Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, affects more than 10 percent of the United States population and is usually caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes, which live in warm, moist environments. These dermatophytes invade the body through tiny cuts in the skin or separations between the nail and nail bed, infecting the nails and causing them to become discolored, brittle, and ragged. Treating toenail fungus can be a difficult task because over-the-counter products only serve as a temporary solution and rarely work below the surface level of the nail. Fortunately, your foot doctor can help eliminate toenail fungus through the use of laser nail treatments.
Laser nail treatments usually only require a single 30-minute procedure to quickly and painlessly destroy toenail fungus. Using an FDA-approved laser device, your podiatrist can heat up and destroy the fungal infection in the nail bed without interfering with your nail’s natural growth. This means that the laser can kill the infection while preventing the cross contamination of unaffected nails.
Unlike topical treatments and oral medications that have potentially harmful side effects and rarely address the underlying problem, laser nail treatments painlessly destroy toenail fungus at the source, allowing new and healthy nails to begin growing in about 12 weeks. Most patients report that their toenails are completely grown back after 9 months to one year. Laser nail treatments do not require the use of bandages or pain relief medications, meaning there is no downtime and patients can resume their normal daily activities immediately following treatment. However, your podiatrist may recommend using a disinfecting shoe spray to avoid recontamination.
Have your toenails thickened or become brittle? Don’t ignore the symptoms of toenail fungus. Call the foot and ankle doctors with Village Podiatry at (678) 372-1835 to schedule an appointment and learn more about your laser treatment options.