Toenail fungus is an embarrassing condition affecting over ten percent of the adult population. Along with being painful, toenail fungus is not attractive, causing many to refrain from wearing open-toed shoes such as sandals. Moreover, it can also be spread from person to person. There are new oral medications available today to treat this condition, although some of these medications can cause liver damage and other side effects. They also must be taken for several weeks. Another exciting new treatment that is proving to be easy and effective is the toenail fungus laser treatment .
About Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is difficult to treat. When the fungus infection occurs, it burrows deep into the nail causing the nail to become thick, yellow and crumbly along the edges. This particular type of fungus, that develops more on toenails than fingernails, thrives in dark, warm and moist environments. The fungus can invade the nail through microscopic cuts around the nail or through the area between the nail bed and nail. Because of its deep penetration into the nail, treating nail fungus with topical treatments is often ineffective. Oral medications fight the infection from inside out, but do carry the risk of unwanted side effects. The new laser treatment for toenail fungus is proving to be very effective and carries no risk of side effects.
The Less Modern Toenail Fungus Laser Treatment
Laser treatment is not something new. It has been around since the 1980s although the previous toenail laser treatment was invasive and required the podiatrist to use the laser to drill a hole in the nail so medication could be administered through this entry point. This technique was used to provide a better chance of the medication to directly reach the fungus and destroy it. Unfortunately, this type of laser treatment for toenail fungus , known as fenestration, was not too successful. The toenail fungus remained to some degree and the treatments were quite expensive. Nevertheless, this led the way for other laser treatments that have significantly improved and do not require invasive drilling of the nail.
The New And Modern Laser Treatment For Toenail Fungus
The new and modern toenail fungus laser treatment consists of a laser that uses laser light energy, which is directed at the fungus to destroy it, without damaging the nail or the surrounding skin. Basically, this laser uses heat to kill the fungus, but does not harm other tissue. The procedure is completely painless, without side effects. This laser treatment for toenail fungus was approved by the FDA in September of 2008 and is available today by many podiatrists. The entire laser treatment takes less than 30 minutes. Results are not immediate, but a new fungus-free toenail will grow out in less than a year. Treatments are effective 88 percent of the time.
Cost Of Toenail Fungus Laser Treatment
Although the laser treatment for toenail fungus is mostly effective, it is also a bit pricy. One treatment can cost about $1,200 and treatments are not covered by insurance as they are considered cosmetic treatments. Although the cost of a laser treatment is somewhat high, some are willing to pay the price to finally look down and see healthy toenails once again.