Laser Nail Fungus Treatment
Laser treatments for nail fungus have become fairly common since the procedure was approved by the Food and Drug Administration four years ago. Several kinds of laser therapies are now available, but there is limited evidence that the treatments work. The appeal of lasers is that they selectively heat and destroy harmful fungi while sparing healthy surrounding tissue. And some small studies and lab tests suggest they can kill the fungi and cure the condition. Millions of Americans experience fungal nail infection, otherwise known as onychomycosis. Some of the symptoms include: discoloration with yellow, greenish appearance or yellow/white streaks, brittleness, change in nail shape, loss of luster and shine, thickening of the nail, loosening or lifting up of the nail, and the entrapment of debris.
The Challenge of Nail Fungus
Nail fungus is an embarrassing chronic condition that impacts a patient’s quality of life and can lead to serious health problems for those with diabetes or immune disorders. The treatment of nail fungus is difficult because the infection is under and inside the nail, making it hard for other treatments to reach it.
Laser Solutions For Clearer Nails
Laser procedures offer an alternative solution for clearer nails. Cynosure’s PinPointe FootLaser, for example, offers a unique combination of wavelength and pulse structure that’s absorbed by the fungus at a faster rate than the surrounding healthy tissue.
Micropulses of the Nd:YAG laser light pass through the nail without causing damage to the nail or the surrounding skin. At the time of the procedure, the nail will not become instantly clear—it takes time to grow out.
Patients experience minimal discomfort due to the specific pulse modulation, used by the PinPointe laser. Some may express a warming sensation on the area. Typically, one procedure improves the appearance of the nail; however, you will determine if the patient needs follow-up care.
Are fungal nail infections common?
Yes. By some estimates, as many as 36 million Americans have fingernails or toenails (usually toenails) that have become discolored and disfigured due to a fungal infection of one kind or another.
How can I tell if I have one of these infections?
A nail that is discolored is an early sign. But you can’t know for sure until you see a doctor and have a sample of your nail examined in a laboratory. Nails can become thick and discolored for reasons other than a fungal infection.
How long does the procedure take?
The procedure takes about 30 minutes for all ten toes.
Does the procedure hurt?
You many feel a slight warming sensation during the procedure but it is virtually painless.
How many procedures will I need?
Many people will see results in just one session, but more may be needed if the fungus is bad or if your toes become re-infected.