Can Foot Laser Treatment Cure Fungal Toenail Infections?
Fungal toenail infections affect millions of people each year. Although harmless, they can cause the toenail to thicken, harden and turn yellow, creating an unsightly appearance.
At the same time, if left untreated, fungal toenail infections can spread to other toes and even lead to toenail loss. Individuals with underlying conditions like diabetes are at even greater risk from untreated fungal toenail infections because they can lead to severe complications.
Podiatrists recommend treating fungal toenail infections as quickly as possible to prevent serious issues from arising, and one treatment that comes highly recommended is foot laser fungal treatment.
What is Foot Laser Fungal Treatment?
Foot laser fungal treatment uses medical-grade lasers to target and kill fungal infections in the toenails. The podiatrist will use a laser device to direct the waves at the affected areas during the treatment. Since the laser can pass through tissue, it painlessly penetrates the nail and treats the fungal infection.
The procedure is painless, aside from a warm sensation on the nailbed during and immediately after the procedure. It can take several sessions to eliminate the infection. Healthy nail growth can take up to a year, after which, the nail can return to a healthy, clear appearance.
Does Foot Laser Fungal Treatment Work?
Laser treatments are often met with skepticism, especially in cases where they are treating an actual infection.
Here are three studies with positive results:
• An FDA study from 2016 found that patients receiving foot laser fungal treatment got clearer nails between three and six months after treatment.
• The American Family Physician journal by the American Association of Family Physicians (AAFP) published a study showing a 30% cure rate and 91% symptomatic improvement after 180 days of fungal toenail laser treatment.
• Lasers in Medical Science journal published a 2018 study demonstrating a 83.7% success rate in laser fungus treatment.
This data shows that laser can be helpful with nail fungus treatment. However, because each case is different, it is better to discuss the chances of success with your podiatrist while discussing laser foot fungal treatment.
Foot Fungal Laser Treatment vs. Other Treatments
If laser foot fungal treatment is that effective, is there any need for other types of therapy? Yes, and here’s why.
Fungal foot infections vary in degree of severity and other factors. Because of this, foot specialists recommend several types of treatments. Your podiatrist might not recommend laser fungal treatment as the first line of treatment if it is a mild or first-time infection.
Cost is another factor in why other treatment types may be recommended first before laser treatment. Over the counter treatments like antifungal creams are cheaper than laser treatment.
Is Foot Laser Treatment a Cure for Fungal Foot Infection?
Foot laser treatment may be an effective treatment in improving fungal infections, but may not completely cure it. In some cases, the condition can recur after treatment, while in others, the treatment results might not be as expected.
Because of these factors, you should discuss all of your options with your foot doctor/specialist and weigh all of the available treatments. If you opt for laser foot treatment, do so with a good understanding of the pros and cons.