Nail Fungal Infection
Fungal infection of the toenails (also called onychomycosis) occurs when a fungus infects the tissue underneath the toenail. The result is discoloration of the nail. Often the nail becomes thickened and raised. It commonly involves several nails simultaneously. It often occurs in people with persistent moisture in their feet, such as with footwear that does not allow air circulation or in those who perspire excessively in their feet.
The diagnosis of fungal infection of a toenail can be made based on the appearance of the toe. In some cases a sample of the nail may be obtained, to look for fungus under a microscope or to grow and identify the fungus in a laboratory.
The nails can become very thickened, discolored, and unsightly. In some cases, pain or infection can result from very thickened nails. If left untreated, the fungus can also spread to your shoes and skin, leading to athlete’s foot.
Got Ugly Toenails?: A guide to understanding Fungal Nails and Other Foot Conditions. View Details…
Toenail Laser Treatment
A New Laser Treatment for Nail Fungus
Nail Fungus also called onychomycosis, is a common condition estimated to affect up to 10% of the population worldwide. It can cause nails to become yellow or discolored and often seen as “ugly toenails”. As the infection advances the nail can become thick, brittle and separate from the nail bed. It can also cause pain when wearing shoes or walking.
Dr. Hollander’s Multifaceted Approach for Better Results
The proposed treatment is tailored to each individual’s needs and may include the following:
- Addition of topical liquid use on toenails– This is to give you a small boost, and help contain the fungus preventing further infection.
- Addition of low dosage of anti-fungal oral medication– Oral Lamisil is recommended in some cases to give you the best results possible. We can prescribe a smaller dosage, fewer days of medication intake to achieve better outcomes.
- There is a misconception as to the toxicity of oral antifungal Lamisil medication. A meta-analysis of 122 studies with approximately 20,000 enrolled patients concluded that there was a low incidence of adverse complications on healthy patients. Click here for the abstract of the study.
- Grinding of toenails– If your toenails are thick, we will grind down the toenails prior to your first laser treatment.
The Best Treatment Option Available for Ugly Fungal Toenails
Results that speak for themselves. This is one of our case studies that showed marked improvement. Individual results will vary from patient to patient.
How does Laser Treatment work?
Laser light passes through the nail and the surrounding tissue. The laser light is absorbed by the pigment in the fungi, which causes the pigment to heat, and this heat kills or damages the fungal organism. This can result in your nail growing normally.
Are there any Clinical Studies?
In a clinical study, 68% of patients treated for toenail fungus showed improvement in the percent of nail clear of infection¹. The amount of nail improvement you may experience is dependent on your individual circumstances and should be discussed with your doctor. The study reported no adverse effects related to laser treatment.
What can you expect?
The treatment involves passing the laser beam over the infected nails and surrounding skin. Your physician will repeat this several times until enough energy has reached the nail bed. Your nail will feel warm during the treatment.
Treatment Session Time
|A single treatment session can take approximately 40 minutes to treat 5-10 toenails. Treatment times will vary.|
Number of Treatments
|3 treatment sessions are performed one month apart.|
Before the Procedure
|It is important to remove all nail polish and nail decorations the day before the procedure.|
During the procedure
|Most patients describe the procedure as being comfortable with a small hot pinch at the end that resolves quickly.|
After the Procedure
|Immediately following the procedure your nail may feel warm for a few minutes. Patients can resume normal activities immediately.|
|As the nail grows you will see new, healthy toenails. Toenails grow slowly, so it may take up to 12 months to see an entirely clear toenail.|
Will the Fungus Come Back?
Your nail infection should improve following treatment but you will need to continue with home care techniques to reduce the recurrence of the infection as advised by your doctor. There is a chance of re-infection because the fungus is present everywhere around you in the environment.
We will make recommendations to:
- Sanitize your shoes- Use UV light Sterishoe devices, or Clarus Shoe Spray to sanitize your shoes.
- Treat your skin at the first notice of athletes foot- Use over the counter anti-fungal creams to prevent re-infection of your toenails. Fungal infections can spread from your skin back to your toenails.
- Use of topical anti-fungal liquid- This may be necessary if your toenails start to show signs of discoloration.
For your convenience, we carry Clarus antifungal products, which have received the endorsement of the APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association) to help keep your feet in the best shape possible. These items are available for purchase over the counter for anyone without an appointment.
¹ Gupta et.al., Onychomycosis Therapy: Past, Present, Future, Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, Vol 9, 9, 2010.