Think you are the only person in your circle of family and friends that has thick, ugly, yellow toenails? Well think again; according to Dr. James Christina, DPM, Director of Scientific Affairs at the American Podiatric Medical Association, 13% of Americans or about 41 million people are inflicted with this disease. Not feeling so alone now are you?
An effective way of making your toenails look great is the use of laser technology. Where many topical medications fail due to lack of penetration into the nail unit, laser therapy offers an unprecedented opportunity at effectively helping embarrassing toenails. Using the laser is a dream; here is an easy, efficient, pain free, and virtually side effect free method at getting rid of those unsightly looking nails. With spring upon us and summer quick to follow, people will be focusing more and more on the appearance of their feet and toenails.
The procedure is done in a doctor’s office and takes only about 30 minutes. Some doctors file the surface of the infected nail (a process known medically as debridement) beforehand to enhance the laser’s penetration. During the laser treatment itself, you will just feel a warming sensation. The procedure is painless and the nail is not removed. The procedure produces no known side effects. You can return to your regular activities immediately. You can even apply polish to your nails, if you wish (although you must remove any polish before treatment). Most people require only one treatment session, but more may be needed if your nails are in particularly bad shape or if they become re-infected.
However, just getting the laser done and clearing up the nails now, is absolutely no guarantee that the infection won't come back. I see patients in my office all the time that come back after a few years saying that the fungus came back. Although the laser was successful, many people are reinfected by their environment. Commonly, their shoes, socks, or going barefoot in public areas.
Remember, being pain free, side effect free, quick and easy, the laser offers a great opportunity at beautiful nails, and prevention of it from coming back. After successfully being rid of discolored or chipped nails, it is inevitable that you will be re-exposed to the same fungus that caused the problem in the first place. I would recommend periodic treatment every 3-6 months with the laser for maintenance. By continually suppressing the fungus from infecting your nails, you ensure a long healthy life of beach going and flip flop wearing without fear.
Here’s to your feet and remember, you only get two feet in this life, take care of them!