Updated: Apr 29, 2019
Long term effects to the liver of drugs used on toenail fungus has necessitated a search for a better treatment
Historically it has been necessary to embark on a course of potentially harmful drugs to get rid of unsightly toenail fungus, until now. The introduction of Q-switched lasers to target the virus that causes the disease has opened up the possibilities for disposing of the drugs and having a solution administered in ONE short treatment.
Of course there are aftercare protocol that need to be closely followed in order to prevent re-infection, but the practitioner will explain these to reduce further issues.
What does it look like?
Discolouration , usually yellow, white or brown
Flaky material under or on the nail
Nail detached from the nail bed
Thickening of the nail or change in texture
Changes in nail shape, increase in curvature
Topical antifungal treatments have had disappointing results and a poor success rate which has lead to the use of oral prescription antifungal medications, often with uncomfortable side effects. However, oral medication is often not an option for many people due to the side effects and possible interaction with other medication. The Laser solution has generated much interest due to its lack of adverse effects on the body and no side effects with other medication (other than light sensitive medication). The success rates have been excellent but as with any treatment the possibility of re-infection must be noted due to poor after-treatment care by the patient.
How does it work?
A pulse of light energy is emitted from the laser which, when directed at the nail and nail bed heats up to destroy the microbes that causes the infection. The laser is unique in that is can penetrate the nail through to the nail bed where the fungus is likely to be present. This is why the practitioner will not only pass over the nail but also the nail matrix, beyond the cuticle.
Will it disappear overnight?
The consultation will involve an examination of the nail(s) before putting on a pair of safety goggles to protect against the effects of the bright laser light on the eye. The laser will be moved across the nail from side to side, including the matrix, then again up and down the nail. If there is any doubt about adjoining toes being affected then they must be treated to ensure no subsequent cross-infection. The procedure is painless and may only give the client a slight warmth in the treated area.
One treatment may be enough, but it will depend on the client adhering to the aftercare instructions. Depending on the results further follow up treatments may be recommended. The results are NOT immediate, the affected nail has to grow out to determine if the procedure has been a success. Depending on health, age and other factors, this may take 6 to 12 months time.