Laser Therapy for Fungal Toenails

Oct 31, 2022

We often take the health of our toenails for granted until they’re not so healthy anymore. You can develop fungal toenails at any time. And it can be a pain to get rid of.

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffer from toenail fungus, you know just how frustrating and embarrassing it can be. You may have tried over-the-counter medications or prescription treatments, but if they haven’t worked or if you’re self-conscious about your toenails, you may be interested in laser therapy that can treat the fungus. Here’s what you need to know about this amazing treatment option.

How Can A Laser Treat Fungal Toenails?

One of the most common problems that podiatrists treat is fungal toenails. Our office in Hicksville often treats people of all ages with this form of foot concern.

Fungal toenails are caused by a microscopic fungus that lives in warm, dark, moist environments. When the fungus comes in contact with your toenails, it begins to grow and spread. Over time, the fungus will cause the toenail to become thick, yellow, and brittle.

Toenail fungus can spread to other nails if left untreated, eventually leading to pain, inflammation, and even infection. You can also unwillingly spread fungal infections to other people, or they can also pass it on to you.

Laser treatment is one of the most effective ways to treat fungal toenails. The laser kills the fungus as well as promotes healthy nail growth. Over time your toenails will grow clear and back to a normal appearance. Whether you are experiencing toenail fungus or wondering whether laser treatment might benefit you, Dr. Bhela is available to consult with you about your treatment options.

Laser therapy treating fungal toenails

Are There Different Laser Treatment Options for Fungal Toenails?

Yes, there is more than one laser treatment option for treating fungal toenails. Among the two types of treatment we offer at Restore Podiatry, we can recommend the one that will lead to the best outcome for you.

Nd:Yag 1064 nm Laser

The Nd:Yag Laser is an FDA-approved thermal laser that features a non-contact temperature sensor. It was launched in 2010 and gained FDA approval the following year. This Nd:YAG laser is the most powerful laser available for treating fungal toenails.

Lunula Laser

The Erchonia Lunula Laser is the only FDA-approved laser specifically designed to treat fungal toenails. It gained FDA approval in 2016. It is the first low-level, non-thermal laser that is effective without pain or sensation.

How does the Nd:Yag Laser work?

The Nd:Yag Laser targets the fungus with a focused beam of light, which kills the fungus and clears up the infection. This 1064nm energy laser can penetrate through the nail and heat the fungus underneath the nail without damaging the nail or surrounding tissue. It features a handpiece with a non-contact temperature sensor that monitors the temperature of the treatment area to prevent burns. Two aiming beams on the handpiece ensure consistency in treatments by maintaining the proper distance between the handpiece and the skin.

The treatment is typically done in a series of three or four sessions, spaced about four to six weeks apart. You can expect very little or no discomfort during the procedure, and there is no downtime afterward. The majority of people only feel a slight warmth. You can, however, take a break if it becomes painful in any way. And, you will not require pain medication or topical treatments either.

The number of treatments needed varies from person to person, but most people need a minimum of three treatments. Your nails will not show an instant improvement in appearance. The new nail growth, however, should be clear and healthy as the fungus grows out.

How does the Lunula Laser work?

The Lunula Laser is a more recent, FDA-cleared treatment for nail fungus that uses a combination of lasers to kill the fungus without drugs or surgery. The laser light penetrates the nail and the surrounding tissue, targeting the fungus without harming the nails or skin. The low-level laser light is used on the infected area and uses two laser diodes. A 635nm diode creates Nitric Oxide (NO), and a 405nm diode creates Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). These two laser diodes used in combination create Peroxynitirite, a compound with anti-microbial properties that will kill the fungus.

During the treatment, you will feel no pain or sensation with the added benefit of no potential risk to you. The number of treatments needed for each patient will vary. For those with more severe cases of fungal toenails, we always recommend undergoing 5-6 sessions to be effective. Each treatment session lasts 12 minutes, and there is no downtime afterward. After the treatment, your treated nail area will grow fungus free and be replaced over time with healthy nail growth.

Most of our patients significantly improve their nails after just a few sessions.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Fungal toenail laser treatment doesn’t pose any significant side effects.

The Nd:Yag Laser has minimal potential side effects, and the equipment is designed to effectively treat and avoid burning the skin. However, we always advise you to communicate any form of discomfort to us during the treatment to minimize the potential of burning.

The Lunula Laser has no reported side effects or complications and does not affect the surrounding areas at all.

So, if you’re considering either treatment option, don’t hesitate to ask us for more information on each laser and express any concerns you may have. Although it is unlikely that you will experience any side effects, contact us for an assessment if you notice anything that appears to be a side effect after treatment.

Contact Us Today

In any stage of fungal toenails, whether you’ve just discovered it or have been suffering from it for years, we can help you tackle the problem. The sooner you see us, the better. We offer a range of podiatry services in Hicksville, New York, and surrounding areas.

For more information, please call (516) 806-2200 or use our online contact form.

Restore Podiatry can help you get your feet back to normal.