Updated: Jul 29, 2020
Sometimes change comes slow and steady—for example, the continuous progress in computing power from the 1960s until today. Other times, technology takes a quantum leap forward, rapidly improving in barely an instant. Laser treatment for fungal toenails represents one of those incredible hurdles.
Fungal nails are unquestionably ugly; the dull and yellowed nail plates are thick, crumbly, and often warped or disfigured. Their other signature attribute was that, until recently, they were extremely difficult to eradicate.
Creams and sprays? Can’t get past the nail barrier and reach the fungus below. Even if you trim your nails weekly and apply a topical antifungal every day, it might take a year (or more, or never) to clear up.
Oral antifungal pills? For decades, this was the best approach we could offer. However, it came with numerous, significant drawbacks. One, because blood flow to the toes is already very limited, the medications took a long time to work—6 to 12 weeks of daily pills. Two, oral antifungals can come with some nasty side effects, including rashes and liver damage, and might not be appropriate for everyone. And three, the treatment still failed 30 to 50 percent of the time anyway.
Enter laser therapy. It sounds like science fiction, but it really works, and it blows away previous forms of care in almost every respect:
It’s completely painless for most people—at worst, you might feel a warming sensation or slight pinprick
There are no known side effects
It requires no medications
It’s convenient, usually requiring no more than three 30-minute sessions and no post-procedure recovery period
It has a higher cure rate than oral or topical medications
Our office uses the PinPointe FootLaser, which is an FDA-cleared device. The technology was developed by scientists and medical professionals over a period of decades, and it’s really quite incredible. The laser beam is able to pass through the thickened nail while targeting and killing the fungi, all without damaging your body’s own cells.
Unfortunately, some things will still take time. Even without the fungus, you’ll still have a damaged nail plate that will need to grow out. But with laser treatment, you generally start to see at least some improvement much faster.
If you’re looking for a better way to zap your fungal toenails, schedule an appointment with the team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle and see if our laser treatment is right for you. Call (504) 708-4810 for an appointment in Metairie, or (985) 809-1464 for Covington.