What is PACT Therapy for Fungal Nail Infection?
PACT Therapy – Photodynamic Antimicrobial Therapy
What is a Fungal Nail Infection?
Fungal Nail Infection (Onychomycosis) is an unsightly, embarrassing problem that research claims about 8% of the UK population suffers from at some point in their life. It is more common in men and the incidence increases with age.
Infection can involve all or part of the nail, including the nail plate, nail bed and root of the nail; often starting along the outside rim of the nail which turns yellowish, brown or even green (with the inclusion of both fungal and bacterial infection)!
Symptoms of Fungal Nail Infection
- The nail could change colour, often indicated by yellowing
- The nail may thicken, become flaky and break easily as the infection spreads beneath the nail plate
- Pressure may be created at the end of the toe due to the nail thickness, causing pain
- A distinctive unpleasant odour may ensue in more severe cases
Existing Treatment Issues
There are many historical methods of treating Fungal Nail which include: over the counter topical treatments (lacquers, tinctures and ointments). However, it can be frustrating and a long term process to apply these daily over many months. Your GP may also prescribe systemic oral medication, but it depends on the individual’s medical history and suitability to be prescribed and tolerate the medication, as monthly liver function tests are required due to the potential side effects.
Therefore, until now, therapy has been far from effective or easy and in some cases, has proven unsafe for many.
What is PACT Therapy?
PACT is an abbreviation and scientific term that stands for Photodynamic Antimicrobial Therapy.
This treatment has been used effectively in medicine since the 1990s for the treatment of tumours, skin diseases and wound infections.
The fungal cells, unlike human cells, possess a cell wall. This cell wall is stained with a special photosensitizing gel-dye that is harmless to human cells but selectively makes fungi sensitive to a specific wavelength of light and means the bacteria and nail fungus is destroyed.
The treatment plan is safe, highly effective and does not require a GP referral for We Fix Feet to carry out PACT treatment. PACT is also safe and effective for use on patients with Diabetes.
How Many PACT Treatments Will I Need?
This will depend upon the severity of the Fungal Nail Infection and number of nails infected. However, an initial 3 treatments within a 7 day period, plus a follow-up treatment at 1 month is required. Additional monthly treatments may be required depending upon the severity of the infection.
What Happens During a PACT Treatment for Fungal Nail Infection?
Before the light therapy can be used, a thickened nail needs to be thinned to ensure the fungus is penetrated within the nail. This painless procedure takes only a few minutes per nail. A special photosensitising blue gel dye is then applied to the fungal nail and left on for a minimum of 10 minutes. The light therapy is then applied to the nail for 9.5 minutes for each nail being treated.
Is PACT Safe for the Treatment of Fungal Nail Infection?
PACT® Therapy does not use drugs, acids, lasers and is a very safe and effective treatment. As such, it can be used on patients with Diabetes. Following the PACT® Therapy session, the nail will retain a blue discolouration. However, this will soon disappear after treatment, but in rare cases, may remain for up to one week.
How Long Until It Works?
The sessions are short and effective. However, waiting for the new, healthy nail to grow takes a few months. As everyone's nails grow at a slightly different rate, the nail growth is evident at between 3 and 6 months.
Preventing Fungal Re-infection of the Toenails
Preventing re-infection is important to have a positive outcome. Socks and hosiery should be washed on a hot (60°C) cycle. Shoes should be treated with an anti-fungal preparation. Fungal skin infection (Athlete’s Foot) should also be treated. We recommend Mycota Cream and Mycota Powder. However, consult your Foot Care Expert at We Fix Feet for advice.
To optimise the success of the PACT treatment, it is essential to minimise the risk of re-infection
Tips to minimise the risk of Fungal Nail Re-infection:
- Use a topical anti-fungal solution applied daily
- Regularly rotate your shoes for drying and aeration
- Treat shoes and socks with an anti-fungal when starting treatment and regularly after its completion
- Bring your shoes to We Fix Feet for the Klenz silver nano antibacterial treatment – only £2/per pair
- Wash hosiery on a 60°C cycle
- Wear flip-flops in changing areas of gyms and pools
- Silver impregnated hosiery can reduce re-infection
- Disinfect shower floor
- Minimise trauma to the nail with correct fitting shoes
- Do not share unsterilised nail clippers