Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Guide To Laser Treatment For Toenail Fungus

By Jayne Rutledge

Anyone who has ever had a fungal infection of one of their toenails knows how bothersome it can be. These infections can be very difficult to get rid of. Oral and topical medications previously were the only options, but the topical medications are not usually effective and oral medications take quite awhile to start working and come with the risk of unwanted side effects. To combat the problem and provide another option, the FDA has approved laser treatment for toenail fungus.

Fungal infections pose a wide range of issues and symptoms. They cause the nail to become discolored and thickened. The texture of the nail can also change. It is also common for nails to become flaky and change their shape. Detachment from the bed is likely if the condition continues without proper treatment.

People who struggle with this fungal infection often find that topical sprays, ointments, and creams may alleviate some of the symptoms, but they do very little in completely getting rid of the fungal invasion. For many sufferers, the oral medications come with the potential of too many side effects or they pose a risk of interacting negatively with other medications. Neither of these risks is considered acceptable for a lot of sufferers.

Treatments that use lasers for fungal infections can help eradicate the cells in less time than the oral medications. The lasers that are used will involve the energy from light in either a pulse or varying wavelengths. Light energy is directed to the affected toe or toes, and the fungal cells are killed by the heat they absorb. It is a painless procedure and no damage to the surrounding tissue occurs.

Laser treatment of toenail fungus is generally performed in a podiatrist's office. Multiple sessions are usually required. Each session lasts about twenty to thirty minutes. It is often recommended to undergo at least three sessions, although some infections may need more treatments, particularly if the infection has not shown any results from the first few sessions.

Contact your insurance company to determine if the procedure is accepted. In some cases, the company may classify it as solely cosmetic, which may not be covered. If the company does cover it, you should also determine if a pre-authorization is needed.

So far, there are not any known side effects. This makes it an ideal choice for sufferers of various ages. People who have other medical conditions may not be able to take oral medications, but this procedure is considered safe for them. Normal activity can be resumed immediately following a session. There is not a waiting period to wear shoes normally or get a pedicure.

Laser treatment for toenail fungus is becoming a popular way to get rid of the problem. It is not an invasive procedure and does not come with a risk of unwanted side effects or dangerous interactions. You should talk with your doctor about all of your options and which one he or she thinks would be the best for your situation.

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