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How Effective Is Laser Therapy For Toenail Fungus
About 10 percent of U.S. adults, or approximately 23 million people, suffer from toenail fungus infection. But unfortunately, the treatments that have been around a while oral medications and topical creams often dont really do the trick. The fungus usually comes back within 12 months. Plus, these treatments can have negative side effects and may have a bad interaction with other medications.
Luckily, laser therapy for toenail fungus is now an option. Since 2010, more than a handful of laser devices have been FDA approved and are used with success by podiatrists as a safe, quick, effective form of treatment.
But what is the process if you use laser therapy for toenail fungus and what can you expect, you ask?
To answer your questions, weve put together some basics on toenail fungus and laser treatment. Keep reading for a quick overview, and then, give it a try to see how it works for you. Our goal and the purpose of laser therapy is to help you clear up those nails so they can grow back healthy and strong.
Nail Fungal Infection Treatment
Prescription medicines can treat a fungal nail infection. Oral antifungal medicines help a new nail grow. This will replace the infected nail. You may need to take antifungal medicine for 6 to 12 weeks. Some oral medicines are not safe for people who have liver problems. They are not safe for people who have a history of congestive heart failure. Tell your doctor if you have one of these conditions. Your doctor will decide which medicine is right for you.
Apply topical treatments to the top of your nail. Topical medicines usually do not cure fungal nail infections.
In severe cases, a doctor might remove the nail completely. It can take several months to a year for the infection to go away.
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Toenail Fungus Treatment Complications
Here are some things to think about when deciding on a nail fungus treatment.
If you have a disease like diabetes, your doctor will make sure you treat nail fungus. This illness often makes you more likely to have other problems from minor foot issues.
You may not be able to take antifungal pills because of side effects or because they donât work well with other drugs you take. If that’s the case, try a product that goes onto your nail. Your doctor will call this a topical treatment.
Be patient. Your nails may not look “normal” after treatment. It can take as long as a year to 18 months for your nail to grow out a fungus.
What Is The Treatment Like For Laser Therapy Does It Hurt
When you come to Greater Washington Advanced Podiatry for Lunula laser treatment we like to make things easy. First, we have a NO CONTACT laser visit option, where you stay 6 feet away from anyone the whole time. We also have a full-service option, while stills adhering to social distancing and CDC guidelines. With this approach, you get a nail fungus evaluation including nail culture. A consultation with one of our podiatry specialists will allow you to decide which approach is best for you and have all your questions answered. Your doctor can even smooth down those ugly thick toenails to make you more comfortable and happy with your toes.
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How Do They Work
These at-home products use something called pulse laser or low-level laser therapy, it is also sometimes referred to as cold laser since the low levels of light are not enough to heat your bodys tissue. These products that treat fungus are mostly a combination of pulse laser radiation and blue light energy. The pulse laser goes deep into the tissue and target causative pathogens that are on the nail bed. They use a wavelength of around 900 nm, so the laser can penetrate deeply into the tissue, while the blue light works on fighting the fungus cells found on the outer surface of the nail. The blue light also helps to stop the fungus from affecting other toes in the area.
At home lasers are very easy to use you just put the unit on the infected area and press the operating button. The treatment light will begin to blink, and the device will emit visible blue light. In general, they will run for about 7 minutes and shut off when the 7 minutes are up. For it to work effectively, you will need to treat each infected area daily. You can treat the nail up to three times a day, although most users only use it once a day, as it can be time-consuming. The standard treatment when using a home product is 3 to 6 months for the fungus to be cleared up.
Some Realities To Consider
While the Cure-Ex nail fungus laser treatment is easily available at home, many insurance providers may not cover the treatment cost, as it is a handheld device designed for home use, and you will have to purchase from authorized resellers. Nonetheless, the Cure-Ex nail fungus laser treatment from device from Pain Relief is affordably priced, with fast, free worldwide shipping, a generous money back guarantee, and extended warranty period – all of which greatly offset the treatment cost not covered by insurance providers.
Treating nail fungus infections with laser also requires waiting for the nail to grow out, as the Cure-Ex treats actively growing and infected nails in order to properly target and eliminate fungus that thrives in it. Stubborn infections also require more treatments to cure, and continued use of the device to ensure that the fungus does not grow back.
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Are Fungal Nail Infections Contagious
Fungal nail infections can be contagious from nail to nail, and are transmitted through sharing surfaces as mentioned above, but they are not contagious in the traditional sense, unless you are in close intimate contact or if you share the same quarters. This means it can be spread among families, but you are unlikely to catch it during normal daily activities with an infected person.
How Long Does The Procedure Take
The amount of time varies on the degree of involvement of the nails. Very thick nails are mechanically reduced to a more normal thickness with specialized equipment. The laser is then applied typically taking only a few minutes. Overall, a visit for consultation and treatment will usually take about 30 minutes.
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Cons Of Using Laser Treatment For Nail Fungus
Its Still Considered Experimental Treatment
Because few studies have been done on the efficacy of laser toenail fungus treatment and none have been done on the long-term effects of the method, it is still viewed as experimental treatment with questionable success results.
Some Argue the Treatment is Ineffective
In a recent study done with the Noveon laser, only 1/3 of patients saw results meaning treatment could be hit or miss, depending on each individual case.
Possibility for Tissue Damage in Some Cases
As with any medical treatment, there is a slight risk involved. Though it is rare, some doctors argue that there is a possibility for skin and tissue damage when the laser beam is directed to the deepest levels of the nail.
Toenail fungus removal lasers two being the PinPointe FootLaser and the Cutera GenesisPlus are quite expensive for medical facilities to purchase, so the fees for patients to use them are quite high. One laser toenail fungus removal session could cost anywhere from $600 to $1500 and its a process generally not covered by health insurance.
Before deciding whether or not to try laser toenail fungus removal, be sure to consult with a podiatrist or a dermatologist about your condition. Toenail fungus comes in many forms and can look like other foot diseases and ailments, so its important to get a positive diagnosis and professional advice before spending money on expensive treatment options.
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Laser Toenail Fungus Therapy
Most patients experience no side effects except warmth during the procedure or a warm sensation after the procedure.
However, some patients may experience one or more of the following adverse effects:
- Feeling of warmth.
- Redness of the treated skin around the nail lasting for 24 to 72 hours.
- Slight swelling of the treated skin around the nail lasting for 24 to 72 hours.
- Burn marks may occur on the nail.
- Rarely, blistering of the treated skin around the nail.
- In some cases, Scarring of the treated skin around the nail may occur.
- While the laser treatments are most effective for fungal infection of toenails, the time commitment of making multiple appointments for repeating laser treatments and high cost could be a burden for the patient.
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Does Laser Treatment For Fungal Nail Infections Hurt
We offer two types of laser to treat fungal nail infections: cold laser and hot laser. Neither of these treatments are painful. Cold laser is completely painless, as it uses two cool wavelengths of light simultaneously to clear the fungal infection. We have never had any patient complain of any pain with this treatment.
Hot laser uses heat to act on the fungus, however, this is not typically painful. You may feel a warm sensation over your nail as the laser is applied. This is controlled by your experienced podiatrist, so if youre worried then know they can pause the treatment instantly if you feel any discomfort. Your safety is our priority.
What Is The Traditional Treatment Of Onychomycosis
Because most of these infections are relatively superficial, it would seem that topical treatments ought to work well. This is not the case because the nail unit is relatively impenetrable. In addition, it is common for these infections to be entirely asymptomatic , which doesn’t seem to diminish the patient’s distress with the unpleasant appearance of the nail. A perfect treatment modality would be inexpensive, very effective, and very safe. Sadly, we have not achieved this perfect situation yet.
Currently accepted treatments include relatively ineffective topical therapies and oral treatments which are reasonably effective but are associated with some degree of risk. Both approaches require a long duration of treatment and the topical therapies in particular are somewhat costly. Most experts agree that surgical approaches like removing the nail plate are ineffective.
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How Effective Is The Q Clear Laser System
The Q Clear protocol is a significant improvement over earlier laser systems. In clinical studies, the Q Clear laser system demonstrated a 97% rate of significant clearance of each treated nail.
Most nails treated by a Q Clear laser achieve substantially complete improvement after only a single treatment. Each treatment takes only a few minutes. Theres nothing to recover from, so you immediately return to your ordinary activities. And all this without any pain or significant side effects.
Causes Of Toenail Fungus
- Onychomycosis stems from a number of fungal pathogens, primarily a certain group of fungi known as dermatophytes. Other relatively less common carriers of this infection are yeast and mold.
- Your susceptibility to this type of infection increases with age as older people tend to have increasingly brittle and dry nails that may allow the fungus to slip in through the cracks.
- Direct skin-to-skin contact with people grappling with fungal infections like athletes foot or ringworm on their hands can transmit the fungus onto you, paving the way for a toenail infection.
- A warm, moist environment such as a pool deck or a locker room provide the ideal breeding grounds for these infection-causing fungi. Therefore, people who walk barefoot in such areas tend to pick up this infection quite easily.
- Another common way of catching a fungal nail infection is by sharing an infected nail clipper or towel.
- Moreover, people who are prone to having moisture-ridden nails or often wear sweaty socks and shoes are increasingly predisposed to getting a fungal nail infection all by themselves.
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Laser Treatment For Toenail Fungus
Laser therapy is a treatment for toenail fungus infection , a hard-to-treat infection that changes the appearance and texture of the nail. There are several types of laser treatment options, including those that use light and those that use carbon dioxide . Laser therapy is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for this use.
Fungal infections of the nails usually require several laser treatment sessions before they completely resolve. It may take between six and 18 months of consistent treatments for laser therapy to be effective. While these treatments may cause side effects such as pain and/or bleeding of the surrounding area, they are considered safe.
Laser Treatment Compared To Other Options
Laser treatments are typically more effective than other ways of treating onychomycosis. This infection can be treated with topical antifungal medications or oral antifungals, and there are over-the-counter, as well as prescription options. Oral antifungals cause systemic side effects and are not totally effective for curing onychomycosis. Topical treatments tend to be safe, but are not very effective.
Research shows there’s an approximately 45% improvement of onychomycosis with topical medicine and approximately 40% to 66% improvement with oral medication.
However, there does seem to be a range in the efficacy with all of these treatments. Using them consistently while avoiding side effects can be tedious. And combining treatments may be more effective than using a single treatment approach.
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Laser Therapy For Fungal Toenails
Now, by many requests from patients, WE HAVE ACQUIRED THE FDA APPROVED LASER THE HYPERBLUE 1530 SYSTEM. This is approved for temporary clearing of fungus of the nail. The laser light penetrates through the nail and soft tissue to both kill fungus in its path, and promotes new nail growth. Once the living fungus is zapped by the laser, healthy nails begin to grow from the cuticle of the nail. This utilizes infrared radiation which is not painful and it is safe to gently heat the base of the nail. This area of the nail is where the fungus survives.
This system eradicates the fungus. It will require repeat visits for treatment over a 3 month period. The treatment is typically 5-15 minutes, spaced 30 days apart for 3 months. As the nail grows slowly, it can take approximately 6-12 months for the new nail to replace the old infected nail. It is VERY EFFECTIVE.
Clinical studies show that the laser kills toenail fungus and promotes clear nail growth with a single treatment in better than 80% of cases. The laser treatment is safe, effective, and most patients improve usually after their first treatment.
There are several advantages of applying laser treatment to toenail fungus. They are:
Safe, painless treatment
No side effects or drugs
No liver enzyme test required
No recovery time – just walk in and walk out
Only 15 minutes required to treat the toenail fungus on both feet, if all 10 nails are being treated.
Nail Fungus Consumer Review
Toenail fungus is an increasingly common condition. Roughly 10% of the American population deal with it every day and are advertised treatment options that claim to be the definite cure .
Unfortunately the reality is a bit more complex, especially when you get older. The older you get, the more susceptible you are to the condition. To that end, around 50% of people aged 70 and above experience bouts of toenail fungus.
Given the prevalence of toenail fungus, new advances in treatment come up every year to meet rising demand. Over the counter medicines, prescription drugs, home remedies, and even lasers are all marketed as viable solutions to manage fungus outbreaks.
Approved in just 2010 by the FDA, laser toenail fungus removal is one of the newest treatments people are trying to manage their toenail fungus. By 2015, laser therapies that leverage different types of lasers at varying strengths were made available for consumers to try.
With the growing popularity of laser treatment and variety available, many people are wondering if laser toenail fungus removal actually works. Examining the effectiveness of laser fungus treatment and communicating to you what you can expect from it is the purpose of this blog post.
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How Is Toenail Fungus Treated
Toenail fungus is notoriously tricky to treat. You may need to treat the condition for several months to get rid of the fungus. Still, toenail fungus often comes back.
A dermatologist or podiatrist can explain your treatment options. If you have a mild case that doesnt bother you, your provider may recommend no treatment.
Toenail fungus treatment options include:
- Oral antifungal medication: You take prescribed medication, such terbinafine , itraconazole and fluconazole , to treat the fungi. You will need to take this medication every day for several months . Your provider may use blood tests to check for potential medication side effects. These medications can affect the liver and interact with other medications, so oral antifungals are not for everyone.
- Topical medication: You regularly apply a medication right on the nail. The medication treats the fungi over time. Topical medications are most effective when paired with oral medications.
- Laser treatments: Your provider directs a high-tech laser beam and special lights at the toenail to treat the fungus. Lasers are FDA approved for temporary increase of clear nail in nail fungus but is not a cure. Cure rates for laser treatment are lower than oral and topical mediations so they are not typically used as first line treatments for nail fungus.
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