Till now we were not aware of any treatment that would clear the toenail fungus without leaving any side effects. The implementation of laser treatment has now made it easier to treat this problem effectively and efficiently.
Nail fungus which is also called onychomycosis is a condition that makes the nail grow thicker, discolored, and brittle. It usually occurs on the nails of the feet because it is most of the time covered by the shoes which causes humidity, heat, and darkness. As this is the best place for a fungus to grow, it makes things worse for your toenails.
They not only cause deformity but also become painful after some time due to this fungal penetration. There are also chances of bacterial infection, which are caused by a physical trauma around the toes having thick nail plates. Lastly, to make things difficult, the pressure can cause pain due to the thickness of the nail plates.
Causes of the Nail fungus
The toenails are prone to damp areas, especially when you are barefoot in the swimming pool, shower, etc. Any injury caused to the nail bed can make it more prone to fungal infection. People with problems like diabetes, circulatory problems are more prone to this kind of infection, which can make things worse. One more factor that affects athletes is when they get excessive perspiration on their foot.
About Laser treatment
There are several types of laser treatments, which might include light and some may include carbon dioxide (co2). Laser therapies are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating these nails problems. Many sessions need to be carried out for treating this toenail fungus completely, which might take around 6 to 18 months to resolve. When we talk about the side effects, it is very less as compared to the other treatment, where you might have some pain or bleeding in that surrounding area. Don’t worry this is not harmful and is completely safe.
If you are going through the same kind of problem, then we can suggest that you go through the site of a Podiatrist in Irvine. They have the best podiatrist in town, who can improve any kind of foot trauma by providing good options for treating them. One such example would be this toenail laser treatment where they can use their FDA-approved laser devices.
How Does the laser treatment work?
Laser treatment is a treatment that emits pulses of energy in the form of heat. In case of onychomycosis, it enters the toenails and reaches the nail bed where the fungus is present. Here a CO2 layer is used with a wavelength of about 870nm, 930nm, or 1320 nm is used to increase the temperature of the heat. This heat is too much that the infected tissue is gasified and decomposed.
On the other hand, it will also destroy the fungus and also the surrounding skin and the nail. The best part about this laser treatment is that it can sterilize the area to make sure that there are no more chances of fungal growth in that toenail.
As the laser treatment is used safely, there are chances that it won’t destroy all the tissues, allowing some of the infection to remain. Hence, it is said that all the infections won’t go away just by doing one session, which means it requires many sessions to destroy it completely.
Here are some of the things that you should know about the laser treatment:
- When it comes to its effectiveness, although the laser treatment is one of the best options available, it is not 100% effective. In some cases, it has also been followed by the removal of nails if the condition turned worse. Hence, you must get this treated as early as possible.
- This whole session will take about 20-30 minutes. Therefore, it does not need any anesthesia and does not cause any pain too. Thus, the patients can wear their shoes and spend the rest of the day with no aftercare required.
- In most cases, one laser session is enough to eliminate the problem, whereas in some stubborn cases it would require repeating the treatment at least twice or thrice.
- Just like any other infection, this infection can also come back. However, you can use that anti-fungal topical, which needs to be applied regularly to lower the chances of it coming back.
- Though the fungus is destroyed immediately during the laser treatment, the toenail appearance remains the same for a few months. It will take around 6 to 9 months for the nail to grow and get back to normal. There is also an option of cosmetic restoration procedure available. This cosmetic nail will outgrow and your new nail will appear soon.
Comparison with the other available options
Laser treatments are comparatively more effective than any other options. This includes treating them with some topical anti-fungal medications or some oral antifungals. Oral antifungals give some side effects and are also not effective in curing fungal infection completely. Topicals on the other hand are safe but not that effective.
Firstly, during the consultation, the podiatrist will check all the symptoms. They are checked by the appearance of the nails, but may also take some microscopic examination of this nail. Later you will have your debridement in the toenails, which will be clipped and the dead skin will be removed before the laser treatment.
On the day of the treatment, your foot will be cleaned with a sterile solution and will be placed in an accessible position to direct to the laser where your treatment will be done.
If you are planning to treat your toenails with the laser treatment, you should consult a podiatrist, who will examine well to understand the severity of your case. This is the reason why the early you treat it the better it is for you.