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Nail Fungus (FAQ)

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What is Nail Fungus?

Onchymycosis, also know commonly as Nail Fungus, affects about 10% of the population. It can cause nails to become yellow or discolored.  As the 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.  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 treatment options for Fungus?

Oral drugs can be effective in treating the fungus.  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.  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.

How does the Cutera Laser for Toenail Fungal removal Work?

The Cutera Genesis Plus Laser, which is FDA approved in the treatment of nail fungus, 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 Cutera fungus laser hurt?

The Cutera laser 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 are the fungal nail laser treatments?

Most patients show improvement after one treatment.  The required number of treatments will vary depending on how severely the toenail in infected.  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 treatments 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. Actual growth rate is dependent upon age, gender, season, exercise level, diet, and hereditary factors. As the new nail grows, the healthy nail will be seen at the base.