Fungal nail infection of the toenail (onychomycosis) is a difficult to treat condition. The infection causes discolored, ugly toe nails that can be very unsightly. The treatment is challenging because the beasties live in the nail bed (the part that we can’t see, beneath the skin). Topical therapies are largely ineffective because they don’t penetrate into the nail bed, and the period of treatment is generally so long that poor compliance in using the topical treatment. The standard treatment is oral anti-fungal medications which make it to the nail bed via the blood stream. The down side is that medications have to be taken for 5-12 months and success rates range from 30-90% depending on the severity of the fungal nail infection and the medication prescribed.
The most common prescription for fungal nail infection is Lamisil tablets. To be prescribed this medication a positive fungal culture must be obtained. Long term drug therapy requires blood monitoring, as taking long-term medication can have adverse effects on your liver function.
So, given the option of taking a prescription medication for months (that might not work in the long run) and the prospect of blood monitoring and potential medication interactions (plus the fact that your liver will be working harder to remove the antifungal medication from your body), it’s no wonder people are intrigued by the idea of a laser.
Laser treatment for fungal nail is relatively painless and free of side effects.
Warmth is felt when the laser applied and is approximately 80% effective in curing the problem. It uses heat and safe localized radiation from the laser to kill the fungal spores. There are no known side effects from using the Laser, although it is not recommended for use on anyone during pregnancy. Conventional therapy is not cheap either ($60-$100 for a bottle of anti-fungal lacquer), and is unlikely to be successful.
For further information please contact me at Better Health.