Topical and Laser Combination Therapy for Fungal Toenails
Fungal toenails, historically, have been one of the most difficult and frustrating conditions to treat. For many people, toenails that are thick, discolored, misshapen, and unsightly have become a permanent fact of life.
Fungal toenails don’t go away on their own. If you’ve never bothered to seek treatment, the situation is only going to get worse. Unfortunately, many people who try to treat their toenails on their own end up frustrated by treatments that don’t work, or infections that just come right back again anyway.
We understand you’re frustrated, and you just want your clear, healthy toenails back. . . . and we can help! For those tough-to-treat infections, a combination therapy that incorporates both topical treatments and PinPointe Laser Therapy may be just what you need.
Why Are Fungal Toenail So Hard to Treat?
The first part of the answer is that your toenails offer not only an endless source of nutrition for the fungus, but also protection. Because the nail itself is such a thick, hard barrier, traditional topical antifungal medications alone aren’t always effective at reaching the fungus that resides inside and below.
Even when they are somewhat successful, topical treatments take a lot of time to get results. The full treatment can take up to a year, and require you to thin your toenails (typically weekly) on top of applying the antifungal medication once or twice per day.
The second part of the answer is that the alternative “traditional” treatment, oral antifungals, aren’t safe for everyone. These pills can cause side effects in some people, including severe ones like liver problems. If you can’t (or do not want to) consume oral antifungals, then your options are more limited.
The New Treatment Option: Laser Therapy
In recent years, a new option has arrived for treating fungal toenails: laser therapy. At Sierra Foot & Ankle, we use the PinPointe toenail laser. PinPointe FootLaser is an FDA-cleared system that can successfully eradicate the fungus and help nails grow in clear—with none of the downsides of older forms of treatment!
Laser therapy works by emitting a focused beam of light that is deadly to the fungus that cause toenail infections. The laser light doesn’t have any problems getting through the toenail and accessing the fungi underneath. It’s also painless, safe on your skin, and has no known side effects.
Combining Laser and Topical Antifungals for Optimal Results
One other significant benefit of laser therapy is that it can easily and safely be used in combination with other fungal toenail treatments to get even better results. You do not have to choose one or the other. Quite often, we recommend that our patients (especially those with particularly severe fungal toenails) combine laser therapy and topical treatments.
And while topicals aren’t always especially effective when used on their own, they make a great “companion” for laser therapy. When using both together, results tend to come more quickly, and overall success rates are higher. Plus, we can thin your toenails for you when you come in for your laser therapy sessions, making it extremely convenient.
There may be some situations where oral antifungals are still used or recommended, but for most people, laser therapy plus topical medications tends to offer an ideal combination of safety, effectiveness, and convenience.
Get Your Clear Nails Back!
If you’d like to learn more about toenail fungus, what causes it, how to prevent it, and what treatment options are available, you can click here to download a free copy of Dr. Melhuish’s e-book, “Love Your Toenails: A Guide to Treating Fungal Toenails and Keeping Your Feet Healthy.”
And if you’re ready to take the next step and schedule your appointment with Dr. Melhuish at our office in Carson City, just give us a call at (775) 783-8037, or reach out to us online. You don’t have to keep living with unsightly toenails indefinitely! Let us help you today.