Wednesday, October 3, 2012
The Skinny on Lasers and Toenail Fungus
People have been fascinated with lasers going all the way back to the iconic image of James Bond being nearly split in two in the movie Goldfinger. Goldfinger was the first blockbuster movie ever. No doubt this brought the idea of lasers as being cutting edge into the American psyche. Lasers have been used in medicine for everything from zapping off warts to whitening teeth and now for treatment of those ugly thick fungal toenails. Another unforgetable scene on the Hollywood silver screen highlightd the social stigma attached to feet that aren't pretty. Eddy Murphy from the movie Boomerang pulls back the covers of his bed to reveal that his sleep over guest has jacked up feet. Lasers are part of a program that can help with the thick fungal nails and are an alternative to oral medication. The should not be thought of as effective as the oral but there are no potential side effects unlike oral aGENTS. Sports like running skiing and soccer increase your risk of getting toenail fungus because you sweat inside a closed shoe or boot and you are subjecting your toenails to repetitive microtrauma. The treatment should be only part of a regiment for a pesky problem.
The laser helps eliminate the fungal spores that lie within and underneath the nail. Just as in fading with laser teeth whitening the nail fungus can come back. It should be used as an adjunct treatment either with an oral or topical treatment. It is also important disinfect the areas the fungal spores reside, so the nail does not get reinfected. There are now ultraviolet lights to do this. Lysol is not a great idea because you are subjecting your skin to strong chemicals but there are other more safe disinfection sprays for shoes available. Health insurance does not cover the cost of this treatment. The treatments are administered once a month over three months and do not require anesthesia. You don't have to hiode your feet. You can flash them like your teeth with or without the teeth whitening!