Toenail fungus, a condition called “onychomycosis” affects some 12% of the people in the United States. The condition can be mild to severe, but most who seek treatment do so because toenail fungus doesn’t just “go away,” and because the fungus causes embarrassing deformation and coloration of the toenails themselves. Wearing sandals out in public or light footing it through the sand at a beach become near-traumatic events for toenail fungus sufferers. For many years, treatment consisted of topical creams, ointments and oral medication that can cause liver damage and were somewhat effective, but a relatively new toenail fungus laser treatment available at many clinics and podiatrists’ offices is restoring hope for toenail-fungus patients.
How Do People Contract Toenail Fungus?
Fungus thrives in warm, dark moist environments, such as communal showers, locker room floors, saunas and swimming pools. Imperceptible cuts on toes allow the fungus to invade the space between a toenail and the nail bed itself. Because feet are usually encased in socks and shoes and don’t often see the light of day, they provide a perfect breeding ground for various stubborn forms of fungus. Over time as the fungus takes hole, the nail becomes yellowed, brittle, thickened and may even begin to crumble. Some sufferers even notice an unpleasant odor from the infection; the fungal infection rarely stays confined to one time, and can spread from toe to toe.
Toenail Fungus Laser Treatments
Laser treatments for the selective destruction of toenail fungus was approved by the Food and Drug Administration about four years ago, and have been gaining popularity among toenail fungus sufferers ever since.
Toenail fungus laser treatments are painless — before and after the procedure — and relatively fast. A look at what the laser treatment procedure involves reveals that:
- The procedure takes about 30 minutes — including consultation — from start to finish.
- No anesthesia or pain-numbing drugs are required.
- Pulses of high-powered laser energy directly target the fungus, through the toenail to the nail bed beneath.
- The fungus is killed immediately.
- Other than a slight warmth during the procedure, patients feel no pain or discomfort.
- Normal daily activities can be resumed immediately after treatment.
- No visible changes to the nail are seen until the nail begins to grow out (Between 3-6 months you should begin to see clear nail appear at the bottom of the nail; after 6-12 months, the toenail will have fully replaced itself with a clear, fungus-free nail.)
Book a Free Consultation
If your toes have been affected by fungus and are causing you pain or even painful embarrassment, then it’s time to consult with our laser specialists at Clear Toes Clinic in Houston, for free. Our experts can talk to you about the treatment, what it entails and how it can improve your condition.