Lasers Take Aim at Toenail Fungus

If you have thick, yellowed toenails, chances are you won’t want to show them off the next time you wear sandals or take a walk on the beach. But there are solutions for ugly, unsightly nails. One of the most effective treatments I’ve used in my practice is a series of short laser treatments.

According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), approximately 40% of all patients seen by a podiatrist have toenail fungus. That’s what I see in my practice, as well. Thickened, yellow nails often contain fungus. It tends to spread from toe to toe over time when not treated. As a matter of fact, it can even spread to the skin on the foot and ankle.

You might not be thinking about your nails during the winter season when they are in closed-toe shoes. However, this is the perfect time to begin treatment so your toes look their best for spring and summer. In my practice, we take three approaches to toenail fungus: topical treatments, oral medication, and lasers.

The Benefit of Lasers
Lasers designed to attack the cause of unsightly fungal nails have become available in the past few years. I have seen terrific results in my office using laser treatments. Each treatment is virtually painless and is accomplished in under 15 minutes.

Everyone’s nails grow at different rates. The white/pink color begins at the cuticle, and the entire nail usually replaces itself within eight to 10 months. Often, regrowth is much faster for the smaller toes. I have seen new, clearer nails within four months after initial treatment.

We like to use a topical cream or spray after using the laser to achieve and maintain best results. Patient after-care is critical to the ongoing success of the procedure. Similar to periodic whitening treatments performed by a dentist, we recommend maintenance treatments yearly to prevent the return of toenail fungus.

Goodbye, Ugly Toenails
Now that you know more about toenail fungus and its treatments, we encourage you to speak to your podiatrist about the condition. The Family Foot and Ankle Center in Niles and Berwyn, Illinois, is ready to provide you with laser therapy and other treatments to get your feet looking healthy again.

About the Author—Dr. Parikh
Dr. Shermi Parikh, DPM, practices podiatry at the Family Foot and Ankle Center in Niles and Berwyn, Illinois. She has been in practice for over a decade and treats all aspects of foot and ankle pain using physical therapy, orthotics, minimally invasive surgical techniques, and laser treatment. More information about her practice and areas of specialization may be found at www.familyfootchicago.com. She believes that informed patients are best able to address podiatric conditions.