Dr Chris is back with a 60-second surgery focusing on arthritis, as well as demonstrating the latest cold laser technology to combat stubborn fungal nail infections!
He will also be looking at the latest health headlines, and launching our new annual Health Hero Awards.
There are many types of arthritis that cause a wide range of symptoms. Rheumatoid arthritis is more severe, but less common, affecting around 400,000 people in the UK, and often starts in people between the ages of 40 and 50. It occurs when the body's immune system attacks and destroys the affected joints, causing pain and swelling. This can lead to a reduction in movement and the breakdown of bone and cartilage.
Copper Heelers and Copper bracelet
- Copper, along with iron, helps in the formation of red blood cells. It also helps in keeping the blood vessels, nerves, immune system, and bones healthy.
- Copper has been used as a medicine for thousands of years. More recently, research has indicated that copper helps prevent inflammation in arthritis and similar diseases.
- Copper Heelers insoles took 18 months to develop, the shape was very important; maximum pain relief can be achieved when they are worn continuously, and makers claim pain relief can start within days. Can be found at The Original Copper Heeler.
- Hi-Power Copper Magnetic Bangle - Described as high power as the bangle has very large end magnets, which have a strong penetrating magnetic field. Both copper and magnets are believed to help with pain relief and arthritis. Can be found at North South Magnetics.
Fungal nail infection
Fungal spores find their way in via an impaired nail seal and thrive in the damp, dark conditions found in an unventilated shoe or trainer. Add other factors to the mix such as dirty nail cutting equipment, smoking, poor foot hygiene, exercise trauma, ill-fitting footwear and medical conditions such as diabetes or psoriasis.
Symptoms of nail fungus
- Thickened nails
- Crumbly or brittle nails
- Nail distorted in shape or separated
- Nail with no lustre or shine
- White, yellow or brown coloured nail
You may not need any treatment if your fungal nail infection is mild. However, if you do not treat the infection, there is a chance it will spread to other nails. Serious infections need to be treated. The main treatments are:
- Antifungal tablets: The treatment reaches your nail via your bloodstream. These can be very effective, however, you may have to take the tablets for several months to ensure that the infection has completely gone, stopping too early could mean the infection comes back.. An advantage is that they will clear any associated fungal skin infections, such as athlete's foot, at the same time. Side effects can sometimes include: headache, itching, loss of sense of taste, nausea or diarrhoea.
- Antifungal nail paint: Not considered as effective as tablets because it has to be painted onto the infected nail and work its way through to the infection. It can be difficult to reach all of the infection. A fingernail can need around six months of treatment, and a toenail up to twelve months. Dr Chris was demonstrating with Curanail.
- Keep your feet cool and dry and wear shoes that allow your feet to breathe.
- Treat athlete's foot with antifungal medicine as soon as possible.
- Clip your nails to keep them short - Use a separate pair of clippers to cut the infected nail, to avoid spreading the infection.
- Consider seeking treatment from a podiatrist if thickened toenails cause discomfort when walking.
- Replace old footwear, as this could be contaminated with fungal spores.
Lunula Low Level Laser
Demonstration by Podiatrist Martine Abrahams from the London Nail Laser Clinic - The pain-free cold laser or Lunula Low Level Laser tackles the underlying cause of the infection, rather than just the symptoms. (Course of treatment £695.00 for a course of 4 treatments spread 1-4 weeks apart. 4 x 12 minute sessions required. Results are seen over a few months, with a new nail growing through in around 12 months).
How does it work?
The light is passed over the whole foot, and has the following benefits: 1) stimulates and improves nail bed blood supply. 2) improves immune response. 3) breaks down the fungal cells walls by disturbing their oxygen content, killing spores. 4) seen to improve Athlete's Foot.