What is Laser Fungal Treatment?
Fungal infection of finger and toenails
Dr. Solon is proud to be able to offer laser treatment as a safe and effective alternative for the treatment of fungal nail infections. Traditional treatments for fungal nail infections include topical treatment which requires daily application of medication to the nails for up to a year, with a reported 7% to 10% cure rate; oral medication which requires blood testing prior to and during treatment, and has the potential to cause liver damage, with a 40%-50% reported cure rate. Laser treatment for fungal nail infections has been developed over the last several years and has become the gold standard for the treatment of finger and toenail fungal infections with a reported 80% cure rate. Laser treatment is performed in the office and in most instances requires only one treatment; the procedure is pain free; there are no known side effects; the procedure is safe for children and you can return to your normal activities immediately; females can have their nails painted immediately as well. Call our office today to schedule a consultation for your nails.
Successful treatment of nail fungal conditions may reduce the thickness of the nail, decrease discomfort associated with the involved nails, improve the appearance (color and shape of the nail) and may make trimming easier. The various treatment methods all have differing success rates and no treatment option can be said to have a 100% success rate.
How does laser treatment work?:
Doctor Solon uses a Q-Switched NdYAG laser, which is one of the most advanced dermatological lasers currently available. In 3-10 billionths of a second, impulses of laser energy pass through the nail to the nail bed and the nail growth area with typically no damage to the nail or surrounding skin. At the time of the procedure the infecting nail fungus is expected to be destroyed. However, no visible change is seen in the nail until the nail begins to grow out. In a few months, a more normal appearing nail is expected to appear with complete regrowth of the nail taking from 6-12 months.
Is the laser treatment covered by my healthcare
At this time healthcare insurance does not cover the cost of the treatment of nail fungus as the procedure is considered a cosmetic procedure. However, you may use your Health Savings Account or other Health Account dollars to pay for this procedure (reimbursement from HSA will depend on your HSA terms and conditions).
Is laser treatment uncomfortable?:
Most individuals report that they do not feel any discomfort during or after the treatment. You may, however, experience a slight warmth or feel a mild snapping (like static electricity discharge) during the procedure. If you have any discomfort during your treatment, you should let the doctor know and he will make appropriate adjustments to decrease any discomfort. The use of local anesthetics is not recommended or required for laser treatment of fungal nail conditions.
What is the recovery period?:
There is no recovery period. You may immediately resume all normal daily activities, including athletic activities after your treatment and may resume normal daily bathing. You may have nail polish applied after your treatment. If you do have any concerns or questions after your treatment, please contact our office and we will be happy to answer any questions you have.
How long does laser treatment take?:
The treatment time of your nails varies depending on the degree of involvement and the number of nails involved. Significantly thickened nails will need to be thinned to a more normal thickness prior to treatment to provide you with a better result. The actual lasering of the nails only takes a few minutes and again depends on the number of nails that have fungal infection. Total treatment time for initial evaluation and treatment of ten nails typically takes 30-40 minutes.
Can the fungal infection return?:
The fungal nail infection should improve with just one treatment, however most individuals will require at least two laser treatments. For nails that are deformed, you should not necessarily expect a completely normal shaped nail to replace the deformed nail over time, though the shape of the nail may significantly improve. The fungal infection can and does over time cause permanent damage to the cells that cause your nails to grow, this cell damage is not repaired by the laser (the fungus is killed). As with most anything in life and as with most any medical procedure, 100% guarantee or assurance can not and is not given as to the results that will be obtained with laser treatment of your nails. That being said, the philosophy of Dr. Solon's medical practice always has been and continues to be to provide you the very best care possible for your presenting condition. I can assure you that we would not have laser treatment available to you if substantial improvement of your condition and your satisfaction was not likely. Reinfection can occur as fungus is present in our daily environment, particularly our shoes. There are topical sprays for your shoe gear that we have available at our office to help prevent reinfection. We will be happy to give you additional advice on strategies to reduce the chances of reinfection.
Is the laser FDA approved:
The Q-Clear laser is FDA-approved laser for the treatment of onychomycosis (fungal nail infection) of the finger and toenails. It is also approved to treat other dermatological conditions of the soft tissues. Other conditions the Q-Clear laser is used to treat include: hair removal, spider veins, warts, pigmented skin lesions and tattoo removal.
How much does laser treatment cost?:
The cost of the treatment varies depending on the number of nails involved and the severity of the infection. At the present time the national average for the laser treatment of nail fungal infections is between $500 & $1,200 for one to ten nails. However, we are able to reduce the cost for you as Dr. Solon has purchased a state-of-the-art laser and can provide exceptional treatment results during a shorter treatment time. Our fees range between $495 - $1,495 for two treatments; you will be given a quote as to the number of nails involved (requiring treatment) and the cost prior to treatment. Included in your initial treatment cost is two follow-up evaluations and one retreatment four months after the initial treatment.