Fungal infections can cause the toenails to become discolored, thickened, and distorted. Nail fungus can be both unsightly and uncomfortable, but laser treatment can provide a solution to this frustrating problem without pain, downtime, or medication.
Yeasts, molds, and fungi called dermatophytes can all cause fungal infections in the nails. These organisms thrive in moist, warm, and dark environments like those in your shoes, which is why fungal infections are more common in toenails than fingernails. Some people are genetically prone to nail fungus, while swimmers, athletes, and others who are commonly barefoot in public areas may also be at higher risk.
Nail fungus is extremely difficult to treat. Once fungus is in a nail it is highly resistant to treatment and often spreads to other nails. This can causes thickening, discoloration, lifting of the nail, and pain. The worse it gets, the harder it is to treat.
Treatments for nail fungus have traditionally included topical antifungal and oral medication. Topical creams, gels, and ointments do not work. Oral medication is effective but is not without risk of liver disease and a high rate of recurrence. Topical and oral treatments are usually not covered by insurance.
Laser treatments provide a positive alternative to traditional solutions. Lasers can be used to treat nail fungus without pain, downtime, or the risks associated with oral medications.
During the procedure, laser energy is delivered to the affected nail. Over time, the fungus dies and is eliminated. The nail grows out over the course of six to nine months and is clear. Because there is a high rate of recurrence of nail fungus, a touch-up session is recommended six months to one year after the initial laser treatment. More severe problems with nail fungus may require additional laser treatment sessions. To prevent nail fungus recurrence, Dr. Schoenhaus may also advise that you keep your feet clean and dry, change your socks regularly and avoid going barefoot whenever possible.
Contact us for more information about laser treatment for nail fungus at the Foot, Ankle & Leg Vein Center.