Modern medicine has made several advances in the field of laser therapy. Traditionally, laser has been effectively used in the treatment of corneal and retinal problems of the eye including corrective eye surgery to restore vision.
The success of the therapy in this field has proved to be stupendously popular and has received accolades from various governments. Several other fields have tried to imbibe and imitate this success to their own fields as notably seen in dermatology, which again uses laser for treating skin problems.
Laser therapy uses beams of lights targeted at various biological structures of the body to preferentially select them and destroy them. Despite this, the proponents of laser therapy in the field of toenail fungus or onychomycosis have received brickbats due to controversial results. Let us examine the effect of laser therapy in the field of toenail fungus.
Best Laser Therapy For Toenail Fungus
Conventional Laser Therapy
Earlier, conventional laser therapies targeted at treating toenail fungus, have not proved to be very successful. A foray into this fled was primarily made to mitigate the side effects of topical anti-fungal medications which led to prolonged healing, nail rot and discomfort for the patient
The purpose of the laser was to create pathways in the nail and the nail bed to help enhance the effect of fungal ointments and lead to quicker healing. This of course backfired as no perceptible change was noticed in the condition of the patients.
Moreover, the treatment was very expensive. This process was called as fenestration, which gave access to fungal medications in order to target the fungus and destroy it.
Newer techniques of laser therapy aim at directly attacking and destroying the fungus without affecting nail texture or nail tissue. Since the nail fungus can be quite resistant, a more focused beam of laser light is required to target the fungus and kill it.
The heat destroys and burns the fungus without harming the nail and the surrounding tissue. The only loophole is its widespread use, as the outcome has purely been restricted to clinical trials. As of now, the technique is still to be given approval by the FDA.
The use of laser in the treatment of onychomycosis is not without disadvantages. The treatment is very expensive ranging from $1000 -$2000 for every session. It is also not covered by insurance, as the procedure is purely cosmetic.
Therefore, the patient has to bear the complete cost of the procedure. Many people would be wary of committing their life savings to a procedure, which has not even been given clearance by the FDA.
Pinpointe Foot Laser System
The FDA has cleared the laser procedure of PathoLase Inc’s Pinpointe foot laser system, which targets toe nail fungus. The laser takes about half an hour and the new nail grows out normally in 9-12 months.
The laser is said to be 88% effective. This again is not covered by insurance but PathoLase claims that its laser has been FDA approved and podiatrists all over the country are successfully using its laser.
Photo Credit: Nailfungus-lasertreatment.com