How Does It Work
Laser treatment for toenail fungus works by aiming a 1064nm wave-length laser at the affected area.
The laser delivers light energy to gently heat the toenail bed and kill the toenail fungus and the fungal spores that spread the fungus.
It does this by attacking the fungus in two ways by altering the cellular metabolism of the fungus and damaging the cell components, and with a photo-chemical effect that further damages fungal cell enzymes, proteins and membranes.
In a nutshell? It literally zaps that pesky fungus out of existence.
After the laser treatment takes place and the fungus is killed it requires a little patience to see the results.
The damaged toenail needs to grow out and be replaced by a healthy, fungus free nail, which can take anything from 3 months to a year depending on how much of the toenail was affected.
Take a look at this video to see exactly whats happening under the nail:
DIY laser treatment works a little differently.
In order to be safe, the lasers in the home devices are a pulse laser with a shorter wavelength of around 900 nm which isnt powerful enough to heat the flesh but is still capable of penetrating beneath the surface into the skin tissue.
This is usually coupled with a blue light which works on fighting the fungus cells found on the outer surface of the nail helps to stop the fungus from affecting other toes in the area.
How Can I Be Sure I Have Toenail Fungus
Hands down, the best way to determine if you have toenail fungus is to get a nail culture done by a podiatrist. If you see any of the signs Ive mentioned, just make an appointment for an evaluation. Because the infection eventually spreads to every toe, it is better to get cracking and treat it early before bigger problems come around. With toenail fungus, its either treat it and fight it away, or dont treat it and let it get worse. Sounds simple, right? Well, the choice is up to you
Early detection also improves the chances for the treatment to work more effectively and quickly before the infection spreads. Also, this early nail culture will set a baseline so that, after treatment with the laser I often take another nail culture to determine the effectiveness of the laser. There are different components to the fungal culture, and your podiatrist is the best person to discuss the results with you. Most importantly, the laser is over 90% effective for just about every type of fungus out there.
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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.
Is Laser Toenail Fungus Treatment Effective
The simple answer to this question is yes. Laser therapy for toenail fungus has been proven to be effective in getting rid of the infection that goes along with fungus. It uses light waves to kill the infection and lessens the invasive nature of the fungus itself. While there isnt much conclusive research, there are many anecdotal instances that are hard to ignore when it comes to assessing its overall effectiveness.
According to Dr. John Mozena of Podiatry Today, Over time, we may find that laser treatment for onychomycosis may become the standard of care for this pandemic we are facing. Its important to keep that technology in mind that Dr. Mozena is referring to, stating that we are quick to utilize new forms of technology for just about every health issue, and nail fungus should be no different.
This type of fungus used to be considered to be nothing more than a cosmetic issue. However, its now being treated as an actual medical issue, due to the way it can spread, and the problems it can cause.
The problem with testing laser treatments effectiveness is that its still a relatively new procedure. Doctors started using lasers in 2009 to treat toenail fungus, and because the infection can be caused by a variety of factors, some results are more inconclusive than most podiatrists would like.
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How Much Does Toenail Laser Fungus Removal Cost
At our clinic, we include laser fungal therapy and treatment as a covered benefit.
- While it is true that laser therapy is needed, it may require an in-person evaluation, as there are other options if it is decided that it is not worth it.
- In most cases, laser toenail fungus therapy treatments can be in the range of what a standard co-pay would be anyway.
- Visit us for a no-obligation consultation to see if laser toenail fungus therapy is beneficial for you.
Side Effects Of Laser Fungus Treatment
Many laser providers contend that there are no side effects to the treatment. While that may be true in their experience, their views may not hold up over time.
Given how new laser fungus treatment is, trials that have examined its use and patients long-term reactions to this type of treatment have not been conducted thoroughly. This makes it hard to determine the long-term health effects of laser treatment.
The unknown nature of laser fungal treatments should be taken into consideration before deciding to pursue it.
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What Are My Options
Successful treatment of fungus of the nail unit may reduce thickness, improve appearance, and make trimming easier. However, treatment is not generally considered medically necessary unless other factors are present such as diabetes, poor circulation, excessive pressure, or lack of normal sensation.
Not having treatment and living with the condition
The use of liquid antifungals such as prescription Penlac which reports a 7% cure rate and 44% improvement rate.
The use of prescription oral Lamisil which reports up to a 66% success rate with need for blood tests to monitor for possible liver damage.
How Much Do At
Another option that can be more cost effective is to use an at-home laser device. These are a true advancement in technology, and many people swear by their effectiveness.
Ncure Nail Fungus Remover
One of the most popular at-home laser devices is the Ncure Nail Fungus Remover. For about $150, you can purchase this toenail fungus remover. It can be used for about seven minutes a day, for several weeks, until the fungus is gone. It is rechargeable, runs no risk of electric shock, and is compatible and portable enough to take with you wherever you go.
Cure Ex Nail Fungus Treatment Laser Device
Another popular at-home laser treatment is the Cure Ex Nail Fungus Treatment Laser Device. Working in a similar way to the Ncare system, this device uses a battery-operated laser that doesnt cut, slice, or scrape any part of the toe. Its slightly more expensive, up to almost $300, but offers the same benefits.
More Affordable & Available for Repeat Usage
Plus, because they are either rechargeable or battery-powered, you can use these devices again. Should you ever get another fungus, you wont have to spend any additional money. It can be a cost-effective solution if youre willing to spend time on the treatment.
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Book Online Now Your Laser Toenail Fungus Removal Consultation With Dr Adriana Strimbu Dpm
Fungal nail affects nearly 10% of the US population.
While many find the condition to be, simply, an eye sore, fungal nail can also lead to a larger problems including:
- infection of other toenails
- increased pain
- ingrown toenails
Individuals with diabetes are also more susceptible to fungal toenail infections given their compromised immune systems.
Can The Fungus Return Or Not Go Away
The fungal infection is expected to improve with just one treatment. Clinical reports to date have been encouraging with most patients noticing significant improvement. As with all medical procedures, a 100% guarantee is not possible. In addition, since fungus is present everywhere in the environment, reinfection may occur. Dr. Penn will recommend preventative strategies to reduce the chance of reinfection. Changing socks and shoes frequently is helpful, as well as controlling perspiration if present.
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How Do Podiatrists Treat Toenail Fungus
There are traditional ways of treating toenail fungus. You can also try oral and topical medications to alleviate your condition.
The most common oral medication for toenail fungus is the terbinafine. Most of the doctors prescribe this medicine to patients with this disease.
If you want the cutting-edge and reliable treatment for toenail fungus, try the laser treatment. Make sure that you are eligible to take this advanced medical procedure.
Is The Cost Of Laser Therapy For Toenail Fungus Worth It
For starters, there are several types of laser devices for administering laser therapy. All these devices show varying degrees of efficacy according to reports and reviews from users.
Furthermore, these devices have due approval from the proper departments in the Canadian Ministry of Health. But, that does not imply they all work with the same level of efficacy.
Laser therapy devices work by temporarily reducing the discolouration in the infected nails.
Immediately after the therapy, patients will start to notice some temporary clarity on their toenails. After a while, itll return to the colour before the procedure. This will then start to clear off gradually.
The long-lasting curing is more gradual and may take weeks or even months. Studies indicate that patients notice a 61% cure rate within 16 weeks of the therapy. The study also shows a 91% cure rate within 180 days after the procedure. So, after laser therapy, its only a matter of time before the fungus infection disappears.
To answer the question is the cost of laser therapy for toenail fungus worth it? Well say yes, it is very well worth it. It shows a higher cure rate than all the other treatment options.
It does better than the 44% cure rate of topical medication and the 40% cure rate of oral medication. And, it has a lesser risk of side effects in comparison with other available treatment options.
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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.
Here Are 5 Things That You Should Know About Laser Treatment For Fungal Toenails
1. It Is 85% 90% Effective While the laser for fungal toenails is the best treatment option available at this time, it is not 100% effective. In a few of the most severe cases, it may be necessary to implement alternative treatment options such as permanent removal of the nail. That is why it is important to have it treated as soon as it is noticed.
2. It Is Not Painful and Does Not Require Anesthesia Laser treatment for fungal toenails is performed in the office and usually lasts 20-30 minutes. No anesthesia is required as it does not cause pain and patients put their shoes on and go about the rest of their day with no aftercare needed.
3. One Treatment Is Usually Enough In over 90% of the cases, one laser treatment is enough to eliminate the problem however, in some of the more stubborn cases it is sometimes necessary to repeat treatment once or twice more to completely eradicate the fungus.
4. Nail Fungus Can Come Back Even though the laser may have completely eliminated the fungus, it can always come back, just like the common cold or any other type of infection. However, with continued weekly application of a topical antifungal polish for protection re-infection is unlikely.
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How Much Does Laser Treatment Cost
The cost varies depending on the number of nails involved and severity of the infection. The national average for laser treatment is between $500 and $1200. However, since our practice offers the most state-of the-art laser equipment, we can provide the most effective treatment in less time and at a reduced cost. Our fees range between $295 and $565. A free consultation can be provided to determine if you are a good candidate for laser treatment. Please refer to our fee schedule for costs. The charges are based on the number of nails with obvious involvement. Follow up visits are provided during the first year at no charge. Payment plans are available through CareCredit.
Schedule an consultation with Advanced Podiatry Services for a complete evaluation.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms
Initially, a white dot shows up on the nail, which increases in size with time. When fungus builds up under the nail, it can cause:
- Nail thickening or cracks
How do fungal nail infections spread?
- Fungal nail infections are often contagious from nail to nail
- Direct contact with an infected person
- Through sharing surfaces like floors, showers, socks, and shoes.
- The fungus requires warm and moist environments for growth. Public pools, shower areas, gyms, and changing rooms are the most common places for contracting a fungal nail infection.
What are the Risk Factors?
Factors that can lead to an increased risk of developing nail fungus include:
- Old age: reduced blood circulation, more years of fungus exposure, and slow nail growth
- Heavy sweats
- History of athletes foot
- Walking barefoot in damp areas, like swimming pools, gyms & shower rooms
- History of a skin or nail injury or a skin condition like psoriasis
- Patients with diabetes, circulatory problems, or a weak immune system
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Types Of Lasers Used To Treat Fungus:
Cutera Genesis Plus
A light and portable machine that can be moved from room to room can produce treatments that only last as little as 15 minutes. Being able to deliver more than 100 pulses a second, almost more than 70 percent that were treated have seen satisfying results. The average cost for this laser treatment ranges in the $700 to $1,000 range, depending on the number of toes.
One of the only lasers on the market to have received FDA clearance. They had received this clearance back in 2010. The average treatment for this particular laser will last up to 30 minutes and can cost upwards of $750 to $1,500. Early studies have indicated that patients have had a success rate of more than 80 percent.
This laser can remove a majority of the fungus, but it can take some time compared to most other lasers. Receiving FDA marketing approval, the Q-Clear tends to be fast and has a low cost.
The company, CoolTouch Inc., has been making lasers since 1994. With each laser treatment taking as little as 20 minutes, most doctors will recommend that you take up to three to four treatments to see satisfying results. Starting in the mid-$300 range, the cost can shoot up, depending upon how much the patient needs in terms of treatments.
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