Laser Treatment for Nail Fungus
Nail Fungus or Onychomycosis refers to a fungal infection of the nail, nail bed, or nail plate. The nail may appear thickened, yellow, or cloudy in appearance. It can affect both fingernails and toenails. It is not life threatening, but it can contribute to pain, discomfort, weakened nail strength and unsightly appearance. Nail fungus affects over 20 million Americans and accounts for half of all nail disorders.
We only use specific laser technology has been cleared by the FDA to treat nail fungus. Laser treatment has been shown to be 80-85% effective in treating nail fungus. Some studies have shown even greater effectiveness.
The procedure for treating nail fungus may require one to five treatment (persistent cases may take more). These laser treatments are safe, quick and patients report little to no discomfort (warming or rubber band snapping sensation). It is typically completed in 30 minutes or less without the use of anesthesia or oral anti-fungal medications.
The procedure is safe, effective and FDA cleared for treating toenail and fingernail fungus. Our physicians at Oregon Natural Medicine use the Q-Clear laser for treatments. The laser is an Nd-YAG laser that delivers high pulses of energy at 1064 nanometers. This type of laser, using this amount of energy is THE ONLY LASER TYPE THAT IS FDA APPROVED FOR NAIL FUNGUS TREATMENT.
PREPARATION FOR LASER NAIL TREATMENT
1. Make sure to remove all nail polish prior to visit. Please do this at least 24 hours in advance.
2. Wear comfortable clothes and/or pants that can easily be rolled up.
3. Bring a separate new, clean pair of socks to change into after your laser nail treatment appointment.
4. Print and complete New Patient Laser Nail Treatment Medical History Form and read Office Policies Form prior to visit or arrive 15 minutes prior to appointment to complete.
How does Laser Nail Fungus Treatment Work?
The laser wavelength is absorbed though the nail, and kills the underlying fungus by exposing it to heat and light. Once the fungus is destroyed in both the nail and nail bed, the tissue is revitalized to encourage new, clear, and healthy nail growth.
Is the laser treatment painful?
Most patients report little to no discomfort during the treatment. A mild warming sensation or rubber band snapping sensation may be experienced during the laser nail treatment. No discomfort has been reported following treatment and there is no down time following treatment. Regular activities may be resumed immediately following your appointment.
Are there any contraindications to having laser nail treatment?
Although considered safe for most people, laser treatment is contraindicated in pregnancy, in disorders that cause loss of sensation in extremities (neuropathy), sunburned skin, scleroderma, those people with previous skin cancers on the feet or hands, people who have used accutane in the last 12 months, anyone who has had a major skin disease or anyone who has experienced problems with previous laser treatments. Please discuss any skin abnormality or disorder with our Physicians prior to treatment. Additionally, our physicians only treat individuals over 16 years of age.
Does Oregon Natural Medicine use an FDA cleared laser?
ABSOLUTELY, our physicians use only FDA cleared lasers to treat nail fungus. Not all lasers have been shown to effectively treat nail fungus.
How long does the laser treatment take?
Appointment times are scheduled for 30 minutes. This includes treatment, consultation with physician and instructions for post treatment care to prevent future re-infection.
How long does it take to see results?
Healthy new nail growth is usually visible in as little as 3 months. Full regrowth of the big toenail may take 12 to 18 months Smaller toenails may take 9 to 12 months. Fingernails grow quicker and may be replaced by healthy new nails in only 6-9 months.
How many treatments will I need?
Our physicians will evaluate your case independently. Cases are usually graded mild, moderate or severe. Often moderate to severe cases, where the nail has changed color and thickened, may require multiple treatments. Like any other treatment, laser works very well for some people and is not as effective with others.
Can I use nail polish after the Laser Nail Fungus treatment?
Nail polish MUST be removed prior to treatment, but may be reapplied immediately following laser treatment. We recommend Dr.’s Remedy Nail Polish to help prevent nail fungus re-infection.
What is the cost for the Laser Toe Nail Fungus Treatment at Oregon Natural Medicine?
Average national cost for this treatment is between $995-$1200. At Oregon Natural Medicine we are committed to providing this service at a reasonable cost to our patients. We charge $249 for the treatment of one foot or hand and $399 for the treatment of both feet or hands.
Is it essential to treat all nails on same hand or foot?
Yes, nail fungus is highly contagious. Studies have shown that even when only one nail appears infected most nails have some fungal growth present. For optimal outcome of laser treatment, it has been found to be most effective to treat all nails on affected hand/foot.
Will insurance cover Laser Nail Treatment?
No, laser nail treatment is considered an aesthetic treatment and therefore health insurance does not cover this procedure. Most Heath Savings Accounts (HSAs) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) may be used for this treatment. Please contact your individual HSA or FSA regarding coverage.
Are there any special instructions following the Laser Nail Treatment?
Yes, our physicians will discuss proper aftercare following treatment. It is important to use specific measures to prevent fungal re-infection. We highly encourage the use of a shoe sterilizer following laser treatment. Sterishoe may be purchased at our office at a discounted price to our patients.