Laser treatment for onychomycosis (aka fungal toenails) has been around for several years. After its success in the U.S.A, it eventually made its way to Australia. Podiatrists at first were hesitant on using laser treatment but it didn’t take long before some leading podiatrists proved that it’s safe and effective, and putting smiles on people’s faces. Soon the treatment became more available and almost accessible in all parts of Sydney. In the Sutherland shire, we are the only clinic to provide the treatment.
The treatment has been available at our clinic since December 2014, and its popularity is growing. The treatment is scientifically proven to be effective in about 70% of cases. Our clinical experience with the treatment has also displayed similar results.
Often, patients attend to have laser because they have attempted to treat their own toenails but see no improvement. They will apply different chemist products over an extended period of time and fail to see an improvement. We often find this happens because the nail was never professionally cleaned by a podiatrist or the product being used wasn’t suitable for the level of infection. Most people don’t know that the marketing of the fungal products are usually over-simplified, misleading people to believe it’s easy to treat with just a daily application. If you have failed to get results, it is likely that the product, whether it is a solution, lacquer or cream is not being absorbed into the base where the active fungus is hiding. Podiatrist usually need to clean the nail back very thoroughly to improve the chances of topical treatment working.
Laser is being preferred to topical treatments because of its simple convenient application. Chemist products only stop the fungus from growing, which is why you need to treat it for months until it grows out. Laser treatment actually kills the fungus, so normally only 2-3 treatments are required. Of course, before any laser treatment is initiated, the patient will be screened for suitability. For example, it is not suitable for those who are breast feeding or pregnant.
Before you begin treating your fungal toenails, see a podiatrist for professional advise and treatment on what would be the best approach for you.
Dr Vanessa Hadchiti (Podiatrist)