Southern Tier Podiatry
Marilyn Boyuka, DPM
Podiatrist located in Vestal, NY
Fungal Nail Laser Therapy Q & A
Fungal Nail (Onychomycosis) Laser Therapy Treatment
How does Southern Tier Podiatry use Laser Therapy to treat Toenail Fungus (Onychomycosis)?
Dr Boyuka has created a unique laser therapy protocol for the treatment and clearing of a fungal toenail infection. Our Initial Intensive Laser Therapy Course combines both focused individual nail treatments, using the Aspen Laser Handpiece, and additional Lunula Laser Forefoot and Toenail treatments. Every 2 weeks, the patient undergoes a Laser Therapy session to the affected toenails, alternating between the Aspen Individual Focused Laser and the Lunula Laser, over a 3 month period.
Some of our patients choose a Maintenance Laser Therapy Package at their 4 month assessment, to maintain clearing of nails or to continue treatment on an advanced case. Since there is no cure for toenail fungus, Dr Boyuka recommends that her patients consider this maintenance option to maximize their long term clinical success.
How does Laser Therapy work on Toenail Fungus?
Dr Boyuka’s unique Laser Therapy Protocol (with using Aspen Laser Handpiece and the Lunula Laser), provides a painless treatment for toenail fungus. The laser energy targets the fungal infection by photobiomodulation, and energizes the damaged tissue cells,which triggers a cascade of healing responses in your body. The affected cells are now stimulated to increase oxygenation of tissue, which in turn inhibits fungal organisms and stimulates new clear nail growth. There are no dangerous smoke plumes, and it does not burn out the fungus or the nail. This Laser treatment takes about 2-3 minutes per focused nail treatment and 12 minutes per forefoot treatment.
Will Laser Therapy for toenails fungus cause pain? How does the treatment feel?
Most patients only will feel a slight warming sensation, or nothing at all. This is due to the wavelengths of light (laser) energy which each Laser Machine uses. Patients and the laser technician must wear protective eyewear, but there is no burning of the fungus or nail, and no dangerous smoke plumes.
Do I need to do any other treatments while I have Laser Therapy for Toenail fungus?
Dr Boyuka recommends that her patients perform additional daily treatments at home to their nails, skin and shoes, both during and after Laser therapy, to maximize the clinical outcome and prevent recurrence
We recommend sanitizing your shoes with an ultraviolet light shoe sterilizer, while treating the nails and feet. Fungus, yeast and bacteria can remain in your shoes, resulting in reinfection, every time you put them on. We also recommend treating the skin with a topical antifungal daily.
The following recommended products are available at Southern Tier Podiatry (discounted pricing with the Initial Intensive Laser Therapy Course)
Formula 7 Topical Solution for Nails Steri-Shoe UV Light Sanitizer
Fungi Foam Topical for Skin CleanSweep Antifungal Shoe Spray
Is Laser Therapy covered by my insurance plan?
Laser therapy treatment is consider cosmetic and is not covered by insurance
What is the cost of Laser Therapy for the treatment of Toenail Fungus (Onychomycosis)?
- The cost of Laser therapy for Toenail Fungus is based on the number of toenails being treated and patients can use their Care Credit, Health Savings and Flex Spending Accounts
- 1-2 Nails $350 (total cost of 5 laser treatments)
- 3-4 Nails $460 (total cost of 5 laser treatments)
- 5-6 Nails $600 (total cost of 5 laser treatments)
- 7-8 Nails $700 (total cost of 5 laser treatments)
- 9-10 Nails $800 (total cost of 5 laser treatments)
Why would I choose Laser therapy to treat Nail Fungus instead of the oral medication, Lamisil?
- Lamisil (terbinafine) is processed by the liver, and there can be risks to taking the medication. Liver enzymes can be increased during the breakdown of Lamisil. Also, sometimes people are on medications that are contraindicated when taking Lamisil. Other patients do not like to take any medication at all. When you take Lamisil, the dosage is 1 pill a day for 3 months and having bloodwork to test your liver before you start the medication, and again after being on it for 6 weeks.
- Lamisil does not cure toenail fungus. There is no cure for onychomycosis, but various treatments and therapies can put it into remission
- At the end of the 3 month treatment course, you are just starting to have clear nail growth. Most people have about 1mm of nail growth per month, so it can take 9-12 months at times for the big toe nail to grow out completely.
Why would I choose Laser therapy instead of just topical medications for Toenail Fungus?
- Any topical medication for toenail fungus involves a twice a day application for approximately 9 months. Some people do not want to be bothered by a twice a day application. Some of the prescription topicals have risks that include developing painful ingrown toenails or skin irritation. Some of the prescription topicals are still brand-name and are not covered by the patient’s prescription insurance plan and can be costly.
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