There’s a new laser out for treating fungal infections of the toenails. Those are the infections that cause your nails to become yellow or white, sometimes thickened and they sometimes even crumble. Now these toenail infections are usually only of cosmetic importance but they are important. The reason that it is so important that we have a new treatment is because toenail infections are so hard to cure. And the real question is, “Does this laser work?” This laser treatment has been available for about a year, and it is used mostly by podiatrists and dermatologists. Unfortunately, I’m not aware of any well-organized, controlled study that demonstrates consistent cure with this laser. One of the podiatrists who uses this laser, on his website has quote and it says that he has fungal infections of his toenails and he has used it, and he, to date, is very satisfied with the improvement. Not a very compelling testimony for something that is supposed to cure things.
So what are your alternatives? Traditional treatments consist of oral medications which means taking pills for between 6 and 12 months. They have can have lots of side effects and they still don’t always work. Alternatively, these toenail infections can be treated topically but topical treatment will only work if the toenail is aggressively filed so that the bulk of the infected nail plate is removed. Otherwise, the topical treatments will not penetrate to where they need to get to to actually kill the fungus. Your take-away is , if you have fungal toenail infections, consult your doctor and find out whether this laser treatment is appropriate for your type of infection and, if the doctors says it is and encourages you to proceed with treatments, it might be a good idea to ask the doctor, can you speak to one or two other patients who have been treated successfully with this laser?