For people with toenail fungus, there is no good time to wear sandals. Not even at the pool in the middle of summer. Toenail fungus causes nails to become thick, yellow and brittle in a way that looks pretty ugly and can be painful. Sufferers can spend years and hundreds of dollars trying to clear the infection with drugs, topical treatments, and home remedies, sometimes to no avail. It tends to be a cosmetic issue for the younger set and a pain issue for older folks.
“The problem is huge. It is bigger than you can imagine,” says Washington podiatrist Stephen J. Kominsky. “I would say 70 percent of the patients who come into my office have fungal infections on their toenails.” There may be hope. Podiatrists have begun using and recommending laser treatments to combat the infection.
A laser is an FDA approved treatment option for onychomycosis (toenail fungus infection). The science behind it: it sends laser energy into and through the nail and/or surrounding skin that is absorbed by the pigment in the fungal organisms. When the laser light is absorbed it causes the pigment in the organisms to heat and this heat kills the fungal organisms. With the laser treatment, there are no unpleasant side effects. Most patients only feel warmth during the treatment and it can be reduced with ice if the procedure becomes uncomfortable. The laser treats the infection over the course of one- three recommended sessions, depending on the level of infection. However, the improvement in the nail’s appearance will take a bit longer as the damaged nail needs to grow out. Typically toenails grow at around 1mm a month. Each patient’s experience is different and on-going treatment should be discussed with your Laser Nail clinician.
They are topical oils such as Tea tree oil and Oregano oil that are great anti-fungal and that we also recommend using in conjunction with your laser treatments to prevent and reinfection but with any topical application of anything, it usually can't get to the root of it to kill the fungus when used alone.
When going through any treatment process, you want to prevent recontamination. Go through and sanitize or throw out anything that came in contact with your nails: Sheets, showers, tubs, shoes, socks, nail clippers and groomer tools, nail polish (if you get your nails done, take your own fresh polish)
There are oral medications as an option as well but I encourage you to try the non-invasive laser treatment first. It is quick, painless, effective and more affordable the other treatment options.
Visit "Our Services" page for more information, schedule a treatment or consultation.