New Laser Treatment for Toenail Fungus

A safe, effective treatment for toes and feet

Nail fungus, also referred to as onychomycosis, is a common condition estimated to affect up to 10 percent of the population worldwide. It can cause nails to become yellow or discolored. As the infection advances, the nail can become thick, brittle and separate from the nail bed. It can also cause pain when performing daily duties or even walking.

What causes nail fungus?
Dermatophytes are the fungi responsible for causing this nail fungus. Everyone is at risk for infection because fungus is present everywhere in the environment.

Where does nail fungus come from?
Nail infection is caused by contact with fungi. Common sources of infection include swimming pools, public showers, gyms and nail salons. Tight fitting shoes and nail trauma can also lead to an infection. Genetic susceptibility, poor health and increasing age are also factors that can increase the risk of nail infection.

What are the signs and symptoms of toenail fungus?

You may suffer from nail fungus infection if you have one or more of the following symptoms:
• Discolored, distorted or thickened nails
• Yellow streaks under the nail
• Brittle, crumbly or ragged nails
• Nails separated from the underlying skin
• Buildup of debris (nail fragments, skin, etc.) under the nail
• White spots or streaks on the nail surface
• Pain

What treatments are available?
Current treatments for nail infection include oral medication, topical drugs and laser treatment. No single treatment is effective in all cases. Be sure to discuss all of your treatment options with your physician. Patients do not need a physician referral to schedule an appointment with Podiatrist David J. Burnett, DPM from Olathe Health Podiatry Specialists for laser treatment.

What is a fungus laser?

The laser has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration to be both a safe and effective solution for the treatment of toenail fungus. Most patients experience at least some improvement, if not complete clearing. A clinical study has reported no adverse effects related to laser treatment. This laser is also a safe and effective treatment for scar reduction and warts.

How does the laser work?
Laser light passes through the nail and surrounding tissues. The light is absorbed by pigment in the fungi, which causes the pigment to heat. The heat generated from the laser kills or damages the fungal organism, which can result in restoration of nail growth. The procedure is quick and painless. It can be performed without anesthesia with high success rates. It is a good option for those who are not good candidates for oral anti-fungal therapy or have not responded to therapy. It is also a good option for people who are not able to or do not want to take oral medications.

What you can expect.

The treatment involves passing the laser beam over the infected nails and surrounding skin. Dr. Burnett will repeat this several times until enough energy has reached the nail bed.