Laser Toenail Fungus Treatment

Treat nail fungus before it spreads

Onychomycosis is a common, embarrassing and frustrating condition, affecting all ages and genders. It is an infection of a toenail or fingernail by a common fungus, most often Trichophyton rubrum, which also causes Athlete’s Foot, Jock Itch, Ringworm, and several other conditions. The fungus grows in the nail, leading to discoloration, breakage and separation from the nailbed. It often invades the nail bed, sometimes the surrounding tissue, and in severe cases, the growing tissue of the nail matrix. It is contagious. It may be painful. It can lead to bacterial infections in the surrounding tissue. It can persist for many years, and may eventually cause permanent damage to the nails, or difficulty walking. It is often difficult to treat. Sometimes the fungus is resistant to medications. Medications often do not reach the fungus, growing deep in the nail or nailbed, in adequate quantities.​

Treatments include local (topical) medications, prescribed or over the counter. These are safe, and occasionally work, but usually do not. Prolonged treatment is needed. Oral antifungal medications, such as terbinafine, itraconazole, or fluconazole, are usually more effective than topical treatments. They can be expensive. Blood tests are often recommended, to test for liver injury. The drugs have numerous potential adverse effects, and drug-drug interactions, and are not recommended during pregnancy. Usually, treatment must be continued for at least several months. Oral antifungal medications are prescribed by many primary care physicians, dermatologists, and podiatrists, and consequently we do not prescribe them. Treatment may also include complete removal of the affected nails.

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Recent research has found that laser treatment is highly effective for onychomycosis, due to all common fungi, even when other treatments have failed. The exact mechanism is unknown. The most effective lasers concentrate large amounts of light energy, in ultra-short bursts of a few billionths of a second, into a small area, to penetrate deeply enough to reach the fungus where it lives.

Treatments include local (topical) medications, prescribed or over the counter. These are safe, and occasionally work, but usually do not. Prolonged treatment is needed. Oral antifungal medications, such as terbinafine, itraconazole, or fluconazole, are usually more effective than topical treatments. They can be expensive. Blood tests are often recommended, to test for liver injury. The drugs have numerous potential adverse effects, and drug-drug interactions, and are not recommended during pregnancy. Usually, treatment must be continued for at least several months. Oral antifungal medications are prescribed by many primary care physicians, dermatologists, and podiatrists, and consequently we do not prescribe them. Treatment may also include complete removal of the affected nails.

What you will feel: Our laser nail treatments are usually not painful. You may feel nothing, or there may be a mild sensation of heat or stinging, at the time of the treatment. No local anesthetics, and no other pain medications are needed.

Our treatment uses a combination of two laser wavelengths, 1064 nm and 532 nm, delivered by our Ellman Tri-Lase laser, for greatest efficacy. Although a single treatment is usually effective, we recommend a second treatment after about a month. Severely affected nails may require more extensive treatment. Our regular fee includes the second treatment, and additional treatments for up to a year, if required. We recommend a program of hand and foot hygiene, beginning immediately after treatment, to help prevent reinfection. Also, a daily topical medication is often recommended during the first month or longer. A recently published multi-national study* using the same laser technique, found that fungal cultures were negative in more than 95% of patients after 3 months, following completion of two treatments.

What you will see: At first, there is no visible difference, even though the fungus itself may be dead. This is normal. Because the visible nail plate is non-living, it cannot heal itself. New nail growth, from the base of the nail, will be clear, but nails usually grow slowly. The damaged portion of the nail should be gradually filed or trimmed away as it grows out. With successful treatment, you will have complete clearing of fingernails within a few months. Toenails may require up to 6 – 12 months, depending on your age.

Please remove all nail polish before your appointment, and bring a new pair of socks and shoes, to wear home after the treatment. A free physician consultation is required, by appointment, before treatment. Dr. Jackson will examine the affected nails, to be sure that the condition can be treated effectively and safely with our laser. A tiny sample of the nail will usually be examined under a microscope, to confirm that a fungus is present. The physician will check for signs of fungal infection in other locations, which will require treatment to prevent reinfection of the nail. The physician will also look for signs of other skin diseases, which can affect the nail structure and simulate infection, and will respond to any questions you may have. If you decide to proceed with the laser treatment, it may be completed by the physician, or by our certified laser technician, under the physician’s direction.

©  2018 by Changes Medical Spa & Laser Center.

Phone: 423-328-0488

Email: info@changesmedical.com

LASER    |    MEDICAL   |    AESTHETIC

106 Pinnacle Drive, Suite 106

Johnson City, TN 37601

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