Killing toenail fungus with laser treatment

Fungal infection is the most common reason for nails to become discolored and distorted. Asthetic issues aside, left untreated a fungal infection can become painful and spread, affecting other areas of your toes and feet.

Nancy Stovall knows your feet matter, and when she noticed a while back that something was wrong, she went to see her podiatrist.

Her doctor told her it was toenail fungus.

So, she's opting for the latest in toenail fungus treatment; laser therapy.

"Basically it uses certain wavelengths of light that heat the tissue within below the nail killing so that healthy nail should grow out outside of that," says Dr. Joel Brook, Nancy’s podiatrist.

Doctors begin by analyzing toenail clippings to make sure it’s fungus because nails can discolor from trauma and age.

Though not covered by insurance the treatment can show positive results in as little as four months.

Dr. Brook says it's a big step up from the anti-fungal medications people used to use. The pills you would have to ingest. Those came with significant possible side effects.

He says the lasers have no side effects and work on 70 to 85 percent of patients.

"Most of the time people show up because they just hate how the condition looks.  So, over the years the treatment has evolved,” says Dr. Brook.

It’s important to treat a patient’s shoes as well; an ultraviolet shoe sanitizer is used to sterilize all your shoes, so you don’t become re-infected.

"I was happy to see that it didn't hurt," says Nancy.

She’ll need more treatments, but she's now closer to sandal-ready toes.

To avoid exposure to the fungus doctors recommend using shower shoes at public gym locker rooms and avoid shoes and socks that promote excess perspiration.

And give those toes and feet exposure to the fresh air and sunshine during sandal season.

© 2017 KING-TV


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