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Laser Treatment for Nail Fungus

laser therapyNow that summer is just around the corner are you ready to put on those cute sandals or kick off your shoes for fun in the sun? Many of us are embarrassed to expose our feet due to unsightly toenail fungus. Nail fungus is a common condition that begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As the fungal infection goes deeper nail fungus may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and crumble at the edge. It sounds bad and looks awful but there is a pain free treatment that can eradicate fungal toenails and improve the overall appearance! The Atlanta Laser Nail Specialist center at American Foot and Leg Specialists focuses on treating toenail fungus using the most advanced treatment method available. If you suspect that your toenails are infected by fungus don’t wait – make an appointment today for an evaluation.

What Causes Nail Fungus?

Onychomycosis fungi is very contagious. The number one cause of toenail fungus is blamed on shoes that provide a moist, dark, and warm environment for fungi to thrive. Individuals with diabetes, circulatory problems, and suppressed immune systems are also prime candidates. Lifestyle contributors include walking on gym locker room/shower floors, exposing your feet to continuous damp conditions and even frequent visits to nail salons.

How Does Laser Therapy Work?

The laser therapy penetrates the nail plate to destroy fungus under the nail by causing thermal damage to the fungus cells and/or photo-inactivation of the fungus cells. It typically requires up to three sessions (each separated by three months) to complete the treatment plan as described below:

Initial visit (evaluation): This visit is to determine if you are a candidate for laser treatment and is critical because there are many causes of thick and yellowed nails. The best treatment will depend on your diagnosis once a sample of your nail is tested in our lab to determine if fungus is present.

Treatment #1: If fungus is detected we suggest that you treat all 10 nails, even if some of them look normal. This helps prevent reinfection. To begin your treatment the nails are thinned with a special toenail grinder and the first laser treatment is performed. The big toenails require about two minutes and the small nails about one minute making the total procedure time less than 20 minutes.

Treatment #2: This visit is performed 3 months after treatment #1. The nail is thinned again and laser treatment is performed again.

Treatment #3: This treatment is performed 6 months after treatment #1. This is the final laser treatment and review of preventing re-infection.

Post Treatment and Prevention

On average, the big toenails will regrow completely in about twelve months and the smaller nails in about six months. Healthy new growth is usually visible three to four months after the initial treatment. Individuals who suffer from nail fungus usually have inherited an immune system that does not fight fungus very well. Thus, reinfection is not uncommon. The best way to avoid reinfection is to keep your feet dry and covered in damp conditions. Never go barefoot at the gym, and ladies – resist borrowing those cute shoes from a friend! For more information about toenail fungus treatment or to make an appointment contact one of our 4 locations serving patients in Fulton County, Cobb County, Douglas County, Fayette County, Henry County, and Clayton County.