Fungal Nail Laser

Laser Fungus Nail Treatment

Fungal nail infections (onychomycosis) are very common affecting up to one in ten of the UK population. Toenail fungus is an infection underneath the surface of the nail caused by fungi.

When the tiny organisms take hold, the nail often becomes darker in color and smells foul. Debris may collect beneath the nail plate, white marks frequently appear on the nail plate, and the infection is capable of spreading to other toenails, the skin, or even the fingernails. If ignored, the infection can spread and possibly impair your ability to work or even walk. The resulting thicker nails are difficult to trim and make walking painful when wearing shoes. Onychomycosis can also be accompanied by a secondary bacterial or yeast infection in or about the nail plate.

Some prescription medications have side effects and therefore are not always the best treatment option. Another option is surgery to remove the nail; this is not a popular option either. Laser therapy to treat the disease is gaining popularity as a means to achieve a temporary increase in clear nail.

Medicine has benefited significantly from the use of lasers. Specifically within dermatology, advances in laser technology have allowed the development of lasers to target fungal cells. Over the past 5 years the advances have been significant initially using heat delivered with the laser and its infra-red 1064nm beam.

Fungus is contained within the nail complex and the lasers are able to target these fungal cells directly without the risks involved when oral medication is taken or the long period of time required when applying topical medicines that aren’t able to penetrate to the nail bed.

Lasers have no detrimental effect on healthy skin or nail and require no anaesthetic. They are not surgical and there is no recovery period or effect on activity after treatment.

During the Nail Fungus Laser Treatment, a laser beam will be slowly directed across the nail bed. The laser beam will generate heat beneath the nail and within the underlying fungal colony. You will feel a warm sensation during the procedure which lasts 1 minute to 2 minutes per toenail. There may be a slight pain sensation as a result of the heating effect of the laser treatment.
  • The procedure is safe
  • No anesthesia is required
  • There are no side effects
  • There is no visible harm to the treated nail or adjacent skin
  • Socks and shoes can be worn immediately after the procedure
  • Nail polish can be applied after treatment
  • There is no “recovery” period after the procedure
Although the fungus is effectively killed by the laser at the time of treatment, the toenail still has to grow out. The healthy toenail typically grows out at a rate of about 1mm per month. If the nail is only 1/4 involved, it will probably look clear and healthy in about 3-4 months. If the toenail is 50% involved, it will probably take 5-6 months to see a completely clear and healthy-appearing toenail. A toenail that is 100% infected will take almost a year regrow into a healthy nail after the laser procedure. The full treatment will be completed within two sessions one month apart.
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