Fungal Nail Infections FAQ

There are 3 types of nail fungi:
(1) Trichophyton Rubrum (70% of all cases)
(2) Trichophyton mentagrophytes (20% of all cases)
(3) Epidermophyton floccosun (3rd most common)


Warm, moist conditions are breeding grounds for nail fungus. i.e. swimming pools & showers.
The amount of laser treatments necessary to successfully treat fungal nail conditions depends
on severity of condition. 1-5 treatments are generally necessary 4-6 weeks apart.


Symptoms of Fungal Nail Infections
Thickened nail, brittle, crumble or ragged nail, Distorted in shape, Dull, no luster or shine, a dark colour, caused by debris building up under the nail


Risk Factors
Increasing age, Male gender (2X more common), Diabetes, (3X more common), Nail Trauma
(Onychogryphosis), Hyperhydrosis (excessive sweating), Peripheral vascular disease, Poor hygiene, Tinea Pedis (“athletes foot”), Immunodeficiency’s


Conclusively Diagnosing Fungal Nail Infections
A nail clipping should be sent by your doctor to the lab. Clipping the free edge of the nail will usually deliver an inconclusive report. Instead you must obtain a sample of the crumbly bit of nail, underneath. Clean area with an alcohol wipe first before taking the sample, to kill any surface bacteria. (If you don’t wipe surface of nail with an alcohol wipe first, then the bacteria could thrive & overtake the growth of fungus).

  • Scrape a nail sample and place it in a micro-trans envelope, then place it in another envelope and label it. This envelope will help the bacteria dry out and allow the fungus stay alive.
  • Keep the sample at room temperature and it will stay fresh for one week. In the event that arthrospores grow, and the conditions are correct, the fungus can actually stay alive for up to one year.
  • Your doctor can send the sample to the lab, where they will culture them and incubate them within 3 weeks.


80% of cases are Tricho rubrum, 20% Trichophytus (yeast infections are more common in finger nails). 30% of culture reports are culture negative , usually because of only the free edge of the nail is sent in or a scanty sample. A condition that resembles nail fungus is PSEUDOMAS- a bacterial infection. It’s easy for doctors to recognise this as its green/black looking.


Alternative Treatments Available
Daily topical lacquer – only 10% success; requires 1 year of application to achieve 10% success rate.
Internal medicines – Up to 90% success according to some doctors after three months, but can cause high liver stress & you cannot repeat the drug therapy if it doesn’t work.


Effectiveness of Laser Treatment
Cutera laser clinical trials have proved 85% complete clearance of nail fungus in one to two treatments.


Athletes Foot Prescription Cream
Get a prescription off your doctor for: Travocort cream & Travogen cream.
(1) First use TRAVOCORT cream – twice a day for 10 days
(2) Then use TRAVOGEN cream twice a day until athletes foot fungus heals, then continue to use this for 14 days after it heals Wash socks 60 degrees & sterilise the shoes.


Oral Medication
Oral tablets i.e. Sporonox, 100mg: (28 tablets) 2 tablets twice daily for 7 days (4 tablets per day) Break for 3 weeks, repeat for 7 days, break 3 weeks , repeat 7 days.

Local Pharmacy Price: €91 X 3 months = €273 in total 84 tablets in total, required.
Due to increased stress on the liver it is imperative that alcohol is not consumed whilst on this
medication. Sun exposure should be avoided whilst on this medications and a sunscreen must be worn, due to increased photosensitivity.