Lasers to treat toe nail fungus?
Laser treatment of nail fungus is the preferred treatment method over the prescription oral medication or using topical anti-fungals alone. The laser heat kills the fungus quite easily, the hard part is keeping the fungus away from the damaged nails as the healthy nails grow in.
What is toe nail fungus and how does someone get it?
Toenail fungus will often begin as a white or yellow spot under the tip of the toenail. As the fungus progresses deeper into the nail, it may cause a yellow, green or black discoloration, a thickening of the nail and develop crumbling or ragged edges. These fungus infections are most common in older adults and tend to affect men more often than women.
People are more in jeopardy of getting a fungal infection if the toenail has had trauma-such as stubbing a toe or dropping something on the toenail. Trauma to the area allows a portal of infection for the toenail fungus to settle in the nail bed. Shoes and socks create a warm, dark and humid environment, which further encourages fungal growth. Clients are also more prone to a nail fungal infection if they have just recently taken an antibiotic, have a weak immune system, have been on steroids or have diabetes as well as genetics.
The laser works by heating up the fungus that thrives in the nail. Killing the fungal infection with the laser is reported to be about 60-80% effective. The effectiveness of the oral medication is about 50-60%. Effectiveness of topical medication is about 10%.
We recommend all toes on the infected foot are treated. Best success is seen in a series of three treatments at a 4 week interval
Pre Treatment Instructions
Before the laser treatment begins, the nail needs to be free of polish. We recommend no nail polish until the healing nail has grown out to replace the damaged nail (can be 6-9 months!)
We recommend you trim/debride the nail before each treatment. Keep damaged nails trimmed short during the healing process to decrease your risk of reinfection.
Photos will be taken to document your nails prior to debridement and treatment. Nails will be dremeled to remove as much damaged nail as possible. During the treatment, the area will be treated until you feel the nail bed is getting hot. Skin surrounding the nail bed and under the nail tip is also treated. We recommend that each infected nail will be treated as well as the first healthy nail. Treated nails will be covered at least three times.
Post Treatment Care
We recommend wearing open-toed shoes home, or apply new clean socks as well as shoes that have been treated with an anti fungal spray. If desired, we have disposable pedicure slippers for you to wear home. Your shoes can be sprayed today if you are wearing them home.
It is recommend that you throw away all “well used” athletic shoes, or other shoes that have been exposed to sweat on a regular basis. After treatment we recommend spraying all other shoes, after each use, with an antifungal spray (until all symptoms of infection are completely gone). Wash feet/toes twice a day with 25-50% tea tree oil spray or a soaked cotton ball with tap water and several drops of tea tree oil prior to the application of the prescription antifungal topical product.
Any socks that are moisture wicking are prefered to help keep feet dry. Avoid bare feet in community showers and public locker rooms. Wear clean socks and different shoes daily.
Do not share nail clippers with others. If you go to a nail salon for pedicures or manicures, be sure they use sanitary procedures and sterile instruments.