How Does Laser Therapy Work
In simplified terms, the laser therapy device shines a laser light into the toenail, penetrating down on, in, and through the nail to reach the fungus. It vaporizes the fungus. It also leaves the skin and tissue around the fungus alone.
Essentially, the laser device is set at a certain wavelength that only the fungus will absorb. When it penetrates the fungus, it destroys it.
If we want to get a little more technical, there are a few ways it can destroy fungus depending on the laser. Most lasers use photothermolysis that causes photomechanical or photothermal damage. We like the non-thermal laser therapy as it is pain-free since it doesnt use heat. It is still absorbed by the fungus only and damages the structure of the fungus.
But what you need to know is that laser therapy has been proven effective in clinical trials and because of this, the FDA began clearing laser devices.
As with all the treatments, you wont see the results right away. You have to wait until your nice fungus-free nail grows in. This will take months. But youll start to see the difference as the new nail comes in.
Do Lasers Work Better Than The Medical Approaches For The Treatment And Cure Of Onychomycosis
Since laser treatment is very new, the data to answer this question are just not available yet, while there is substantial evidence to support the efficacy of medical therapy. Most avid commercial radio station listeners can testify to the prevalence of advertisements touting laser therapy for abnormal nails. Recent reviews of the subject by various journals lament the lack of blinded comparison studies without control groups of sufficient numbers of patients to prove the effectiveness of lasers in treating and curing onychomycosis. A critical interpretation of these studies indicates that laser treatment of onychomycosis is not ready for prime time and should only be used in situations where everything else has failed. It is probably reasonably safe, but its efficacy remains to be proven especially when compared to other accepted treatments. In addition, no long term studies of effectiveness are available, so short-term gains may not translate into cures. As far as cost is concerned, it is unlikely that laser treatment would be less expensive than current medical therapy.
Do I Have To Limit My Activities After Laser Toenail Fungus Treatment
Laser toenail fungus treatment is a noninvasive method that doesnt require any downtime. Those who have this treatment done can go back to their regular activities without any restrictions.
- Our office offers LASER treatment for fungal nail infection using the FDA approved low level light laser from Erchonia. This is a safe class 2 LASER which uses a dual diode emitting light of 635 NM red laser light and 405 NM blue laser light. Treatment of both feet, is done simultaneously which requires 12 minutes per session. Four sessions, one week apart is required for best results.
- Laser light vaporizes the fungal cells and spores by passing light through the nail plate. The Laser light does not harm the skin and surrounding tissue.
- Laser treatment is generally not covered by health insurance companies, including Medicare. We offer a very economical treatment cost of $500 for four treatments which also includes disinfection of one pair of your shoes to reduce fungal contamination while you are being treated. Additional pairs can be done for $10 per pair.
- Cost is $500 total.
Major Insurance Providers Accepted. Here is a short list of them. Please contact the office if you do not see your provider listed.
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Alternative Cures For Toenail Fungus
Although laser toenail fungus removal is an effective treatment for some patients, it is not the only option in the fight against onychomycosis. In addition to costly laser methods, there are several at-home remedies you can try to help clear up your toenail fungal infection. Just be sure to speak with a doctor before trying to rid your infection on your own, especially if you do not see improvement within a couple of weeks of administering natural treatments.
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Articles having medical content shall serve exclusively for the purpose of general information. Such articles are not suitable for any diagnosis and treatment of individual illnesses and medical indications. In particular, they cannot substitute for the examination, advice, or treatment by a licensed physician or pharmacist. No replies to any individual questions shall be effected through the articles.
Carbon Dioxide Laser For Ingrown Toenails
Ingrown toenails are painful conditions that usually affect the big toe. It can make walking difficult, wearing shoes nearly impossible, and there is the chance for infection to set it which can cause further complications.
If you are suffering from an ingrown toenail and the pain is unbearable, home treatment has not worked, you are diabetic, it is infected or you have poor circulation, you need to get it treated by a doctor. You can visit your own family doctor or you can find the nearest podiatrist, a doctor who is a specialist in feet injuries and conditions.
He or she will probably remove part of the nail or possibly all of it, and there are three main ways they will do that. Using surgery, a chemical, or the option we are looking at in this article, using a carbon dioxide laser for ingrown toenails.
What Does Carbon Dioxide Laser for Ingrown Toenails Involve?
If the doctor uses a carbon dioxide laser for ingrown toenails, an injection is usually first given at the base of the toe to numb it. Some may also use a small tourniquet. The laser is then used to remove the edge of the nail that is growing into the toe and it also cauterizes part of the nail matrix. The doctor may use to ablate meaning to remove, and the removal of part of the nail is referred to as partial nail avulsion or partial matrixectomy.
Why Use Carbon Dioxide Laser for Ingrown Toenails?
More About the Carbon Dioxide Laser
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What Is Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is a fungal infection called onychomycosis. Tinea unguium is another name for it.
Its an overgrowth of fungi that are often found on your body together with other bacteria. You can get the fungi from someone else too, like at a nail salon if the tools arent properly sterilized. Its the same fungi that cause ringworm, jock itch, or athletes foot.
The problematic infection happens when the fungi get in through the cracks in your toenails and start to overpopulate in, on, or under the nail. It just loves warm, moist environments and often finds that in your toenail, especially when you wear shoes. And its even happier if youre active and sweat in your sports shoes.
Onychomycosis can infect your fingernails too but thats less common since your hands arent confined to a warm, moist environment like your feet are.
What Types Of Treatments Are Available For Toenail Fungus
Until recently, toenail fungus treatment had been limited to topical anti-fungal creams/nail lacquer and oral medication. With limited success and many downsides, these treatments have become secondary to the more effective laser treatments.
The antifungal cream/lacquer has the lowest success rate, ranging from 5-12% . Unless you have extremely mild toenail fungus, topical treatments are very unlikely to effectively penetrate into, underneath, and around the affected toenail.
Prescribed oral medications work somewhat better . Howeverand this is big, however oral antifungal medications have significant medical risks and often interreact with other prescription drugs. Oral medications should not be prescribed without consulting a primary care physician, in order to ensure safety and protection during the months you would be taking these pills.
Side effects might include liver failure, rash, loss of taste, or change of taste , headaches, stomach discomfort, and lupus-like symptoms.
Topical medications require daily applications for at least a year, and often longer. Even then, a lifetime of application on some level is required to prevent a recurrence. Oral medications, similarly, require several months of pills and are usually associated with recurrence at some point afterward.
Studies show the success in clearing fungal infection through laser treatment was good enough for laser treatment to be FDA cleared and is now considered the ideal method to treat onychomycosis.
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How Much Does It Cost
The cost of toenail fungus treatment with laser technology can range from $700 to $1,500 for a treatment course. It isnt covered by the health insurance since it is considered an aesthetic procedure. However, the cost of toenail fungus laser treatment generally will range based on the severity of the infection and only your physician or a podiatrist can determine if you need the laser toenail fungus treatment and the number of the treatments necessary.
Where The Laser Treatment Can Be Carried Out
In the U.S.A. companies that have received Food and Drug Administration clearance for the Onychomycosis treatment laser are: Alma Lasers, Inc., PinPointe USA Inc. of Chico, California, CoolTouch Inc., of Rosevile, California and Nomir Medical Technologies Inc., of Brooklyn, NY.
Alma Lasers, one of the leaders in laser, radiofrequency, light and ultrasound medical and aesthetic devices, had received the FDA approval for their innovative Harmony ®XL laser protocol application for the laser treatment of nail fungus.
PinPointe USA, Inc. is the leading and also was the first company in laser treatment devices. It is specialized for laser light-based therapies for treating nail fungus. NuvoLase Inc., has attained from PinPointe USA all rights, resources and intellectual properties associated with the PinPointe FootLaser. The PinPointe FootLaseris a cold laser and was the first light-based device to receive FDA clearance to the laser treatment for toenail fungus.
CoolTouch Inc. received FDA approval for their VARIABreeze 1064nm laser system for treating toenail fungus in November 2011. The CoolBreeze laser procedure takes only twenty minutes.
from Nomir Medical manufacturers, approved by the FDA for treating podiatry and dermatology conditions uses dual laser frequencies selected to eliminate or reduce the pain that usually go along with other laser therapies.
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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.
I Suspect I Have Toenail Fungus What Now
Well, now that you know the basics on toenail fungus and how Lunula laser therapy can help you get rid of it, maybe youre ready to give it a try. Please call our office at 515 FEET or submit a form online so we can go through options to make this process safe, easy, affordable, and worthwhile for you on your journey to happy, healthy toenails!
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The Impact Of Laser Therapy
The great thing about laser therapy is that everything is regulated. FDA regularly updates its list of devices that can be used for this particular issue. A patient will always be safe, and will always know what works and what doesn’t.
According to studies , laser treatment has eliminated fungus from over 50% of participants. The most unfortunate thing about this condition is that fungus is very pesky and can easily reaper. This is why a person needs to be really thorough and continue the therapy even if it seems that everything is ok. Fungus goes under your toenails, and oftentimes, we don’t notice there is some of it left on our body.
Laser Therapy For Nail Fungus Is Expensive Elective And Cosmetic
Another detriment of nail fungus laser therapy is cost. The expense is usually not covered by insurance because toenail fungus is deemed a cosmetic issue, not a serious health matter. Treatment is elective and based more on the appearance of the feet than an actual health threat. The cosmetic side of nail fungus is perturbing to those who have it. Symptoms of nail fungus include distortion of the nail surface, including a brittle or ridged appearance, discoloration of the nail surface and brittle-looking or crumbling nails. But it is rarely a dangerous condition.
Until laser therapy passes more randomized, controlled, clinical tests elderly patients may wish to forego the expense. Although laser therapy for nail fungus may be the wave of the future, at this time it has not proven effective. Scientists recommend traditional treatments as they have proven to be more effective.
Becker, C., Bershow, A. . Lasers and photodynamic therapy in the treatment of onychomycosis-a review of the literature. Dermatology Online Journal, 19: 19611. Available online at http://escholarship.org/uc/item/0js6z1kw. Accessed March 10, 2017.
Carney, C., Cantrell, W., Warner, J., Elewski, B. . Treatment of onychomycosis using a submillisecond 1064-nm neodymium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 69: 578-582. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2013.04.054.
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How Does Toenail Fungus Look Like
Diagnosing toenail fungus is not that hard. The change is visual and very obvious. To make matters even worse, the toenails will gradually deteriorate as the infestation continues. The fungus has the habit of infesting the surrounding tissue, so don’t be surprised if it starts appearing on other toenails.
Toenails will hate white, yellow, or brown discoloration, and there will be some flaky debris on or under the toenail. At one point, the whole toenail may come off. The affected area will become thicker, and its texture will change. This can also be followed by a change of shape.
Why Choose Arizona Foot Doctors For Nail Fungus Removal
At Arizona Foot Doctors of Scottsdale, we use the safe, effective PinPointe FootLaser for gentle, painless toenail laser treatment. Each appointment lasts about 30 minutes, and you can go right back to your regular activities with no downtime. After laser foot treatment, our podiatrists will recommend follow-up visits to assure that the nails are recovering and determine if additional treatments are necessary. When you schedule a consultation with our team, youll learn more about laser toenail fungus cost and what to expect during the procedure.
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Is The Laser Treatment A Good Idea
There is a wide spectrum of treatment options for fungal toenail infection among which the laser toenail fungus removal treatment is the best.
The laser toenail fungus removal is a better option for you if you really care to have a clean and beautiful foot. Even though the fungal infection of the toenail is not so painful it is cosmetically disfiguring with yellowish and ugly looking nails. The laser toenail fungus removal is simple procedures where the laser beams are directed or focused over the infected nail and kill the pathogens responsible for the infection.
The laser toenail fungus removal is the treatment of choice if you wish to get your nail cured and get a new nail within a few days of treatment. The laser toenail fungus removal is a short and effective procedure.
The laser toenail fungus removal takes hardly 10 minutes per sitting. The number of sittings is decided according to the severity of the infection. If the infection is mild then you may need only 1 or 2 sittings whereas if the infection is severe it may be 5-6 sittings.
The laser toenail fungus removal is a painless procedure. The infrared laser beam is directly focused on the infected area leaving the underlying healthy tissue intact. Hence there is no pain in laser toenail fungus removal.
How Did I Get Toenail Fungus To Begin With
Fungus is everywhere and most of the time thats not a problem. Our immune system is pretty good at fighting off any infections. However, when the immune system is weakened, such as with diabetes, chronic illness, and other diseases, then fungus has the ability to easily set up shop. So, a weakened immune system is often the culprit and increases your risk of getting a fungal toenail infection. In diabetes or vascular disease, where blood flow is not that ideal going down to the toes, the fungus will often become a problem.
Furthermore, a good percentage of the population is simply more susceptible to fungus infections. This is something you may inherit from your parents and have no control over. So if your mom, dad, or aunt Edna have always had those awful, thick, yellow toenails, then there is a good chance you may eventually get them too .
Guys may tend to get toenail fungus more than ladies, and older people tend to get toenail fungus simply because there has been more time on this planet for those toenails to be exposed to the fungus
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How Do I Know If I Have Toenail Fungus
A toenail fungal infection has a slow, eroding effect on your toenail but usually takes a while to develop and spread so you might not notice it at first.
Here are some of the toenail symptoms you may encounter:
- Change in color often the toenail turns yellow, brown, white, or eve green
- Nails become thicksometimes so thick you cant get a toenail clipper to work
- Toenail shape becomes curved, twisted, or ingrown on the sides
- Initially, a white dot may show itself which then slowly grows larger
- Toenails become brittle and break easily, sometimes they seem to crumble or get chalky
- Toenails become flaky and break off
- Sometimes the toenail has a “cottage-cheese” type substance especially under the hard-outer shell
- Toenails may loosen and separate off the nail bed occasionally they may even fall of entirely
- You get pain around the toenail as the hard, curved nail digs down into the sides
- There is a bad-cheese smell coming from your toenails
- Eventually, the fungus spreads to your other toes and even out onto the skin on your feet
If left untreated, you can develop a secondary bacterial infection and even get ulcerations, which are extremely dangerous if you are diabetic or have poor circulation. For some people, toenail fungus has even ultimately led to the surgical amputation of toes or even leg amputations.