If you are tired of dealing with the embarrassment of toenail fungus, laser treatments might be the solution to your problem. The FDA has certified various types of laser devices for the treatment of fungal nail infections that cause changes in the texture and appearance of the nails. Today Dr. Joel Segalman and Dr. Stephen Lazaroff of Performance Foot & Ankle Specialists, LLC are discussing how this laser treatment can help relieve your symptoms.
The changes that take place with toenail fungal infections are typically slow and steady and tend to worsen over time. They normally include:
Staining, usually white, brown or yellow;
Flaky debris located on or under the nail;
A separation of the nail from the nail bed;
Thickening or texture changes in the nail;
Changes in the shape of the nail.
The standard for treating fungal nails has typically been prescription antifungal medications because they have proven to be more effective at removing the infection than topical treatments. But these oral medications are not an option for some because of the side effects associated with them and potentially harmful interactions with other medications.
Because toenail fungus is such a widespread problem with no simple cure, newer laser treatment options have generated a lot of interest. Now that laser treatments for nail fungus are found in many podiatry offices, some are wondering how it compares to topical and oral medications.
Currently, laser devices are being used for the partial or total elimination of nail fungus symptoms, but it’s possible that the infection can reoccur. However, with any effective method of treatment - whether it's oral/topical medications or laser - there's always some risk that the infection could come back.
How Is Laser Used to Treat Toenail Fungus?
Laser devices emanate energy pulses that pass heat to the tissues it comes in contact with. The laser energy passes through the toenail to the nail bed beneath it where the fungus is present. This ability to penetrate the thickness of the toenail is what leads to the promising results witnessed with laser treatment.
What to Expect With Laser Treatment For Toenail Fungus
The initial consultation will involve an evaluation of the symptoms and possibly filing down of the nail. The laser will be moved over any affected nails, and maybe over some non-affected nails.
One session usually lasts 30 minutes or less. While some patients enjoy success with one treatment, additional treatments may be necessary depending on the results. The treatments will not clean up a nail immediately; in fact, it may take 6 to 12 months until the nail regrows to determine if the treatment worked. The type of laser tool used may also determine the number of treatment sessions required.
If you are tired of having to hide your feet because of your toenail fungus, our podiatrists Dr. Joel Segalman and Dr. Stephen Lazaroff of Performance Foot & Ankle Specialists, LLC are here to help. Contact us today to make an appointment - we have two offices conveniently located in Waterbury and Newtown, CT.