Toenail Fungus is a common nail infection affecting millions of individuals. The infection can cause the nail to thicken, become brittle, and take on a yellow or gray appearance. Some nail fungal infections can even cause the nail to separate from the toe. While a toenail fungus infection is unsightly, there are typically no painful symptoms unless the infection has progressed to a serious stage of development.
Signs and symptoms vary depending on what kind of infection is present. The medical term for a nail fungus infection is onychomycosis. It is important to see a medical professional at the first sign of an infection, often identified as a small white or yellow pot under the nail.
A specific type of fungi known as dermatophytes causes nail infections, but yeast and mold are also responsible for infections. Fungi are microscopic organisms able to live without sunlight. Some forms of fungi are beneficial while others cause sickness and infection.
Fungi live in warm, moist environments such as showers and locker rooms. They can penetrate the skin through cuts or separated areas in the toenail. Toenails are at risk of fungal infections as they are confined to the dark, moist environment of shoes. In addition, decreased blood circulation in the foot caused by restrictive shoes makes it more difficult for the body to fight off infections.
Should you choose to undergo laser toenail fungal treatment, Azul Medspa utilizes a Class 4 laser directly to the infected toenail. The painless laser targets the infection within the toenail including the area beneath the nail known as the toenail matrix. The laser treatment is designed to destroy the infection.
It is important to know that laser toenail fungal treatment is not a cure for fungal infections. Using your old shoes and exposing your feet to moist, damp toenail laser fungus treatment areas can cause the infection to reoccur. While laser toenail fungal treatment is typically very effective, it is often one component of an overall toenail treatment program.
The number of laser treatments depends on the severity of the nail infection. It is extremely rare for laser treatments to cause side effects or adverse reactions. On the other hand, other forms of toenail fungal treatments such as medication can cause health issues including kidney failure.
Laser treatment has been proven to be more effective than oral medications based on scientific studies. Not only is it more effective, laser treatment is far less invasive as it does not require blood tests or ingesting potentially harmful medications. The toenail does not become instantly clear upon receiving treatment. New, healthy nail growth is usually visible within three months. The nail should completely replace itself within the nine months. Very thick or badly infected nails often require more than one treatment.
Preparing for the appointment is very easy. You are required to remove all of the nail polish and décor from your nails the day before the scheduled treatment. A typical treatment lasts approximately 30 minutes. The majority of people feel no pain. Some individuals experience slight warmth, while very few report a slight prickly feeling. Laser treatment requires no recovery period - patients are able to walk out normally right after treatment has been completed. Most individuals are able to resume their normal activities immediately, including applying polish or getting a pedicure.
Except for extreme cases, the fungus is destroyed after one series of treatments. As with other infections, it is possible for the infection to return. It is important for you to limit the behaviors that caused the infection in the first place. Our staff can provide an after treatment plan including tips on how to prevent reinfection, as well as different products that can be used to reduce the likelihood of infection happening again.
Practicing good foot hygiene is critical:
Keep your nails short, clean and as dry as possible. Fungus thrives in dirty, moist and dark conditions. Trim your nails and be sure to dry your feet thoroughly - especially in between your toes.
- Wear socks. Synthetic materials that wick away moisture can keep your feet dryer than wool or cotton socks. Make sure to change your socks often, and if possible, take your shoes off at various points of the day. Also, try and wear breathable shoes as much as possible - especially during times of increased physical activity that leads to perspiration.
- Use anti-fungal spray. Spray or powder your feet and inside our shoes on a daily basis. This keeps the environment clean and dry.
- Avoid going barefoot in public. Wear shoes around public pools and locker rooms. This minimizes the chances of being exposed to others with fungal infections.
If you or a loved one is suffering from toenail fungus due to onychomycosis, let Azul Medspa - Dr. Weeks MD help.
Treatment for toenail fungus is safe and effective. It's fast, painless...and takes less than 10 minutes per treatment.
Toenail fungus affects nearly 25 million people around the United States, alone. The toenail fungus causes the toenail to be very hard, thick and turn yellow. If you have a fungus infection and you are thinking about different treatments, there are a few options:
Our doctors use a Q-Switched NdYAG laser which is one of the most advanced dermatologic lasers currently available. In 3-10 billionths of a second, impulses of high power laser energy pass through the nail to the nail bed and nail growth area with typically no damage to the nail or surrounding skin. At the time of the procedure, no visible change is seen until the nail begins to grow out. In a few months, a more normal nail is expected to appear with complete regrowth of the nail taking up to 9-12 months.
No post treatment pain has been reported. You may resume all normal activities immediately. If you have any problems or questions, please contact our office.
Most people do not feel any pain. Some patients may experience slight warmth or occasional snapping sensation during the procedure. If you have any pain during the procedure, the laser power can be decreased slightly to eliminate any pain. No anesthesia is needed.
The amount of time varies on the degree of involvement of the nails. Very thick nails are mechanically reduced to a more normal thickness with specialized equipment. The laser is then applied typically taking only a few minutes. Overall, a visit for consultation and treatment will usually take about 30 minutes.
The Q-Clear™ Laser is FDA approved and shown to be safe and effective. The nail is expected to improve with just one treatment. Clinical reports to date have been encouraging with most patients noticing significant improvement. As with all medical procedures, a 100% guarantee is not possible. In a randomized 3-12 month study of 100 subjects, significant nail plate clearance was observed in more than 95% of the subject cases with an mean clearance of greater then 56% of the (abnormal or affected) regions. Changing socks and shoes frequently and controlling excessive perspiration are helpful in preventing recurrence.
You can apply polish to the nail immediately after the laser treatment. However, it is important to remove all nail polish prior to your treatment.
No, the procedure is considered cosmetic, and is not covered by health insurance.
The cost varies depending on the number of nails involved and severity of the infection. The national average cost for laser treatment is $500 to $1200. However, since our practice offers the most state-of-the-art laser equipment, we can provide the most effective treatment in less time and at a reduced cost, which is from $300 to $900. A consultation is required to determine if you are a good candidate for laser treatment. The cost is based on the number of nails with obvious involvement and includes a year of treatment (three quarterly treatments). Any future visits, outside of the first year, will be at a reduced rate (if any charge)