We are pleased to be able to provide cutting-edge laser treatment for our patients with fungal nail disease (onychomycosis). Onychomycosis is an infection of the nail and nail bed apparatus. It is fairly easy to to contract the infection, however, it can be very difficult to eradicate. Laser treatment with the Q-Clear laser offers our patients an innovative alternative treatment to a very common but difficult problem.
What are my treatment options?
Successful treatment of fungal nails may reduce thickness, improve appearance and make trimming easier. Options include:
- no treatment and living with the infection
- the use of topical antifungal agents (typically ineffective)
- use of prescription oral anti-fungal medication such as Lamisil or Sporanox (reports up to a 58% success rate with the need for blood tests to monitor for possible liver damage)
- permanent surgical removal of the nail
- laser treatment
How does the laser treatment work?
Our doctors use a Q-switched NdYAG laser which is one of the most advanced dermatologic lasers currently available. In 3-10 billionths of a second, impulses of high power laser energy pass through the nail to the nail bed and nail growth area with typically no damage to the nail or surrounding skin. At the time of the procedure the fungus is expected to be destroyed. However, no visible change is seen until the nail begins to grow out. In a few months, a more normal nail is expected to appear with complete regrowth of the nail taking 9-12 months.
Is the procedure painful?
Most people do not feel any pain. No anesthesia is needed.
How long does the procedure take?
Less than 10 minutes.
What is the recovery period?
You may resume all normal activities immediately.
Can I polish my nails or have a pedicure?
You can apply polish to the nail immediately after the laser treatment. However, it is important to remove all nail polish prior to your treatment.
Can the fungus return or not go away?
The fungal infection is expected to improve with just one treatment. Clinical reports have been encouraging with most patients noticing improvement. As with all medical procedures, a 100% guarantee is not possible. However, if it is determined that there is no appreciable difference (photographs are taken prior to procedure) in your nail appearance on your follow up visit (6-10 months after laser procedure), we will provide an additional treatment at no charge. Since the fungus is present nearly everywhere in the environment, reinfection may occur. Your doctor will recommend preventative strategies to reduce the chance of reinfection.
Is the laser treatment covered by my insurance?
The procedure is not a covered benefit by regular health insurance plans. It may be covered under a health savings account (HSA).
How much does laser treatment cost?
Fees range between $300 and $1000. The charges are based on the number of nails treated.
What forms of payment do you accept?
Cash, cashier checks, Visa and Mastercard. Personal checks need to be cleared prior to the initiation of treatment.