Fungal Nails & Laser

Fungal nails refers to any number of fungal nail infections that can occur on the foot. Since fungal nails are usually more resistant and more difficult to treat than Athlete's Foot, topical or oral antifungal medications may be prescribed. Note: Please consult a physician before taking any medications. Permanent nail removal is another possible form of treatment for tenacious fungal nails.

Preventing Fungal Nail Infections

After a fungal nail infection has cleared up, take steps to prevent the infection from recurring. Keeping fungi at bay will help prevent a fungal infection of the skin from reinfecting the nail. Before bed, thoroughly wash and dry your feet, and apply a nonprescription antifungal cream to the entire foot from the ankle down. Use the cream every night, then gradually apply it less often. Keep your feet dry. Dry feet are less likely to become infected. Apply powder to your dry feet after you take a shower or bath.

Other suggestions for preventing fungal nails include:

  • Don't share nail clippers or nail files with others.
  • Don't share shoes or socks with others.
  • Try not to injure your nail, such as by cutting it too short (trauma to the nail may lead to infections).
  • Wear dry cotton socks and change them two or three times a day if necessary.
  • Wear dry shoes that allow air to circulate around your feet (tight, enclosed, moist shoes contribute to fungal toenail infections).
  • Wear shower sandals or shower shoes when you are at a public pool or shower.

Prevention

Follow basic foot care guidelines and, more than likely, you can head off most common foot fungus problems.

Click here to view full document!

Frequently Asked Questions of
Nail Fungal Infections

What are my treatment options?

What can I expect from successful treatment?

 How does laser treatment work?

 Is the laser treatment covered by my healthcare insurance?

 Is laser treatment uncomfortable?

 What is the recovery period?

 How long does laser treatment take?

 Can the fungal infection return?

Is the laser FDA approved?

 How much does laser treatment cost?


Answers to
Frequently Asked Questions of
Nail Fungal Infections

What are my treatment options?

    1. Daily application of a topical medication such as Formula 3 or prescription Penlac with a 7% cure rate

    2. Daily use of a prescription oral medication such as Lamisil with a 40 % cure rate
    and the need for blood tests to monitor for liver damage

    3. Trimming and burring of the nails without medication providing comfort but no cure

    4. Use of a laser to eradicate the nail fungus with a reported 90% success rate.

Back to top
 What can I expect from successful treatment?
Successful treatment of nail fungal conditions may reduce the thickness of the nail, decrease discomfort associated with the involved nails, improve the appearance (color and shape of the nail) and should make trimming easier.  The various treatment methods all have differing success rates and no treatment option has a 100% success rate.

Back to top
 How does laser treatment work?
The Foot and Ankle Wellness Center uses a Q-Switched NdYAG laser, which is one of the most advanced dermatological lasers currently available.  In 3-10 billionths of a second impulses of laser energy pass through the nail plate to the nail bed and growth areas with typically no damage to the nail or surrounding skin.  At the time of the procedure the infecting nail fungus is expected to be destroyed.  However, no visible change is seen in the nail until the nail begins to grow out.  In a few months a more normal appearing nail is expected to appear with complete regrowth of the nail taking from 6-12 months.

Back to top
 Is the laser treatment covered by my healthcare insurance?
At this time healthcare insurance does not cover the cost of the laser treatment for fungal nails as the procedure is considered a cosmetic procedure.  However, you may use Health Savings Account or other health care spending dollars to pay for this procedure.

Back to top
 Is laser treatment uncomfortable?
Most individuals report that they do not feel any discomfort during or after the treatment.  You may however experience slight warmth or feel a mild snapping like a static electricity discharge during the procedure.  If you have any discomfort during your treatment, you should let the doctor know and appropriate adjustments will be made to decrease any discomfort.  The use of local anesthetics is not recommended or required for the treatment of fungal nail conditions.

Back to top
  What is the recovery period?
There is no recovery period.  After your treatment, you may immediately resume all normal daily activities including exercise and sports.  You may resume normal daily showering or bathing.  You may reapply nail polish immediately after your treatment.  We recommend using Dr. Remedy’s Nail Polish which contains natural anti-fungal ingredients. If you do have any concerns or questions after your treatment, please contact our office and we will be happy to answer your questions.

Back to top
 How long does laser treatment take?
The treatment time of your nails varies depending on the degree of involvement and the number of nails infected.  Significantly thickened nails will need to be thinned to a more normal thickness prior to treatment to provide you with a better result.  The actual laser treatment of the nails only takes a few minutes for each nail and does not require local anesthetic. Total treatment time for initial evaluation and treatment of ten nails typically takes 30 minutes.

Back to top
 Can the fungal infection return?
The fungal nail infection should improve with just one treatment.  For nails that are misshapen, you should not necessarily expect a normal appearance to the nail.  The fungal infection can and does over time cause permanent damage to the cells that grow your nail plate.  This cell damage is not repaired by the laser even through the fungus is destroyed.  As with most medical procedures, 100% guarantee of success cannot be given for this laser treatment of your nails.  That being said, the philosophy of our office is to   always provide you the very best up-to-date medical care for your foot and ankle conditions. This new laser technology is recommended to you because substantial improvement of your fungal nail infection is anticipated and a high level of satisfaction is expected.  Re-infection can occur as fungus is present in our daily environment, particularly our shoes and showers, but we have advice and strategies to reduce the chances of this occurring.

Back to top
 Is the laser FDA approved?
The Q-Clear laser is FDA approved for the treatment of dermatological conditions of the soft tissue; the nail unit which consists of the nail bed, nail growth cells, skin surrounding the nail and the nail plate itself is considered soft tissue; nail fungal infection is consider a dermatological condition of the soft tissue.  Other conditions the Q-Clear laser is used to treat would include the removal of warts, pigmented skin lesions and tattoos as well as the elimination of spider veins.   

Back to top
 How much does laser treatment cost?
The cost of the treatment varies depending on the number of nails involved and the severity of the infection.  FAAWC is using one of the most state-of-the-art lasers available and can provide exceptional treatment results with a shorter treatment time.  Our fees range between $249.00 up to $399.00.  You will receive a written quote including the number of nails requiring treatment and the total cost prior to treatment.  Two additional evaluations within 12 months of your original treatment date are included in your treatment cost and we will provide laser treatment of any re-infection that occurs at no additional cost.

Fee Schedule for Laser Treatment of Fungal Nails

One Nail through Five Nails $249.00

Six Nails through Ten Nails $399.00

 All nail polish, lacquer and decorations must be removed prior to treatment.
Back to top


Click here to view/print Questions and Answers.