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Laser Toenail Fungus Treatments FAQs

Laser Toenail Fungus Treatment Procedure

Laser treatments for toenail fungus have proven to be a revolutionary breakthrough in treating nail fungus infections. Laser fungus toenail treatments do not cause cuts or burns and thus has the advantage of patients being treated without discomfort.

Studies on laser treatment for toenail fungus have been done are extremely encouraging, and to date, no known side effects have been found. Long-term effects for laser treatment for toenail fungus is fantastic. Coupled with good hygiene of the toes, and follow up treatment with a topical anti-fungal creams, patients should experience a long-term result in the elimination of the toe nail fungus.

Laser nail fungus treatment procedure surpasses those of the more dangerous medications with an effective success rate around 80% in clinical studies showing the fungus to be destroyed, safely.

How does the nail fungus laser work?

A toenail fungus laser works by shining a focused beam of light in a narrow range, more commonly known as a laser, into a toenail infected with fungus (onychomycosis). The laser penetrates the toenail and vaporizes fungus embedded in the nail bed and nail plate where toenail fungus exists. The toenail fungus targeted laser is tuned to a specific frequency that effects cells that are responsible for infection. There are various manufacturers with lasers currently available or soon to be available. Each manufacturer may have a specific wavelength, wavelengths, pulse frequency or duration schedule that they use. When you consult with your physician they can go over the details of the device they use treat the toenails infected with fungus.

Is toenail or fingernail laser treatment painful?

The focused, targeted laser light beam will have no effect on healthy tissue, and will only target the infected areas. A patient undergoing laser nail treatment for fungus removal procedures should experience no discomfort during or after the treatment.

How long does the toenail laser treatment take?

Although specific treatment schedules will be determined by a physicican. Many doctors report that it takes approximately 10 minutes to treat a infected big toe’s fungus. If you have more than one toe infected with toenail fungus, it may take longer. Laser toenail fungus treatment patients generally require only one session.

Does toenail fungus laser treatment really work?

Clinical studies to date reveal that over 80% of treated patients show significant improvement when using certain types of lasers. * In most cases the nail fungus pathogen is completely eliminated. Please consult with your physician to request the specific clinical results on your particular laser used to treat toenail fungus as different locations may use different lasers.

How soon will I see improvement to my toenails after treatment with a laser?

On average, any toenail will replace itself every 6 to 9 months through natural growth. Healthy new growth will be visible within the first 3 months as the new nail replaces the old. However, follow up treatment with an anti-fungal cream with L-arginine has shown an increase of up to 100% in the speed of healthy nail replacement.

Is the laser toenail fungus treatment safe?

Clinical studies on a variety of lasers have shown no adverse reactions, injuries, disabilities or known side effects from use of lasers to treat toenail fungus infection. As you may know, the use of oral nail fungus medication available today for treatment of fungus nails carries with it possible systemic involvement (commonly the liver and kidney). This laser toenail treatment does not.

Do I have to take any drugs as part of the laser toenail fungus treatment?

No. No drugs or topical ointments are required. Some doctors may prescribe topical or oral medication in conjunction with treatment depending on your situation and their diagnosis, again only a physician can make a diagnosis and determine the treatment for your toenail fungus infection.

Will I be able to walk after laser toenail fungus treatment?

You will be able to walk out of the office just as well as you walked in, you might even have a smile on your face. The laser toenail fungus treatment will not harm you in any way. Toenails are dead cells, the laser targets living fungus inside the nail. During the procedure a technician will ask you to indicate any discomfort, and if it is felt will adjust the laser treatment accordingly.

What is the cost for laser toenail treatment?

Cost vary by factors such as the severity of the infection, thickness of nails and location of the center. Please contact a local center to determine the cost of laser toenail fungus treatment.

Cost:  175$ one foot, 250$ for two feet
Does my insurance pay for this?

Currently the laser toenail fungus procedure is not included as a health insurance benefit in any plan that we know of; however, the initial foot consultation is free. Insurance plans will consider the laser toenail fungus treatment a cosmetic / aesthetic procedure and therefore does not provide coverage. If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA), Medical Individual Retirement Account (Medical IRA) or other Flexible Medical Spending Accounts (Medical FSA), you can pay for the laser fungus treatment with these funds. Otherwise, payment can be made with cash, credit or debit card.

How many laser nail fungus treatments will I need?

The good news is that, in many cases, the infection can be destroyed in just one treatment, but there are several factors that need to be taken into consideration. The exact number of treatments needed may vary depending upon your age, health and the severity of the infection. In general, it takes 1-4 sessions to destroy nail fungus using a laser.

Nd:YAG laser

Nd: YAG crystals are used in most laser toenail fungus removal treatments. They focus light into a wavelength of 1064 nm where according to many studies it has been found effective in treating toenail fungus. The laser can be continuous wave or pulsed from a Nd:YAG crystal so that the light energy is still damaging to toenail fungus but does not damage foot tissue, mainly through heat build-up. Different laser treatments will also intermittently pulse to other lightwaves such as at 660 nm which is red visible light or 940 nm which is infrared light.