Laser Treatment of Toenail Fungus
Fungal infections of toenails are common in all societies and the prevalence has been estimated from anywhere for 6-9 percent of the population of the United States, to 27 percent of the population in 16 countries in Europe. Many people are extremely self conscious about the appearance of their fungal nail problems. Besides the psychosocial issues, fungal nail debris can, in some cases, induce painful nail deformities and fungal infections of the skin (athletes feet ). Moreover, certain comorbidities such as diabetes, neuropathy and peripheral artery disease can complicate the foot health of those infected with toenail fungus.
In the past, simple ,safe, and effective treatment has not been available. Topical medications, both over the counter and prescription have shown poor results in studies and in my practice. Oral prescription antifungals are more successful at temporary clearing of fungal infections ( as high as 72 percent in some studies) yet may have serious side effects and drug interactions. They also suffer the stigma of having to take an “oral drug for a toenail infection” Recently, I have been following the emergence of Laser treatment of onychomycosis with great interest. Clinical trials were promising. Endorsements from my colleagues and patients who traveled far to obtain these services were positive. The promise of a safe, virtually painless, effective, treatment protocol without side effects sounded to good to be true.
Enter the Q Clear Laser from Light Age Advanced Laser System Inc. We are proud to offer this technology for treatment of fungal toenails.and certain other foot conditions. Laser treatments are not new to my practice. I have been using a Pfizer Carbon Dioxide Laser for treating chronic ingrown nails and plantar warts for over 25 years. The Q Clear is a Q-Switched ND:Yag laser with two wavelengths that provide FDA cleared treatments of over 12 pathologies, INCLUDING FUNGAL TOENAILS.
The painless treatment is performed in the Truckee office and takes anywhere between 15 -30 minutes to perform. No post procedure discomfort is to be expected. Results are not instantaneous, but are seen as the nail grows out. A study specific to the Q Clear boasts a 95 percent efficacy of mycologic cure ( fungal organism not seen on culture ) We are excited to offer this high tech procedure to the Truckee-Tahoe and Reno area.