How Effective Is Laser Therapy for Toenail Fungus?

Toenail Fungus and Laser Treatments
When compared to the claws of a tiger, the hooves of a horse or the talons of an eagle, our toenails are quite pathetic.

A human’s toenails are made from the same substance (keratin) as claws, hooves and talons, but evolution has drastically reduced the utility of our keratin amenities. Our modern toenails can sometimes be more trouble than they’re worth.

One common toenail problem comes from fungus

In temperate climates like that of the US, the usual troublemaking toenail culprits are fungi called dermatophytes. When dermatophytes invade under a toenail, the result is the yucky condition known as onychomycosis.

Seniors are especially vulnerable to onychomycosis. Only about 7% of those aged under twenty, and 20% of those from 30 to 60, suffer from toenail fungus. For those over sixty, the incidence rate jumps up to about 45%.

What are the symptoms of onychomycosis, in the order that they usually appear?

  • A slowly growing white dot on the toenail. 
  • Discoloration of the nail. Parts of the nail turn yellow, brown, and/or white.
  • The nail thickens and becomes warped or twisted.
  • The nail becomes so brittle that it breaks easily, or even crumbles.
  • The seal between the nail and its bed is broken. The nail loosens and begin to separate.
  • The nail bed becomes painful.
  • An odd and/or unpleasant smell emanates from the nail.
  • The same process begins in another toenail.

For diabetics, toenail fungus is especially dangerous

Diabetics typically can have reduced blood circulation and nerve function in their feet. So any relatively minor foot condition, including a nail fungal infestation, may lead to more serious complications for diabetic patients.

Given all the above symptomology, it follows that harm from toenail fungus isn’t confined to your anatomy. The displeasing aesthetics and negative aroma (we mean ugly toes that smell bad) can lead to significant self-consciousness, and a determination to hide your feet at all costs. You discard all your sandals and open toed shoes. There goes your summer at the beach.

Pretty dismal, right? But don’t give up hope. Effective help is available.

How to treat toenail fungus

Toenail Fungus Laser TreatmentsTraditional remedies for toenail fungus include creams and ointments, both over the counter and prescriptive. But the efficacy of these preparations is limited. The dermatophyte fungi burrow between the layers of your nails. Because those nails are nonporous, it’s difficult for ointments to penetrate enough to take effect. The success rate for topical ointments is therefore quite low.

Systemic medications, taken orally, use a more direct approach to address the fungus. You take the pill, the medication is absorbed into your bloodstream, and the fungus is attacked within the nail formation process.

What are the problems with oral remedies for toenail fungus?

The side effects take center stage. They include headache, nausea, diarrhea, and sometimes serious systemic reactions. Some of those side effects are so potentially hazardous that constant monitoring of liver function is required.

Another drawback of ointments and oral remedies for toenail fungus is the extended duration of treatment. Toenails grow slowly. The nail on a big toe can take well over a year to completely replace itself. So the traditional remedies must be administered for a correspondingly lengthy time period.

Even after a successful treatment, fungal colonies often reestablish themselves.

Getting rid of toenail fungus with laser therapy

Given all the negative aspects of traditional toenail fungus treatments, it’s a very good thing that a relatively new approach provides markedly better results than either ointments or oral medication.

The Q Clear laser for treating toenail fungus

UFAI utilizes the FDA approved Q Clear laser system to eradicate toenail fungus. This laser treatment provides the photomechanical disruption necessary to kill the fungal colonies.

The Q Clear system is painless. It’s so accurately targeted that there’s no adverse effect on the tissue surrounding the nail. It’s both safer and more effective than topical ointment or orally administered medicine.

How effective is the Q Clear laser system?

The Q Clear protocol is a significant improvement over earlier laser systems. In clinical studies, the Q Clear laser system demonstrated a 97% rate of significant clearance of each treated nail.

Most nails treated by a Q Clear laser achieve substantially complete improvement after only a single treatment. Each treatment takes only a few minutes. There’s nothing to recover from, so you immediately return to your ordinary activities. And all this without any pain or significant side effects.

Why choose University Foot and Ankle Institute for your foot and ankle care?

The physicians of University Foot and Ankle Institute have decades of successful experience diagnosing and treating toenail fungus. Our nationally recognized foot and ankle specialists offer the most advanced podiatric care and the highest success rates in the nation. We are leaders in the research and treatment of all foot and ankle conditions.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call (877) 736-6001 or visit us here to make an appointment online.

Dr. Avanti Redkar, DPM

Dr. Avanti Redkar, DPM

Dr. Avanti Redkar is board certified in podiatric medicine and joined University Foot and Ankle Institute under a fellowship in sports medicine and ankle reconstruction. She attended podiatry school at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine and went on to complete her surgical residency at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip, New York, where she was trained in foot and rearfoot surgery, wound care, and hyperbaric medicine.

Dr. Redkar specializes in foot and ankle pathology and is available for consult at our Mid-Wilshire Los Angeles and Beverly Hills locations.
Dr. Avanti Redkar, DPM

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