Fungal infections are stubborn. Once the fungus invades your nails, it may not give up without a fight. Maybe you have tried topical and oral anti-fungal medications with no improvement. In that case, your next step might be laser treatment for toenail fungus. It’s that, or hypnosis. However, with hypnosis you would only forget you had the problem—laser treatment might actually get rid of it!
What is Toenail Fungus?
Also known as onychomycosis, this is an infection that can slowly affect your nail plate, nail bed, or nail root. Once the fungus takes hold—whether you caught it by walking barefoot in a public pool area, locker room, or shower stall—it can start to discolor your nail. The affected nail will start to turn green, yellow, black, or white. It may also become brittle, thick, or distorted.
How Does Laser Treatment Work?
The laser is applied to the nail in a fast, painless treatment that usually takes around 15 minutes. Typically, this is administered about three to six times over a course of six months. The laser works by penetrating the nail and the nail bed. This is different than topical treatments, which usually only are able to reach the nail. When the laser penetrates the nail bed, it kills the fungi where they thrive and multiply.
When Should I Consider Laser Treatment for Toenail Fungus?
This painless procedure is a good alternative to taking oral anti-fungal medication. In fact, some people might be allergic to these types of medicines. Oral medications may also have the ability to cause serious side effects to your liver and kidneys. On the contrary, laser treatment has none.
You might also want to consider laser treatment if you don’t want the hassle of having to apply topical anti-fungal medication daily. Sure, topical treatments are less expensive, but they are more of an inconvenience as they may require a morning and night routine.
Maybe you’ve tried oral and topical medications with no luck. That’s also another reason why you might try laser. However, the treatment isn’t a cure-all. If your toes aren’t maintained after a successful procedure, the fungus may have a chance of returning in a few years if the proper prevention and treatment methods aren’t applied.
When Will my Nails Clear Up?
Remember that these treatments take time. It may take more than six months for you to achieve favorable results. However, also remember that most treatments for toenail fungus take a while. This is because the toenail grows back at a slower rate than your fingernails.
Please know that each case of toenail fungus is different. Your case may be worse or milder than others with the condition, which may require a more or less invasive treatment. Know that we’ll always listen to the concerns you have about this treatment and recommend what we think best fits your needs.
Laser treatment for toenail fungus is administered right in our office at the Foot Ankle Laser Centers, where we also provide laser therapy for foot pain. Dr. Brian McDowell and Dr. Gavin P. Ripp are happy to help clear up your condition. Call the McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group at (916) 961-3434 to reach our office in Carmichael. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!