Fungal nail laser treatment
- Description of the treatment
At the Derm-Al Podiatry Clinic, we offer fungal nail treatment with the Fox™ medical laser. Laser treatment guarantees better results of dermatological treatment of fungal nails.
Fungal nail infection is caused by dermatophyte fungi or, less frequently, Candida fungi (yeasts) or molds. Fungal infection may affect both fingernails and toenails, and it may develop on one or all nails. A sign of fungal infection is weak or thick nail plate that breaks and splits a lot, and may be painful to the touch. Nails become uneven, dull or yellow (or greenish or brownish) and horny.
Fungal nail infection is diagnosed with a mycological test. For more information on the test, click >>here<<.
Fungal nails need treatment because the problem will not disappear on its own even in the early stage, and it is very infectious. If not treated, it will spread to other fingers or toes and infect other persons, too. The treatment of fungal nails is long and difficult, mainly because nails take a long time to grow. Fungal nails may be treated with ointments, antifungal nail varnish and oral medication. The treatment, to be effective, should continue for a couple of months also after the symptoms have disappeared. Laser treatment may stimulate the process, and if a patient poorly tolerates oral medications (antifungal medications affect the liver and the whole organism), it is the only option.
The Fox laser emits light of 1064 wave length that destroys the cytoplasmic membrane and the enzymatic content of fungal cells, causing them to die without damaging the nail plate or the surrounding tissue. However, laser treatment does not prevent fungal reinfection, so the patient must take new socks and shoes with him or her to the clinic and follow post-treatment instructions.
How does the treatment work?
The treatment is performed by podiatrist, who first disinfects the patient’s feet and then examines them and interviews the patient. The purpose of the interview is to find out about any diseases the patient may suffer from and any medications he or she takes. A contraindication for the procedure is, among other things, neuropathy caused by advanced diabetes or circulatory failure. This knowledge is necessary for the safety and effectiveness of the treatment, and it is reported in the patient’s podiatric file. Next, the podiatrist discusses the treatment plan with the patient and gives him or her instructions to be followed after the treatment.
Depending on the condition of the nails, the podiatrist, using a drill machine and specialist drill bits, prepares the nails for the treatment, removes the sections of nail plate changed by fungi, cleanses the nails and folds, and polishes hypertrophic (thick) nails.
The treatment involves applying laser impulses of appropriate parameters to nail plates. The laser head is moved appr. 1 cm. above the infected area and it does not touch the nail. The treatment takes appr. 10-20 minutes. The patient feels strong heat. Finally, the podiatrist applies specialist antifungal nail varnish.
It is recommended to repeat the treatment at least once within 4 weeks. Unless the physician or podiatrist recommends otherwise, mycological test should be ma de7 days after the second procedure . The result is available within 4 weeks and it shows whether the nail is healthy or the therapy needs to be continued.
The effects of the treatment are visible when new, healthy nails grow, however, only the mycological test can confirm that the nails have been completely cured.