Fungal Nails & Laser Therapy
Whether you realize it or not, your toenails are important for your feet. Their hardened keratin tissue helps protect the ends of your toes from injury. Nails can become ingrown or infected and sustain unsightly and uncomfortable damage. The most common and problematic condition that affects your toenails is a fungal infection.
Nail fungus is an infection caused by microscopic fungi. The infection can affect just one nail or all ten at once, depending on how serious the condition has become and how far it has spread. The organism that causes the problem exists on its own in nature, breeding rapidly in warm, damp places. Anyone who is exposed to the pathogen can potentially develop an infection, though some people are more susceptible to it than others. Once on your nails, the fungus settles and spreads throughout the nails, creating difficulties in completely eradicating it.
As it festers, the fungus breaks down the nail tissue, creating an unsightly and potentially uncomfortable problem. Nails become thickened, brittle, and discolored. They may smell somewhat foul, crack, or separate from the nail bed as well. The thickened nails can create discomfort whenever you wear shoes, as well as open your body up to additional infections from bacteria. Patients with a weakened immune system response, as with diabetes, are particularly at risk.
Many treatments exist to remedy fungal nails, though certain ones are more effective than others. Many topical antifungal medications and “home remedies” like Vick’s Vapor Rub or Clorox are unable to penetrate the nail tissue and eliminate the fungus at the source. They can also be irritating to the skin. Oral medications are more effective for treating the problem, but they take many months to have an effect and do not work for everyone. Patients also risk unpleasant side effects that require monitoring by frequent blood tests to avoid serious complications when they take oral antifungal medications.
The safest and most effective treatment for fungal nail infections is with a laser. The high-intensity light passes through your nails and vaporizes the fungal infection at its source without damaging the tissues. The laser treatment allows your body to begin immediately growing new, healthy nails. Here at Country Foot Care, we use two state-of-the-art lasers—the Pinpointe Foot Laser and the Cool Touch Cryo Laser—to offer our patients multiple options for seeking relief from their condition. The before and after case results on the patients who have received Pinpoint Laser treatments are truly remarkable. Although laser treatments are not covered by medical insurance, our practice offers interest-free financing to those who qualify. Additionally, most flex spending plans offer some degree of reimbursement as well.
If you are suffering from unsightly and uncomfortable toenails, you do not have to live with the problem. Fungal nail infections are common and highly treatable, especially if you catch the condition early. Allowing the problem to progress risks unpleasant complications and additional infections. Instead, contact our doctors at Country Foot Care to eliminate the infection quickly. Appointments can be made by calling our offices during regular hours or, for convenience, you can use our MAKE AN APPOINTMENT button at the top of this page.
To see Before and After pictures, click here.
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Is there a fungus among us?
By: Dr. Steven Brook, DPM
A Guide to Fungal Nails
and other foot and ankle aches and pains.