Frequently Asked Questions:
What is a Fungal Infection?
A fungal nail infection happens when a fungus attacks a fingernail or toenail through small cuts in the skin around your nail. Nail fungus is made up of tiny organisms that infect and grow under the nail where the environment is warm, dark and moist. You’ll know you have a fungus infection because it causes the nail to become thick, flaky and turn yellow. A fungal toenail will often have a foul smell to it and often accumulate debris under the nail. Experts suggests that an estimated 14% of Canadians have experienced toenail fungus and if left untreated, the fungus can infect the entire nail, spread to other toenails and even from person to person.
What are the Treatment Options for a Fungal Nail Infection?
There are a variety of options for treating fungal nail infections like:
- Penlac: A liquid antifungal prescription medication that reports a 7% cure rate and 44% improvement rate.
- Lamisil: An oral antifungal prescription medication that reports up to a 66% success rate, but requires blood tests to monitor for possible liver damage.
- Laser Treatment: Laser is the revolutionary pain free alternative to prescription medication that destroys the fungal spores and kills the fungal infection right at the site.
How does Fungal Laser Treatment Work?
Although there are several different types of lasers on the market, the Nd:YAG laser is one of the most advanced and sophisticated lasers available. The FDA approved, Nd:YAG™ crystal solid-state laser is exceptional for treating fungal nail infections because it has a wave length of 1064 nm and capability to reach deeper layers of skin tissue than other types of lasers. It produces a high energy beam that creates heat and destroys diseased fungal cells.
The impulses of the high-power laser light passes through the nail bed with no damage to the nail or surrounding skin. Many people remark that they see noticeable difference in just one treatment. As the diseased nail begins to grow out, a normal nail begins to appear with regrowth occurring within 9-12 months.
Does fungal laser treatment hurt?
Some people may experience a warm sensation during the procedure, but generally, most people experience no pain during treatment. Since there is no anesthesia required, you may resume your regular activities immediately. Studies for laser toenail treatment have a success rate of around 80% and no known side effects.
How Long are the fungal laser treatments?
Depending on the severity of the infection and the degree of involvement of the nail, a visit for consultation and treatment will usually take about 30 minutes. A fungal nail infection generally requires 5 laser treatment sessions 4 to 6 weeks apart.
After fungal laser treatment Care:
Once the fungal infection has improved, steps should be taken to prevent a recurring infection. You can take precautions by thoroughly washing and drying your feet before you go to bed. As an added protection, you can apply a non-prescription anti-fungal cream to the entire foot. Always keep your feet dry because dry feet are less likely to become infected. Lastly, you should apply some type of moisture absorbing talcum powder after you shower or bathe.
If you are interested in learning more about fungal treatment, and whether this treatment is the right procedure for you, you can give us a call or check us out at Mederm Esthetics & Laser in Woodbridge, Vaughan, Concord, Richmond Hill and all over the GTA to book a free consultation today.
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