Breakthroughs in Treatment of Toenail Fungus with Laser
We have all seen someone with thick ugly toenails. Perhaps you or your loved one suffers from onychyomycosis or toenail fungus. In fact, one out of nine people have some toenail fungus which until recently has been very hard to eliminate.
Toenail fungus begins with subtle signs and symptoms involving distortions in the shape of the toenail or crumbling toenails. The toenails or fingernails may become thickened and begin to have signs of yellow or white spots. Sometimes the toenails may hurt and have bad smelling debris built up under the nails. Finally, if nothing is done to control the onychomycosis or toenail fungus, the nail can become separated and thickened. Disfigurement can lead to more serious conditions.
Causes of Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is quite common. Our feet are often confined to hot sweaty shoes and socks which makes for a perfect breeding ground for the nail fungus. Fungus does not need sunlight to thrive. The shoes and toes are the perfect combination for the fungal overgrowth. The fungus once it enters around the toenail or fingernails has an endless supply of nourishment in the form of the nail beds and cuticle.
Toenail Fungus Laser Treatment
Certain medicines used to treat toenail fungus have adverse side effects that can effect the liver. This can be a problem for individuals suffering from other medical conditions such as diabetes which involve liver function. Now the same laser technology used by estheticians for other cosmetic laser treatments of the skin is applied to treat toenail fungus. The chromophore is the black and brown fungus. The toenail consists of layers of keratinized epithelial cells which are specialized structures of the epithelial layer of the skin.
Estheticians, experts in skin care are now being trained to operate this innovative laser. The fingernails and toenails are simply part of the epithelial layer of the skin on the fingers and toes. This is the same layer of skin depth as treated with microderm abrasion or a mild chemical peel. The esthetician will first exfoliate the nails being treated with a dremmel under a cool spray of water and alcohol.This exfoliation prepares the nail for the laser treatment. The toenail fungus laser is then applied to each toenail in a systematic pattern treating all ten toenails. The nail completes its exfoliation cycle in almost one year, As the new nail grows it will be fungus free. This is seen as a healthy band of new nail. The old infected nail moves to the top of the nail over months and finally the patient has a healthy looking nail. The process is not instant gratification like vein reduction or pigment treatment with a laser due to the slow growth of toenails and fingernails. The results are worth waiting for. Occasionally the patient may have to return to the esthetician for a touch up.
FDA Approved Toenail Fungus Laser
There are very few FDA approved lasers to treat toenail fungus. The toenail fungus laser is a 1064 Yag with specific settings to effectively treat the nails in 20 minutes. The reason that the nail is black or brown is because that is the color of the fungus. The Laser works by targeting this pigmented fungus, utilizing the correct wavelength and spot size to effectively target the pigment in the black nail fungus living in the nail. Treatment is relatively painless.