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Medical Treatment of Mycotic (Fungal) Nails

Fungus can spread from foot to footFungal nail infections are ugly and embarrassing. They are common and easy to catch, but very hard to get rid of. Unfortunately most people ignore them considering fungal nails a cosmetic nuisance. Fungus could be a minor bother for a while, but if left untreated, the infection will get worse: nails may grow so thick, you will feel discomfort wearing closed toe shoes, nails may separate from toes (onycholysis), the matrix can get permanently damaged (onychodystrophy)… Long story short, onychomycosis is a serious disease, which requires medical attention and a comprehensive treatment.

Nail fungus (Onychomycosis) is the most common nail disease, and over 30 million in the U.S. alone suffer from this condition. About 50% of the population over 45 years of age has nail infections. Some have battled fungi for decades.

Treatment of Onychomycosis is challenging because the infection resides in the hard-to-reach area under the nail, called the nail bed. Topical anti-fungal solutions cannot get there. Oral medications cannot target this specific area and may be toxic and hard on the liver.

New laser-assisted therapies are being developed and a growing number of foot doctors in the U.S. report excellent clinical results. To maximize the efficacy, laser treatments should be combined with a complete and comprehensive program.

Typically at least two laser treatments of all toes with a focus on the badly infected ones are required. Patients need to use a UV shoe sanitizer (yes, we have to treat all shoes to kill fungus and bacteria), a strong topical medication as well as a care regimen for prevention of re-infection. This comprehensive course of treatment is safe, non-toxic, pain-free and highly effective.

Thanks to its ability to pass through the nail and kill fungi in the nail bed, laser light is the only modality available today, which allows practitioners to address the very cause of the disease. While the high intensity light and thermal damage delivered to the target by the laser is lethal for the fungi, it is safe for the surrounding skin. In fact, these same lasers are used for new collagen growth in anti-aging aesthetic procedures and may stimulate the growth of new, healthy and fungus free nails, which will gradually replace the old ones.

Patients with mycotic nails are very susceptible to re-infections. The fungus is everywhere in the environment of the people with Onychomycosis. Therefore, the complex decontamination and preventive care regimen are critical for the success of the treatment.

To learn more about the use of lasers for fungus visit www.laserfortoe.com.

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