What is nail fungus?
Nail fungus is a fungal infection of the fingernails and toenails that causes discoloration, thickening, and often softening of the nails. These infections occur when fungi get past the nail barrier, living and growing underneath the nail.
How does fungus get underneath the nail?
Toenail fungus usually occurs because socks and shoes keep the toenails dark and moist, a perfect breeding ground for fungi. Nail polish and fake nails (plastic or acrylic) can trap moisture and fungi in fingernails.
What happens during a nail fungal infection?
First, the area around the base and sides of the nail become red and irritated before later spreading to the nail and nail bed. Mild discomfort, itchiness, and sometimes pain around the cuticles usually develop, and bleeding or detachment of the cuticles may occur. The nail can become discolored, thicken, or develop grooves, lines, and tiny punched out holes.
How does the laser treatment work?
For the laser treatment, energy from a laser beam is directed at the specific cells causing the infection, vaporizing the fungus embedded in the nail bed and nail plate.
Is this laser treatment painful?
Patients should experience very little discomfort during or after the treatment. In addition, the laser beam does not have any harmful effect on healthy tissue.
How long does the laser treatment take?
The laser treatment typically takes about 10 minutes for treatment of the big toe. If more toes are infected, the procedure will take a longer amount of time. Most patients only require one treatment.
How soon will I see improvement? Is it permanent?
The treatment typically produces permanent results. The new nail will grow within the first 3-6 months, and follow up treatment with TNT Cream should speed up the growth process.
Is the laser treatment safe?
Yes, it is safe. This procedure does not require medication that involves other parts of the body, and studies have not shown any adverse effects or side effects.
Are medication or ointments needed for the laser treatment?
No, the treatment usually does not require any outside medication or topical ointments. Penlac solution may be prescribed to improve the efficacy. UV sanitizer is used to eliminate the fungi in the shoes. Some medication may be prescribed for the recovery process.
How will I feel after the procedure?
You will be able to walk and leave right after the procedure is completed.
Does insurance cover the laser treatment?
The laser treatment is not included as a health insurance benefit.