As many as 14% of Americans suffer from onychomycosis — toenail fungus — and the thick, yellowed, unattractive nails that go along with it. It’s not just the appearance of fungal nails that’s worrisome. When the nail bed is compromised by a fungal infection, it can also increase the risk of other infections, including bacterial infections that, untreated, could lead to loss of a toe.
Toenail fungal infections are extremely stubborn, and once an infection takes root, you need medical treatment to get rid of it. While toenail fungus can be treated with oral or topical medications, these medicines come with some risks, including drug interactions and other side effects.
Fortunately, a newer therapy has proven especially effective in treating stubborn onychomycosis: laser therapy. With locations in San Mateo and Half Moon Bay, California, FootCare Specialists, Inc. is a leading provider of laser therapy for toenail fungus, using state-of-the-art technology to destroy fungal organisms and restore nail health.
If you have one or more toenails affected by a fungus, here’s how starting laser therapy with David J. Kaplan, DPM, now can help you enjoy more attractive toes — and greater confidence — by the time sandal season arrives.
Nail fungal infections typically start out as a yellowish spot underneath one or more nails. Over time, the infection spreads, changing the thickness and appearance of the nail while damaging the nail bed where new nail tissue is formed.
Toenail fungal infections often begin as athlete’s foot, a fungal infection that affects your skin. Once the fungus spreads to the nail bed, the toenail provides a barrier that allows the fungal bodies to spread and penetrate deeply into the soft tissues.
Using traditional antifungal chemical products typically requires removal of the toenail to allow the medicines to reach the stubborn fungus. With lasers, you don’t need to have your toenail removed; instead, the damaged nail grows out over time as the new, healthy nail emerges.
We use the CoolTouch® laser system to treat fungal toenails. Ths laser penetrates the toenail and the upper layers of skin to reach the tissue where fungal pathogens are found.
No incisions are necessary. The affected area absorbs the energy painlessly, targeting the fungal infection while leaving the surrounding healthy tissue unharmed.
Treatment takes about 15 minutes. Many infections clear up with just a single session, but in really stubborn infections, you may need additional sessions to ensure the fungal bodies are completely destroyed.
After your treatment, there’s no downtime — you can go back to your regular routine. Within about two weeks, you’ll notice new, healthy nail tissue emerging at the base of the nail bed. As the new tissue grows, the damaged nail tissue is pushed out so you can trim it away.
The complete regrowth process usually takes about 2-4 months, which means if you start now, you’ll be ready for sandals in no time.
Don’t let ugly toenails make you feel self-conscious — laser therapy can help. To learn more, call 650-264-9294 or book an appointment online with Dr. Kaplan and the team at FootCare Specialists, Inc. today.