Fungal infection of the toenails and fingernails is a cosmetic condition that affects thousands of people in the United States. It is unsightly and usually embarrassing for the patient. Toenail fungus is one of the leading reasons people visit podiatrists and dermatologists. With new laser technology, there is now a safe and reliable way to get your healthy feet back.
What Is Nail Fungus?
Nail fungal infections, clinically known as onychomycosis, typically originate from fungi, yeasts and molds. In most cases this does not create long term illness or other serious problems, however, cosmetically the toenail or fingernail can become unattractive and untreated, damaged nails left untreated could lead to infection or loss of the nail.
What Are The Symptoms Of Nail Fungus?
Initial symptoms of an infection are barely, if at all, noticeable. Starting out as a white or yellow spot under the tip of the toenail or fingernail, the fungus gradually spreads deeper and starts to cause increased discoloration and thickening, and may lead to crumbling edges.
Can Nail Fungus Be Spread From Person To Person?
Yes, nail fungus is pervasive. Not only does it spread from one nail to another, it also spreads from person to person. This fungal sharing is common in households, thus it is strongly recommended to seek treatment to prevent the spread of the fungus to others.
What Are Some Ways To Treat Nail Fungal Infection?
There is a variety of over-the-counter treatments like nail polishes, powders, creams and ointments to fight the fungal infection, but the success rates of curing the problem are only about 8%. A slightly more effective method is taking oral medication for a three month period, but it is only effective in 50% of patients and can affect the liver and should be restricted to young and healthy patients. New laser technology provides treatment with better success rates than the topical products without any systemic side effects.
How Does Laser Treatment Work?
The laser is a light based device that heats up the nail and nail bed enough to destroy the fungus growing under the nail. At Laser Esthetica, we use the Cutera Genesis Plus laser which is an FDA-approved device that helps rid the patient of toenail fungus.
How Safe is The Laser Treatment Procedure?
The procedure is entirely safe, with no known adverse side effects. During the treatment, heat is felt in the nail. The team at Laser Esthetica will make sure that you are as comfortable as possible. Prior to the procedure, it is advised to remove excess thickness of the nail by having your manicurist thin down the nail with a nail drill. A thinner nail will allow more of the laser energy to penetrate the nail to eliminate the fungus.
What Is The Treatment’s Success Rate?
In clinical studies recently conducted, the laser treatment demonstrated significant improvement in nail appearance with just one treatment, similar to or better than the results found when taking more harmful oral medications. Typically, there is a 60% success rate with one treatment, which increases to a 70% success rate with a second treatment, six weeks after the first.
When Will I See Results?
An average toenail will typically replace itself every six to nine months. Patients will start to notice a healthy, new growth within three months of the treatment, and usually the entire six to nine month growth period before the full cosmetic result is seen.
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