Laser Treatment for Toenail Fungus: There’s New Proof it Really Works

Laser Treatment for Toenail FungusWhen you glance down at your feet, do you see a series of yellow and white blotches on your bare toenails? Have the edges of those nails seemingly thickened over the last few weeks? Do they have rough edges and emit a funky odor, especially when you try to clip your nails? If so, it could be onychomycosis that’s the cause of it all.

It’s an unpleasant condition that has a tendency to creep up on people when they least expect it. That’s because it’s caused by a fungus that’s too small to be seen by the naked eye. So by the time it’s noticeable, damage has already been done to the nail bed and exposed nail.

Many people who find themselves in such unpleasant straits try a series of home remedies at the outset. They may cut their nails down to a painful size and slather on a wide variety of creams. Although those actions may provide some relief, they can be messy, costly and ineffective in the long run.

Good thing there are other ways to return one’s toenails back to normal. One of the most effective, affordable options is scheduling laser treatments designed to target toenail fungus. It’s FDA approved and has been used by podiatrists for years.

In April 2014, the Journal of the German Society of Dermatology published the results of a study that demonstrated the value of laser treatment for stubborn toenail fungus problems. The publication, Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, also published an article on the subject in February 2014.

They noted the value as well but also recommended that additional studies should be completed. Many are hoping that those additional studies will help narrow down treatment options and establish a list of best practices for physicians seeking to use lasers to treat fungal infections. To learn more about the treatments and how they may resolve your toenail fungus dilemma, please contact us.

Laser Treatment for Toenail Fungus Can Banish Beach Time Embarrassment

Laser Treatment for Toenail FungusSwitching from winter snow boots to open toe shoes and sandals in the late spring is a happy occasion for many Americans. However, there are those that dread the seasonal change of footwear because of toenail fungus related embarrassment. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it is one of the most common nail disorders in the nation.

The infections are typically caused by dermatophytes, molds and yeasts that thrive in moist, balmy and lightless environments. When they come into contact with a person’s toenail beds, they can cause multiple aesthetic and health issues. Among them are distorted, discolored, thick and brittle nails. In more serious cases, odor, discharge and painful skin inflammation may occur.

Over the years, assorted toenail fungus treatment methods have arisen. Unfortunately, not all of them have proven to be worthwhile. Laser treatment for toenail fungus, however, is one that has proven to be very effective. It typically takes place right in your St. Louis podiatrist office. The podiatrist uses an FDA approved/cleared laser during the procedure. There are quite a few different lasers on the market today including the PinPointe™ FootLaser™ and GenesisPlus™. The first is manufactured by NuvoLase, Inc. and the later is a product of Cutera.

Regardless of the brand or type, the laser beam is aimed directly at the patient’s clean, polish free toenails. The beam, in turn, kills the existing fungus without harming anything else in the surrounding area. As such, there is generally no pain and no downtime. Depending on the severity of the fungus, multiple 30-minute long laser treatments for toenail fungus removal may be needed. Afterward, the person’s toenails will start to improve in appearance over time. The amount of time before results are visibly seen vary based on each individual’s situation.

Once the fungal infection has been resolved, patients are often encouraged to prevent further outbreaks by taking a variety of precautionary measures. Those precautionary measures include, but are not restricted to, the use of topical anti-fungal creams, moisture wicking socks, anti-fungal powders, shower shoes and well fitting footwear. To learn more or ask questions about laser treatment for toenail fungus, please contact our office and schedule a consultation with the foot doctor.

Considering Laser Treatment for Toenail Fungus

Laser Treatment for Toenail FungusA toenail fungus infection can quickly develop once an organism known as a Dermatophyte begins to feed on the keratin and protein stores contained within your nail. This fungus can rapidly drain these vital substances from your toenail, causing the painful and unsightly symptoms associated with this serious medical disorder. Unfortunately, toenail fungus (Onychomycosis) is very challenging to successfully treat, as repeat infections are common. Continually struggling with fungal infections can very often lead to discoloration, disfiguration, and eventual destruction of the entire nail.

If you currently suffer from this disease, you’re probably all too familiar with the medications commonly prescribed to treat it. Although these drugs can provide very effective results and relief from this debilitating condition, there are certainly serious side effects strongly associated with these treatment regimens. Many Missouri podiatrists will often prescribe an oral medication, such as Lamisil or Sporanox to combat toenail fungal infections. Unfortunately, these drugs may cause minor side effects, possible liver damage, and can even be life threatening.

Alternative treatments for these fungal infections are available to those suffering with the condition. Many people aren’t aware that a laser can be effectively used to alleviate the symptoms of this disorder, and the number of podiatrists offering laser treatment for toenail fungus is increasing. This option is certainly one to explore and consider if you don’t want to risk the side effects of medication.

Scientific research studies have revealed that the laser inhibits overall fungal growth and provides the patient’s body with an opportunity to heal itself. Using a laser to combat toenail fungal infection has been reported to be effective in over 80% of patients who have tried it. A typical treatment session lasts anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes in duration, and a patient may be required to go through 2 to 4 laser sessions (spread out over time), depending on how severe the infection is.

If you have made the educated decision to get Missouri laser treatment for toenail fungus infection, please note that we do not currently offer this procedure at our office. However, do not hesitate to contact our Missouri foot clinics if you have any questions or would like to explore other toenail fungus treatment options that we have seen great success with over the years.