Well it’s not really new, but it is exciting and it does work. If you suffer from crumbly, thick, discolored and sometimes painful toenails, you may have toe nail fungus (onychomycosis). This is very common and can occur in just about any age group. Toenail fungus is caused by the same organisms that cause an athlete’s foot condition. Just like in that TV commercial, they find a way to get under the nail plate and begin to grow in the skin under and around the nail plate causing the nail to grow in that funky way commonly called toe nail fungus.
There are many ways to treat this medical condition: Oral medications, such as terbinefine, work great, but like any medication they do carry certain risks and side effects. Topical treatments work great also, but the thicker the nail, the less effective they are. And, they do require applications twice a day for at least a year. Lastly, there is the Laser, a concept that has been around for many years and within the last 5 to 7 years has become more adaptable for the eradication of toenail fungus. It is quick, painless, and effective, with no risks or side effects.
Science has developed a medical grade laser that is quite effective on toe nail fungus. A laser produces an amplified light source in a specific wavelength. For the eradication of toe nail fungus 1064 nm has been found to be most effective. In treating toe nail fungus, the mechanism of action is a combination of this light wavelength and the heat it creates when it comes in contact with the fungal elements in the nail bed. Most people do not feel this heat because the treatment is pulsed in such a way that the heat dissipates before you feel it. We added the laser to our practices about 14 months ago and have found it only requires one, maybe two treatments to achieve satisfactory results. We would be dishonest if we told you this works on everyone. Like any procedure, it is not for everyone, and not everyone has great results. But as I mentioned earlier we have seen many more successes than failures.
A very important aspect to any fungal treatment is: what do we do after the treatment? Keep in mind nothing “cures” a fungus. The only thing cured is the current outbreak. I equate this to poison ivy. We get a rash from coming in contact with the plant, we put creams and lotions on the skin and the problem goes away, “cured” right. Not really, come in contact with the plant again and the itchy blisters are back. It’s the same thing with a fungus. You treat it and it goes away, but come in contact with the fungus again, and it’s back. A fungus is an organism. It’s all around us and if we’ve had it on our feet once, chances are it’s still in the shoes we wear and all around us. Drs. Pusterla and Wallack take their treatment to the next level and address the “what do we do after treatment” question. We have found a very simple regimen (no, not getting rid of all our shoes) works extremely well in minimizing a return of the condition.
If you would like more information, or to make an appointment, please feel free to contact either Dr. Pusterla or Dr. Wallack at any time. We also invite you to view our picture gallery and video to view results and a demonstration of the procedure.