Laser Toenail Fungus (Onychomycosis) Bellevue
Do you have onychomycosis? This condition is a fungal infection that affects the toenails. The infection begins at the dead outer layer of the skin and then slowly progresses toward the nail plate. It is caused by a fungus called dermatophyte. This condition is commonly seen in older men, but it is also known to affect people of any gender or age.
Common Treatments for Onychomycosis
Since this infection seems relatively superficial, most people assume that topical treatment would suffice. However, since the fungus thrives in the dead tissue surrounding and within the toenail, it becomes difficult to treat these areas and expose them to medication, making treatment very complicated. Onychomycosis is also asymptomatic, which makes it difficult to determine if the situation is indeed a fungal infection.
Currently, the forms of treatment that are accepted are oral medication and topical therapies. Oral treatment is known to be more effective than topical treatment, but it involves some amount of risk.
Both these approaches require long-term treatments and could result in a hefty medical bill. Surgical options such as removing the entire nail plate are also available, but most doctors state that this is quite ineffective in treating the infection.
Laser Toenail Fungus Treatment: The More Effective Option
Although oral and topical treatment show some results, they are not completely effective in treating toenail fungus. This has resulted in the development of a laser treatment, which has become more and more common over the past few years.
This type of treatment is relatively new and quite cutting-edge. Medical experts have reported evidence of laser treatment being very effective in destroying the fungus affecting the toenail. The technology using in this treatment is already being used in the treatment of other conditions such as hair removal, dental work, and cataract surgery.
How Does Laser Toenail Fungus Treatment Work?
Laser toenail fungus treatment involves selectively heating and destroying the fungi while leaving the surrounding healthy tissue completely undamaged. Lasers set to specific wavelengths produce enough energy and heat to affect and destroy targeted fungi. They are very specific, so surrounding healthy tissue is spared and remains unaffected.*
*Individual results may vary.
The Treatment Process
The laser toenail fungus treatment can require around 20 minutes to complete, sometimes even less. Any nail polish should be removed before treatment in order to help with penetration of the energy.
During the treatment, a handpiece is used to apply laser energy to the affected regions. This non-invasive treatment is very gentle, and patients feel no pain during treatment. Anesthesia will not be needed. A warm sensation may be felt.
After laser toenail fungus treatment is done, the patient is free to return to their regular schedule. There is no required downtime, unlike with surgical procedures. Additional treatments may be necessary in the following months in order to reduce all traces of the fungus.*
*Individual results may vary.
Schedule a Consultation
If you would like to find out more about the laser toenail fungus treatment we offer, contact our office for a consultation with Dr. O’Connell.