordable option. It takes a significantly shorter time to clear the infection and the rate of recurrence is expected to be lower compared to the other treatments.