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Fungal Nail Infection on Big Toe

The Laser Studios is one of the best equipped and most experienced Private Laser Removal Specialists in the UK. From our conveniently located, modern clinic in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, we are able able to treat two extremely common conditions that affect the feet and toenails with the use of Lasers and Cryotherapy, those being: 

Fungal Nail (Onychomycosis) and Verrucas (Plantar Warts)

Problems with the feet are not usually a hot topic of conversation but it is estimated that 10% of adults will suffer from Fungal Nail Infection, and this figure increases to up to 50% as we age.  

Verrucas and warts are even more prevalent and, whilst more common in children and young people, are a condition that will affect most people at some point in their lives.


What is Fungal Nail Infection?-

Onychomychosis, or Fungal Nail Infection, as it is more commonly known, is an infection of the nail and surrounding skin that can occur due to a number of causes.  Toenails are more commonly affected than fingernails and people over 55, and young, active people are most likely to be affected.


What are the signs?-

Often only visible in just one or two nails, the infection can be harboured in other nails and the first sign is often just a visible indication, including thickening and discolouration of the nail.  In extreme cases the nail can become brittle and crumbly and the skin around and under the nail can become inflamed.  The nail may develop white or yellow patches where it has come away from the nail bed and, if left untreated, the infection may eventually destroy the nail and become painful and difficult to walk on.

What are the causes?

There are several causes and means of picking-up the infection and being aware of them may help prevent future contraction:

  • Often spread from another skin infection such as athlete's foot

  • From direct contact with a surface when not wearing footwear such as floors in public and communal bathing, showering, and changing areas.

  • Genetic predisposition

  • Damage caused from a trauma to the nail or toe and over-cutting and trimming nails

  • Finger nail infection can be transferred from toe nails

  • Not changing/rotating shoes and socks frequently and sharing footwear and socks

  • Can result from a visit to a nail salon with poor hygiene policies or bad practices 

How can Fungal Nail be treated?-

Laser is considered by many to be the most effective Fungal Nail Removal Treatment.  Other treatments for Onychomycosis include oral medicines, topical creams, and nail lacquers. Whilst all methods have been proven to be effective, there are several types of Fungal Nail infection and no one treatment offers the best solution for all cases, however, if one isn't effective then another is sure  

What is the benefit of Laser treatment for Fungal Nail Infection?

Creams, lacquers, and oral medications need to be applied, or taken, once or twice daily, sometimes for between 6 and 12 months to achieve results.  Laser treatments, however, are carried-out in just 15 minute sessions, four weeks apart, and results can be seen after just one session.  In many cases, the infection can be cleared in as little as 3 to 5 sessions, depending upon it's severity and age, and so Laser is likely to be the quickest method of removal.

How does Laser treatment remove Fungal Nail Infection?

During the treatment, the laser is fired repeatedly at the nail and the surrounding skin, where the fungus may also be found.  Passing over the nail and skin several times, the laser creates a gradual heating effect that builds until the temperature is sufficient to kill the fungus.   

A large percentage of the fungus, and perhaps all, will be destroyed during this process.

What Happens after the Laser treatment?-

Immediately after the treatment, there is no visible sign or any notable adverse sensation and you are able to put shoes and socks back on (bring fresh socks) and carry on as normal. Certain activities need to be avoided as a precautionary measure immediately following treatment, and your consultant will cover all of these at the end of the treatment.  

How can it be prevented from re-occurring?-

There are many causes attributed to the contraction of  Fungal Nail infection and by being aware of these, and by following a few simple steps, further re-occurrance can be avoided:

Immediately after; 

  • Boilwash all socks or throw away and buy new ones and wash socks at 90 degrees

  • Buy a foot spray/powder and shoe sanitiser and use daily and every time you change footwear and socks.

  • Rotate shoes regularly and avoid wearing the same shoes daily (buy more if necessary).

  • Change shoes and socks regularly, even twice a day if particularly active.

  • Avoid damage to nails or over-cutting as this could increase risk of infection.

  • Don't share footwear, socks or towels

  • If in regular contact with surfaces in communal or bathing areas, use disposable footwear of flipflops etc to avoid contact with the surface.

  • Replace old shoes as these could be contaminated

  • ensure footwear doesn't apply pressure on any part of the nail, forcing it upwards.

  • Avoid exercise that causes pressure on the toes such as press-ups, or find an alternative means of carrying the exercise out - this pressure could force the nail away from the nail bed, allowing the fungus to penetrate deeper.

Verruca (Plantar Wart) on ball of Foot
Verruca on bottom of foot

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foot & Toenail conditions


What is a Verruca?

Verruca is what we call warts when they are on the feet.  They are caused in the same way as warts which is by the infection of a small cut or break in the skin by a virus known as the human papillomavirus.  When they enter the skin they stimulate the rapid production of cells which form a lump in the surface of the skin.

What are the causes?

Verrucas and warts are highly contagious and are easily contracted by touch, either from skin to skin, or from surfaces.  Areas such as changing rooms and wet areas when feet are softened by prolonged soaking or sweat from exercise are particularly high risk.

What are the best methods of Treatment?

There are many methods of treating verrucas and warts and some can be bought 'off-the shelf' or are available from 'behind the counter', and in some cases, if caught early enough, these can be effective.  For the majority of growths though, these are not quite up to the job and a more effective and substantial form of treatment is required.  At The Laser Studios, we employ two methods of removal:


This process relies on the application of a very fine jet of freezing gas to freeze the liquid in the cells of the growth.  This freezing results in the outer membrane of the cells becoming broken and over a period of 7-10 days the cells gradually die and come away as a sort of scab.  This scab leaves behind fresh, new skin which, if required can be frozen again until we have reached the depth where the virus is located and have been able to freeze it and destroy it.


The use of lasers for verruca removal and treatment can be very effective and can often succeed where other treatments have failed.  When using lasers we are aiming to deliver heat into the area around the virus to do three things; firstly, to directly target the virus and destroy it, secondly to temporarily impair the bloodflow to the area and so restrict the supply of blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the virus to help prevent it from recovering, and thirdly, to trigger the immune system so that it helps to repair the area whilst also attacking the virus. 

Cryo and Laser Combination

Due to the virility of the virus, several treatments will be required and we find that a cmbined treatment of cryotherapy and laser can often offer a more effective solution, particularly for deeper, more encrusted verrucas.  This method aims to provide a 1 + 1 = 3 result, helping to reduce the tough, outer skin faster enabling faster deep penetration.

What Happens after the Laser or Cryo treatment?-

Immediately after the treatment, there is no visible sign or any notable adverse sensation and you are able to put shoes and socks back on (bring fresh socks) and carry on as normal.  Certain activities need to be avoided as a precautionary measure immediately following treatment, such as avoidance of sunlight, and your consultant will cover all of these at the end of the treatment.

How much does Fungal Nail Laser Treatment Cost?

The cost of treatment is dependent upon the extent and severity of the infection - these have an impact on the number of treatments required.  If for example, the infection is relatively new and in only one nail, then the number of treatments required will be less than if it has been left to spread to all toes over a long period of time and nail condition has deteriorated.

We offer a price per session, and a course option, and the number of treatments required will be advised after assessment by the consultant during a free consultation.​

How do I find out more?

Hopefully the information provided here has been useful but if you want to find out more about your personal case, the next step is to come in and see us.  Our clinic is located in Hitchin, Hertfordshire and we are just minutes from the A1 and M1, and only 30 minutes from Kings Cross which means we are easily accessible from all over the UK and not just neighboring Bedfordshire, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Middlesex, and London. 

Consultations are free and all aspects will be fully covered and all questions answered, and in some cases, it may also be possible to begin treating the infection during the same appointment.  To book online simply CLICK HERE to take you to our Booking Page and follow the simple instructions. Alternatively, appointments can be booked by calling the clinic number at the top of the page.

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