Toenail fungus is a surprisingly common condition that affects millions of people. While oral and topical medications promise relief for unsightly yellow, brittle toenails, most medications are ineffective and have harsh side effects. Alternatively, laser treatment kills fungus in usually just one session. As many as 10-15% of Americans suffer from unsightly nails due to toenail fungus. Those suffering from toenail fungus are constantly prevented from feeling comfortable with bare feet in public. Patients are highly motivated to resolve their toenail fungus problems – and the laser provides the answer. The most common form of toenail fungus is "distal subungual onychomycosis" usually caused by Trichophyton rubrum, a dermatophyte that invades the nail bed and underside of the nail plate. The main side effect of a toenail fungal infection is that the nail becomes yellowed, brittle and thickened. Due to the location of the infection, topical creams are usually inefficacious. Oral medications lead to health risks and are only effective in a small percentage of users. Many patients undertake years of ineffective treatments at great expense, without the relief they want. Laser treatment kills fungus beneath the nail bed in typically one session
During treatment, intense pulses of laser energy are applied to the entire area of each infected nail. The laser energy penetrates through the nail plate to heat up and kill the hiding fungus in the nail bed. The procedure typically lasts 10 to 20 minutes, depending on if both feet undergo treatment. The laser pulses cause virtually no pain for patients, although they may feel a slight warming sensation. Podiatry clinics, medical clinics and laser spas across the US and around the world are quickly adopting this cutting edge new procedure.
It typically takes a single laser treatment to completely kill the fungal colony and restore nails to good health. Additional treatments may be necessary for a resistant area, but only in a minority of cases. The laser pulses immediately kill the fungus, and the newly healthy nail is apparent when the new nail grows out, which takes a few months. Patients typically do not mind waiting to see the results, as they understand that laser treatment is still the best solution to toenail fungus. Patient's satisfaction after treatment with the laser is incredible high. Relief from toenail fungus affects not only the appearance of the nails, but also the confidence and happiness of the patient. After the healthy nails grow back, patients regain the freedom to attend pool parties, go to the beach, or wear sandals in public.