Learn Whether Zapping Toenail Fungus With A Laser Is Effective.
Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis in the medical world, is difficult to avoid. The germs that cause toenail fungus thrive in gyms, near pools, and even on clothing. An estimated 1 out of 10 adults are affected by toenail fungus. Some people are genetically predisposed to developing toenail fungus, while others get it because their feet are often damp or they are frequently barefoot in public areas.
There are many treatments available for toenail fungus but most of them are unpopular with patients for one reason or another. One of the most effective treatments is Lamisil, a medication that must be taken orally for 90 days and has been associated with rare cases of liver damage and side effects like diarrhea, headache, rashes, and changes in taste. Another option is applying antifungal nail polish to the nail and surrounding area, which carries little risk of side effects but must be used on a daily basis for one entire year to have any effect.
Pros and Cons of Laser Treatment for Toenail Fungus
One of the latest treatments for toenail fungus is laser therapy. When performing laser toenail fungus treatment, a Seattle podiatrist aims a laser beam at the affected toenails. Some scientists believe that the laser kills the organisms that cause the fungus, while others believe that the laser inhibits fungal growth so that the body’s immune system can clear the nail.
Laser therapy for toenail fungus typically takes 30 to 45 minutes for up to 10 toes and the nails aren’t free of fungus immediately after treatment. Depending on the severity of the problem, patients may need up to four treatments. Patients then have to wait for the fungus-free nails to grow out, which can take between nine and 14 months. Laser treatment for toenail fungus costs anywhere from $750 to $1,500 and isn’t covered by insurance because it is considered an aesthetic procedure.
Laser therapy may improve the appearance of toenails, but it has to be used again and again in order to maintain results. There are also patients who have undergone laser therapy and haven’t seen long-term success. The results of clinical studies regarding the effectiveness of laser treatment for toenail fungus have varied. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association in 2012, 38% of the treated population was cured after laser toenail fungus treatment. These cures occurred in cases categorized as mild, moderate, and even severe. Another study published in the same journal in 2010 showed that of 26 eligible toes treated, 85% of the toenails showed new growth without fungus after six months.
One of the most common misconceptions about laser treatment for toenail fungus is that the fungus is gone forever once it is successfully treated. However, toenail fungus is a chronic condition that often recurs in susceptible individuals. In order to prevent toenail fungus from coming back after laser therapy, you have to make a consistent effort to keep your feet clean and dry, change your socks daily, and use an anti-fungal spray on your feet.
Laser Toenail Fungus Treatment In Seattle
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffer from toenail fungus and are seeking a toenail fungus treatment with no negative side effects, consider undergoing laser toenail fungus treatment at the Integrative Foot & Ankle Centers of Washington. We offer the following three FDA-cleared laser treatments for toenail fungus: PinPointe Laser, Q-Clear Laser, and Cutera GenesisPlus. Integrative Foot & Ankle Centers of Washington serves the Greater Seattle area, including Everett, Renton, Redmond, and Kirkland.