What is Finger and Toenail Fungus?
Fungal infections can cause nails to become yellow or discolored. As the fungal nails infection progresses, the nails become dark, thick and brittle. Nails can become painful or ingrown.
An infection is caused by contact with the fungus, which is everywhere in the environment, especially swimming pools, public showers, gyms and nail spas. Athlete’s foot is a common cause of fungal nail infections. Trauma to the nails can also increase the chances of infection, as well as age and poor health. Diabetics are more susceptible to the infection.
What are the Finger and Toenail Fungus Treatment Options?
- Oral drugs can be effective in treating a fungal infection. The medication can take anywhere from 12 weeks to longer for clearing of the nail. Side effects are a concern with oral treatment, especially liver damage and heart failure. Blood tests are necessary weekly or monthly to monitor for side effects.
- Topical drugs less effective in treating nail fungus and restoring clear nails. It is applied twice a day until the nails are clear, which can be 12-24 months. There are no significant side effects, however, in some patients, the medication cannot penetrate the nail to reach the infection.
- Nail Fungus Laser Treatments are effective in treating the infection and restoring clear nails. Most patients experience at least some improvement. A clinical study shows no adverse effects.
Laser Treatment for Nail Fungus
The Cutera Genesis Plus Laser, which is FDA approved for the finger and toenail fungus treatment, works by passing a laser light which gently heats up the skin underneath the infected nail bed. Once the target temperature is reached the laser has killed the fungus. *Since the nails grow very slowly results usually are seen in 6-12 months. Following the treatment, post care instructions will be reviewed.
Does the Laser Finger and Toenail Fungus Treatment Hurt?
The Cutera laser treatment provides a comfortable safe feedback. Patient feedback is also important during the procedure. A warming sensation will be felt in the nail bed as the laser is passed over the nail. If the nail becomes painful, the patient can take a break. Immediately following the procedure, the nail may feel warm for a few minutes and most can resume normal activity.
How Many and how Long is the Fungus Nails Treatment?
*Most patients show improvement after one treatment. The required number of treatments will vary depending on how severe the toenail fungus is. In severe cases, we recommend three treatments 6-8 weeks apart. Each treatment session can vary from 20-40 minutes.
Are the laser treatments covered by insurance?
Most cosmetic laser treatment options are not covered by insurances. We accept most credit cards, Visa and MasterCard as well as Care Credit.
How soon will I see improvements after the Cooltouch / Cutera?
In humans, nails grow at an average rate of 3 mm (0.12 in) a month (as they are a form of hair). Fingernails require 3 to 6 months to re-grow completely, and toenails require 12 to 18 months. The actual growth rate is dependent on age, gender, season, exercise level, diet, immune system and hereditary factors. As the new nail grows, the healthy nail will be seen at the base.
*Disclaimer: The results described may vary based on a variety of factors.