Is the Laser Treatment for Nail Fungus Really Effective

by Sharon Hopkins


Toe nail fungus or a fungal infection of the nail is also called onychomycosis. There are four main types of toe nail fungus - all of which change the appearance of the toe nails. Toe nails appear white and cloudy or thickened and yellow. The texture of the nail can also change to become crumbly and rough. Sometimes the nail can separate from the nail bed (this is usually not painful).

Primary causes for this condition include extreme humidity, heavy perspiration, athlete's foot, constant wearing of socks, aging, psoriasis, being barefoot in public places like swimming pools, nail or foot injury that has been neglected and weakened immune systems.

Laser treatment is a relatively new, pain free treatment for toe nail fungus. Though pain free, some people have described the treatment as giving a sensation of pin pricks or a warm feeling around the nail. Laser treatment was available earlier too, but now there is a modernized and improved treatment available. Lasers are directed at the affected nails and the fungus is destroyed. This procedure is done without harming the digit or the adjacent tissue. The entire procedure usually takes 30 minutes. This treatment is gaining popularity in podiatry and is really effective.

The cost of laser treatment for toenail fungus is in the range of $275 to $1200, depending on how many nails are to be treated and which technology is being used. This technology gets revised quite frequently. The price can vary depending on which technology and machine is being used.

The machines that are often used in different clinics are:

  • PinPointe™ FootLaser™
  • Q-Clear™ laser system
  • CoolTouch VariaBreeze™ laser
  • Cutera Genesis Plus™ laser

These are not the only ones available but these are the most popular ones.

Sometimes after completing the laser treatment, you might notice swelling around the nail. This is usually temporary and subsides after about 30 minutes. If the swelling does not subside, you would need to seek a doctor's opinion. This treatment is not advised for people with diabetes and other immune compromising disorders, without permission from their doctor.

Despite the apparent relief of using laser treatments to get rid of toe nail fungus, there are some disadvantages of laser treatments as well. Most of these treatments cost a pretty penny and have no guarantees. These procedures are also not covered by health insurance. Along with the cost, the fact that the technology used often gets obsolete quite fast. Doctors are reluctant to update the technology as quickly.

Reference:

  1. http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2009SPIE.7161E..11H
  2. http://webtrain.austincc.edu/~hevans1/arborfoot/nailFungus.html

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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