Toenails are composed of layers and layers of keratin, which is a form of protein. Toe fungal microorganisms that cause a toenail infection can burrow themselves deep within these layers which make them difficult to kill. As the fungi feed off of the keratin in the infected nail, it becomes thickened, discolored, crumbly, ragged, and brittle. If the fungi embed themselves underneath the nail (in the nail bed), it can even cause the nail to lift off of the nail bed. Treating toenail fungus can be difficult as topical treatments can have a difficult time penetrating the nail to eradicate the fungus, and oral antifungal medications can sometimes cause dangerous side effects. Laser therapy for fungal toenails has emerged as an effective and safe treatment for toenail infections. The laser can precisely target the fungi and penetrate deep through the layers of nail to kill the fungi, without affecting surrounding healthy nail and tissue. If you have a stubborn toenail infection, it is suggested you call a podiatrist to see if you are a good candidate for laser therapy.
Laser treatment can be an effective way to get rid of toenail fungus. If you have any questions about laser treatment, consult with one of our podiatrists from Centers for Foot & Ankle Care. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment for fungal nails.
What Are Toenail Fungal Infections?
Onychomycosis, or fungal infection of the nail, is a relatively common and non-serious condition. Around 10 percent of U.S. citizens are afflicted with fungal nails. Common forms of fungus that infect the nail include dermatophytes, yeasts, and molds.
Symptoms of Toenail Fungal Infections Include:
- Nail thickening
- Brittleness of the nail
- Discoloration of the nail
Diagnosis for Fungal Nails
Fungal infections are diagnosed by fungal culture and microscopy. This will rule out any other conditions such as nail trauma, psoriasis, lichen planus, and onychogryphosis.
What Is Laser Treatment?
Laser treatment is a non-invasive, safe, quick, and painless procedure that uses the heat from a laser to kill fungus in the nail. Each infected nail is targeted with a laser for several minutes. The treatment is usually utilized several different times over a select period. During this time, a podiatrist will keep an eye on the infection.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Merrillville, Portage, Michigan City, La Porte, and Schererville, IN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.