Treating fungal toenails used to be a real pain. Your options were essentially oral medication—which would sometimes produce undesired side effects—or medicated nail polishes or creams that were not terribly effective in treating the problem in the nail bed. There was also nail removal, but it takes up to a year for a healthy nail to completely grow back. Fortunately, advances in technology have given Shenandoah Podiatry a new tool in treating this unsightly condition—PinPointe laser treatment.
Fungal Toenails: A Synopsis
Onychomycosis (nail fungus) is known to thrive in warm, moist, and dark environments, which essentially describes what you can find in your socks and shoes. In addition to providing an ideal environment for fungal growth, your toes do not have the same level of blood flow as does the rest of your body. This means that it is more difficult for your immune system to recognize and fight an infection in your toes. With these two facts in mind, it is easy to understand why toenail infections occur. You will recognize the condition when you observe discolored, thickened, and brittle nails.
Restoring Nail Health
When you choose to use laser therapy to eradicate the fungus that is destroying your healthy nail tissue, we will start with a consultation. This will allow you to know what to expect from the process and provide an opportunity for you to ask any questions you might have.
PinPointe laser treatment effectively restores your nails to their natural, healthy condition. This is a safe, FDA-approved process that targets the fungus living in and under your toenails. It employs a laser light capable of passing through the nail, without damaging the surrounding skin or the nail itself. The process is essentially painless, with few patients feeling a warming sensation or a slight pinprick.
This medical procedure is “walk in/walk out” and you do not have to worry about a lengthy recovery process. When you come in for your treatment, it will only take half an hour and then you can get back to whatever you have to do for the rest of the day. You will need to remove any nail polish or decorations the day before treatment. If you want to apply nail polish afterwards, though, you can do so without any cause for concern.
Treating fungal toenails with laser therapy is proven to work quickly, but be aware that there may be a need for additional therapy sessions. Also, keep in mind that nails do need some time to grow back in clear and healthy.
Proactive Defensive Maneuvers
We are certainly able to treat your toenail fungus with our PinPointe laser, but keep in mind that there are a variety of steps you can take to decrease the risk of contracting the fungus in the first place. Start by carefully washing your feet every day and then thoroughly drying them afterwards, especially the areas between your toes. Keeping your feet dry takes away environmental components—moistness and dampness—that fungus needs to thrive.
If you don’t already, make sure to change your socks every day and wash them inside out. Be sure to wear shower shoes and sandals in public pools, locker rooms, and shower areas, locations where onychomycosis is more likely to hang around. Do not borrow towels, socks, or shoes from anyone else, because this is one way the fungus can be transmitted.
If you are already seeing symptoms, it may be too late for proactive measures, but Shenandoah Podiatry is here for you! We can use PinPointe laser treatment to effectively restore your nails to their healthy, natural condition. If you would prefer an alternative treatment method, we can certainly discuss the pros and cons of doing so with you. Contact either our Roanoke, VA office at (540) 904-1458 or use our convenient online form to request an appointment today.