Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is an infection underneath the surface of the nail caused by fungi. When the tiny organisms take hold, the nail often becomes darker in color and smells foul. Debris may collect beneath the nail plate, white marks frequently appear on the nail plate, and the infection is capable of spreading to other toenails, the skin, or even the fingernails. If ignored, the infection can spread and possibly impair your ability to work or even walk. The resulting thicker nails are difficult to trim and make walking painful when wearing shoes. Onychomycosis can also be accompanied by a secondary bacterial or yeast infection in or about the nail plate.
Because it is difficult to avoid contact with microscopic organisms like fungi, the toenails are especially vulnerable around damp areas where you are likely to be walking barefoot, such as swimming pools, locker rooms, and showers, for example. Injury to the nail bed may make it more susceptible to all types of infection, including fungal infection. Those who suffer from chronic diseases, such as diabetes, circulatory problems, or immune-deficiency conditions, are especially prone to fungal nails. Other contributing factors may be a history of athlete’s foot and excessive perspiration.
Dr. Farajian is at the forefront of laser nail care, successfully treating Onychomycosis painlessly with this new technology.
Before the advent of laser treatment, the only remedies available to treat this condition were oral medications with potential complications such as liver damage, as well as largely ineffective topical medications. Using lasers to treat toenail fungus is cutting edge technology promoted by The Doctors Talk Show and Dr. Oz. No harmful side effects, fast and more effective than any topical or oral medications.
The procedure requires one or a small number of safe, quick treatments with little or no discomfort and is performed as an outpatient service with no anesthesia. The gentle laser light beam has no effect on healthy tissue, and treats only the infected area of the toe. No drugs or topical ointments are used, eliminating the total-body side effects of traditional oral medications.
Proper hygiene and regular inspection of the feet and toes are the first lines of defense against fungal nails. Clean and dry feet resist disease.
- Wash your feet with soap and water, remembering to dry thoroughly.
- Wear shower shoes when possible in public areas.
- Change shoes, socks, or hosiery more than once daily.
- Clip toenails straight across so that the nail does not extend beyond the tip of the toe.
- Wear shoes that fit well and are made of materials that breathe.
- Avoid wearing excessively tight hosiery to decrease moisture.
- Wear socks made of synthetic fiber that “wicks” moisture away from your feet faster than cotton or wool socks do.
- Disinfect instruments used to cut nails.
- Disinfect home pedicure tools.
- Don’t apply polish to nails suspected of infection (those that are discolored, for example).
F.A.Q. About Laser Toenail Fungus Treatment
How is toenail fungus diagnosed?
In most instances physician will evaluate signs of infection and will be able to tell you right away if your nails are infected. In other cases, biopsy of the nail tissue will be required, which is often reimbursed by a health insurance.
How does the laser works?
The Laser kills the fungus that lives in and under the toenail. The laser light passes through the toenail without causing damage to the nail or the surrounding skin. At the time of the procedure, the toenail will not become instantly clear, because it takes time to grow out.
What can I expect in the doctor’s office?
Dr. Farajian will determine if you are a candidate for toenail fungus laser treatment. He will also answer any questions you may have about the procedure and outcome.
Is toenail fungus laser treatment safe?
There are no age or health restrictions or limitations. In clinical studies there have been no adverse reactions, injuries, disabilities or other known side effects.
Is the laser toenail fungus treatment painful?
The procedure does not require injections of anesthetic. Majority of people do not feel pain or discomfort from the laser. Some people report a mild warming sensation, and very few feel a pinprick from the laser.
Is there a recovery period?
No. Toenail fungus laser treatment is painless with virtually no discomfort. Our machines also have automatic temperature sensors so there is no room for error.
How long does the fungus toenail laser treatment take?
Consultation and Procedure may take between 20 to 30 minutes
When can I apply nail polish to my toenails or have a pedicure?
You can apply nail polish immediately after the foot laser treatment. It is important to remove all nail polish and nail decorations the day before your treatment, otherwise physician will not be able to assess the severity of the condition.
Can the toenail fungus come back?
The toenail fungus is killed after the treatment is concluded. There is a chance of re-infection, however, because the fungus is a part of normal skin flora and present everywhere in the environment.
Does fungus laser treatment really work?
In the recent clinical study, 80% of the treated patients grew out a normal looking nail after two to three treatments. Sometimes only one treatment is necessary. Treatments are usually spaced one month apart. Upon conclusion of the treatment, the nail plate should grow out normally in 6-12 months. This result is exceptionally higher than any oral or topical medication presently on the market.
Does my insurance pay for this?
Because this treatment is considered cosmetic, health insurance plans do not cover it. Your initial consultation, however, can be covered by insurance.