How Does Laser Therapy Work
In simplified terms, the laser therapy device shines a laser light into the toenail, penetrating down on, in, and through the nail to reach the fungus. It vaporizes the fungus. It also leaves the skin and tissue around the fungus alone.
Essentially, the laser device is set at a certain wavelength that only the fungus will absorb. When it penetrates the fungus, it destroys it.
If we want to get a little more technical, there are a few ways it can destroy fungus depending on the laser. Most lasers use photothermolysis that causes photomechanical or photothermal damage. We like the non-thermal laser therapy as it is pain-free since it doesnt use heat. It is still absorbed by the fungus only and damages the structure of the fungus.
But what you need to know is that laser therapy has been proven effective in clinical trials and because of this, the FDA began clearing laser devices.
As with all the treatments, you wont see the results right away. You have to wait until your nice fungus-free nail grows in. This will take months. But youll start to see the difference as the new nail comes in.
What Happens During The Surgery
Nail surgery can be done in your doctorâs office. Before it starts, your doctor numbs the area around your nail. If youâve ever had your gums numbed at the dentistâs, itâs very similar. Youâll be awake for the surgery, but you wonât feel any pain.
Once the area around the nail is numb, your doctor uses special tools to remove the entire nail or just the infected piece.
In severe cases, they may have to destroy the nail matrix, which is what makes your nail grow back.
After the surgery, your doctor usually applies antibiotic cream and a bandage around your nailbed, which is the area under where your nail used to be. The antibiotic helps make sure you donât get a bacterial infection.
The surgery usually takes less than an hour.
How Can I Save Money
Consult with your family doctor before you start this procedure. There are many prescriptions out there that may get rid of the problem.
Many various creams out there may help you and only can cost $10+
Consider looking for a study in your area. There may be a clinic that will be more than happy to perform the test on you and pay you for it. These tests can commonly be found on various websites online.
Groupon will offer daily deals for local doctors/clinics who offer this procedure from time to time. This is a great way to save up to 70%.
If you feel youre going to need more than one procedure, see if the clinic offers a package deal to help save you money.
Some clinics may offer payment plans to spread out your payments.
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Is Laser Nail Fungus Treatment Effective
Before you schedule an appointment, your first question may be, is laser nail fungus treatment effective? Clinical studies show support for this treatments efficacy, and toenail laser treatments are approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration. Looking at the clinical trial data/facts, laser nail fungus treatment is effective.
- A 2016 study by the FDA found that patients who received laser foot treatment displayed clear nails at three months and six months after treatment.
- A 2019 study published in the journal American Family Physician by the American Association of Family Physicians found that after 180 days of toenail fungus laser treatment, patients had a 30% cure rate and a 91% improvement in symptoms. The AAFP study also concluded that laser treatment is more effective for fungus removal than both over-the-counter and prescription topical and oral antifungal medications.
- In 2018, the journal Lasers in Medical Science published a study about the efficacy of laser treatment for fungus removal. These researchers reported a success rate of 83.7% among the patient population, who had infections that affected at least two-thirds of the nail.
Toenail Fungus Laser Treatment
Bay Area Foot Cares laser treatment centers in the San Francisco Bay Area use the leading toenail fungus laser treatment practices. These practices were established with the goal of effectively eliminating the embarrassment of toenail fungus through a cutting-edge laser treatment.
Bay Area Foot Care providers are offering a safer treatment option with laser technology. GenesisPlus is a 1064 nm laser that emits tiny pulses of light that pass through the toenail to the fungus underneath. The fungus is irradiated without any damage to the surrounding nail or skin. It works through a combination of photo-inactivation of fungus cells and raising the temperature of the nail plate and nail bed to destroy infected nail cells. The treatment process only takes about twenty minutes for five to ten nails. It requires no surgery and no anesthetics. Immediately following the procedure your nail may feel warm for a few minutes. Most patients resume normal activities immediately and will not require any sort of recovery time afterward. The laser treatment of nail fungus is 60-65% effective at clearing fungal infection from fingernails and toenails after only one treatment.
Please call to schedule your free consultation today!
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What Is Toenail Fungus What Does It Look Like
Toenail fungus is indeed a fungus. It belongs to a class called dermatophytes which is also where the fungus that causes athletes foot belongs.
This fungus thrives on a protein called keratin, which just happens to be abundant in your nail plate. They can sneak beneath the nail through tiny cuts or any other opening between the nail and skin.
While toenail fungus can wreak havoc on your nails appearance over time, an infection is not so obvious to start. You might first see a tiny whitish or yellowish blemish in the nail, and its easy to assume its from some little nick or bump you received. But if the blemish doesnt disappear over time and grows or changes shape instead its a good call to come and see us. Identifying and treating fungus this early can make things much shorter and sweeter!
But everyone is more familiar with a fungal infection that has had more time to develop. Symptoms at this stage can include:
- Yellowish, whitish, or brownish discoloration
- Thickening of the nails
- Warped or distorted shape
- In some cases, a faint foul aroma
The fungus has had significant time to work its way into the nail and nail bed by this time. It is more of a challenge to root out than it is when caught earlier, but still very much possible with the right treatment.
How Effective Is Laser Therapy For Toenail Fungus
About 10 percent of U.S. adults, or approximately 23 million people, suffer from toenail fungus infection. But unfortunately, the treatments that have been around a while oral medications and topical creams often dont really do the trick. The fungus usually comes back within 12 months. Plus, these treatments can have negative side effects and may have a bad interaction with other medications.
Luckily, laser therapy for toenail fungus is now an option. Since 2010, more than a handful of laser devices have been FDA approved and are used with success by podiatrists as a safe, quick, effective form of treatment.
But what is the process if you use laser therapy for toenail fungus and what can you expect, you ask?
To answer your questions, weve put together some basics on toenail fungus and laser treatment. Keep reading for a quick overview, and then, give it a try to see how it works for you. Our goal and the purpose of laser therapy is to help you clear up those nails so they can grow back healthy and strong.
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A Review Of Nail Fungal Infection Laser Treatment
Would you like to have clear healthy nails again? Without having to take potentially toxic oral medication? Lance Penn Podiatrist explains the different fungal nail treatment options
Lasers have been used for treating all sort of problems from hair loss and corrective eye surgery to the eradication of toenail fungus. Most podiatrists readily recommend laser treatment against toenail fungus, and for good reasons.
Unlike antifungal medications which are often ineffective against moderate to severe cases of toenail fungus, laser treatment has a higher success rate and is more convenient. The average cost per session of laser is $140.
Is it for you?
Given the figures mentioned above, you might be wondering is laser nail fungus treatment worth it? For you to arrive at an answer, it would be best to understand how toenail fungus removal works.
Now it is not that complicated a specialised laser energy is directed to the afflicted toenail and seeps deep into the nail bed where the fungal infection thrives. Hence unlike oral or topical antifungal treatment, a laser-based approach targets the problem right at its source and patients can expect their nails to get back to normal after one to three sessions depending on the severity of the problem.
Arrange a consultation and see before and after pictures of toenail fungus laser treatment
How The Laser Treatment For The Toenail Fungus Works
Lasers are an emission of high frequency lights capable of cutting and destroying tiny atoms coming its way. The laser treatment for the toe-nail fungus also works on this basic characteristic of laser.
To treat the toenail fungus, the toes are put directly under the laser nozzle, and the laser will then hit at the nail bed where there is the fungus. This interaction will destroy the microorganism, killing it, through the heat.
The laser used for the toenail fungus treatment is the CO2 laser usually, but for the treatment of some complex grown lasers doctors prefer the YAG laser, also known as yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser.
The wavelength of this laser light is quite high because this is how it is going to kill and attack each micro-organismic cell of the fungus. The regular laser for the toenail fungus treatment comes with a 900nm to 1300nm.
This is to increase the temperature of the laser and this increased temperature will make the nail-bed hot for the fungus. It will burn the fungus at the nail bed.
Another benefit of this much higher wavelength is the sterilizing effect of heat. This sterilized nailbed is now safe and no more fungal growth can happen for the next few years.
You might wonder why we cannot have the fungus destroyed in a single session.
Well, you can but it will increase the risk of tissue destruction, so, there is no point to get into a hurry. The doctors make sure that your damaged tissues, even if they get slightly damaged during the session.
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What Are The Extra Costs
Most insurance companies wont cover these procedures. Be prepared to pay the full price out of pocket.
If you need more than one session, be prepared to pay more money up front for future visits. For best results, vets may want to repeat the procedure every six months.
The initial exam may cost up to $150.
How Soon Will I Be Able To See Improvement To My Toenails Or Fingernails After Treatment
It usually depends on the origin of the fungal infection. If it was at the root of the nail, improvement can be seen as early as 3 weeks. A continuous improvement will be gradual as the nail continue to grow out. Typically, a significant overall improvement will be seen after 3 months. As a rough estimate, toenails may take 9 12 months to grow out completely, and fingernails may take 6 9 months.
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The Type Of Facility Providing The Treatment
Majorly, the average price of laser therapy for toenail fungus is a function of your care provider. To explain it simply, if you go to an expensive therapist or clinic, youll pay a lot of money.
On the other hand, if you visit a low-cost medical spa or clinic, youll pay the average market price. However, you can often count on more expensive clinics to deliver high-quality service.
More expensive clinics are often so because they use high-quality tools, and products. They also employ skilled medical aestheticians and therapists who can provide quality and timely services. Not to forget their state-of-the-art facilities that include everything you need to receive quality laser therapy treatments.
On the other hand, low-cost facilities do not provide some of the luxuries youll get to enjoy with expensive facilities. For example, they may make use of cheap products and tools.
They may employ only a few skilled practitioners. So, there may not be enough workers to attend to clients. And lastly, the building and available facilities may not be state of art or well equipped.
Do I Have To Limit My Activities After Laser Toenail Fungus Treatment
Laser toenail fungus treatment is a noninvasive method that doesnt require any downtime. Those who have this treatment done can go back to their regular activities without any restrictions.
- Our office offers LASER treatment for fungal nail infection using the FDA approved low level light laser from Erchonia. This is a safe class 2 LASER which uses a dual diode emitting light of 635 NM red laser light and 405 NM blue laser light. Treatment of both feet, is done simultaneously which requires 12 minutes per session. Four sessions, one week apart is required for best results.
- Laser light vaporizes the fungal cells and spores by passing light through the nail plate. The Laser light does not harm the skin and surrounding tissue.
- Laser treatment is generally not covered by health insurance companies, including Medicare. We offer a very economical treatment cost of $500 for four treatments which also includes disinfection of one pair of your shoes to reduce fungal contamination while you are being treated. Additional pairs can be done for $10 per pair.
- Cost is $500 total.
Major Insurance Providers Accepted. Here is a short list of them. Please contact the office if you do not see your provider listed.
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How Much Do At
Another option that can be more cost effective is to use an at-home laser device. These are a true advancement in technology, and many people swear by their effectiveness.
Ncure Nail Fungus Remover
One of the most popular at-home laser devices is the Ncure Nail Fungus Remover. For about $150, you can purchase this toenail fungus remover. It can be used for about seven minutes a day, for several weeks, until the fungus is gone. It is rechargeable, runs no risk of electric shock, and is compatible and portable enough to take with you wherever you go.
Cure Ex Nail Fungus Treatment Laser Device
Another popular at-home laser treatment is the Cure Ex Nail Fungus Treatment Laser Device. Working in a similar way to the Ncare system, this device uses a battery-operated laser that doesnt cut, slice, or scrape any part of the toe. Its slightly more expensive, up to almost $300, but offers the same benefits.
More Affordable & Available for Repeat Usage
Plus, because they are either rechargeable or battery-powered, you can use these devices again. Should you ever get another fungus, you wont have to spend any additional money. It can be a cost-effective solution if youre willing to spend time on the treatment.
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How Does It Work
Laser treatment for toenail fungus works by aiming a 1064nm wave-length laser at the affected area.
The laser delivers light energy to gently heat the toenail bed and kill the toenail fungus and the fungal spores that spread the fungus.
It does this by attacking the fungus in two ways by altering the cellular metabolism of the fungus and damaging the cell components, and with a photo-chemical effect that further damages fungal cell enzymes, proteins and membranes.
In a nutshell? It literally zaps that pesky fungus out of existence.
After the laser treatment takes place and the fungus is killed it requires a little patience to see the results.
The damaged toenail needs to grow out and be replaced by a healthy, fungus free nail, which can take anything from 3 months to a year depending on how much of the toenail was affected.
Take a look at this video to see exactly whats happening under the nail:
DIY laser treatment works a little differently.
In order to be safe, the lasers in the home devices are a pulse laser with a shorter wavelength of around 900 nm which isnt powerful enough to heat the flesh but is still capable of penetrating beneath the surface into the skin tissue.
This is usually coupled with a blue light which works on fighting the fungus cells found on the outer surface of the nail helps to stop the fungus from affecting other toes in the area.
Urgent Fungus Destroyer Or Tropical Creams
The laser treatment is an expensive way to cure the toenail fungus, a lot of people still believe that the toenail fungus can revive if we do not take proper care of our health and immune system.
In such a case, the urgent fungus destroyer can be the life saver. These tablets are designed and manufactured to fight the toenail fungus while maintaining your immune system at its best.
The urgent fungus buster is better than the topical creams and other tablets as it contains all the essential probiotics to kill the fungus and strengthen the good bacteria in the gut and blood.
Also, there are other home remedies to help getting rid of toenail fungus. These are not the best and can even be compared to laser technology or Urgent fungus destroyer. It includes using products like, Hydrogen peroxide, Coconut oil, Apple cider vinegar, Bleach etc.