Fungal nails is called onychomycosis and is caused by a special type of fungus known as a dermatophyte. Nails can be thick, elongated and discolored with a lot of debris under the nail . While this may look bad, the good news is that this is mostly a cosmetic problem. It can be VERY difficult to get rid of fungal nails and often times people try several over the counter topical medications, prescribed medications and even the oral medications to get rid of the eye sore of the fungal nails.
Topical medications for fungal nails include prescribed medications such as PenLac, Jublia or Kerydin. Over the counter medications include products like Tea Tree Oil, and Vicks Vapo Rub. Prescribed oral medications require liver function testing prior to beginning treatment. The risk of liver damage is low, however every precaution is taken as to not cause a medical problem when trying to fix a cosmetic issue. Oral medication usually has a success rate of 70% of patients.
Laser Nail Therapy
If all of these methods fail do not fear! Here at OC Podiatry, we do laser therapy to treat Fungal nails! 75% of patients who undergo treatment usually see results after 3 months of treatment! It typically requires 2 to 3 sessions at the cost of about $150-$350 per session and is not covered by insurance. The procedure involves shaving down the nail plat and applying the laser over each affected nail. Lasers produce light energy of a specific strength and specific wavelength. When projected into the target nail, it produces heat and destroys the tissues that house the fungus. Treatments are generally 2 months apart from one another. I suggest topical treatment of nail fungus in addition to Laser treatment for the most desired outcome.
So, If you are affected by fungal nails make an appointment and we can discuss the best treatment option for you!