Photodynamic Therapy for nail fungus using light…. safely and gently
Photodynamic Antimicrobial Therapy for the treatment of Onychomycosis
Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the nail and is estimated to affect up to 1.6 million Australians.
Two currently available treatments include antifungal nail lacquers that are applied daily/weekly and
prescribed oral medications.
It can be frustrating to have to apply the lacquers daily/weekly especially considering it takes at least 3
months to see improvement, given the slow growth of toenails. Furthermore, prescribed oral medications can interact with other drugs and can produce adverse effects making them unsuitable for some people.
Examples of Treatment Process
What is PACT?
PACT is an abbreviation and a scientific term that stands for Photodynamic Antimicrobial Therapy.
With this method , bacteria, viruses and fungi can
be killed off effectively on skin surfaces and nails
How does it work?
Micro organisms including bacteria,viruses and fungi all possess a cell wall, whereas typical human cells only have a cell membrane. Upon application of the PACT Fungal Nail Gel, the dye selectively targets the fungal cell walls making them sensitive to light.
The fungal cells can then be destroyed upon exposure to light of a specific wavelength. This results in a
chemical reaction that kills targeted cells without
harming healthy tissue.
How many treatments?
This is ultimately determined by your Podiatrist, taking into account the length of time that you have had the infection as well as the severity.
A typical treatment plan is
- Mechanical debridement of the affected nail
- Application of photosensitising gel
- Appllication of the light source for 9.5 minutes
- The total treatment should take approximately 30 minutes
- Repeated applications 3 times in one week
- Review after 3 months
Tips to prevent reinfection include
- Thoroughly dry feet after bathing
- Apply a topical antifungal solution daily
- Rotate shoes regularly to allow them to air and dry
- Apply an antifungal powder or spray to rid shoes of fungus
- Wash hosiery in hot water and even apply an antifungal solution to the washing cycle
- Wear thongs in public showers and at swimming centres
- Wear socks that contain silver
- Disinfect shower floor
- Minimise micro trauma to the nails (which makes you more susceptible to infection) by ensuring correct shoe fit
- Don’t share nail clippers
Only for use by a qualified medical practitioner.
It is essential for successful PACT Treatment to prevent reinfection.