How the Problem Originates
Nothing life threatening here—just an annoying, unsightly toenail problem that may have you hiding your feet and not wanting to participate in certain activities. Why go on suffering the embarrassment of thick, yellow, brittle nails, when there is help close by?
Toenail fungus is caused by a class of microorganisms called dermatophytes that burrow under your nail. The fungus is found all over the place, but certain risk factors increase you chance of falling prey to it. Being male, older, or diabetic increases your chances, as well as footwear that keeps your feet damp and frequenting public areas where people walk barefoot (pools, gym showers, or saunas).
The fungus slips into any tiny opening in your skin—cut, blister, rash—or any separation between your nail and nail bed. It feeds on the hard tissue, causing those unsightly changes in your nails as they degrade. Because they don’t stay on the surface, the fungi can be hard to eradicate, but laser therapy offers new hope.
How Laser Therapy Works
Laser treatment for fungal nails has been around for a while now, and there is evidence that it effectively destroys nail fungus—called onychomycosis. The method uses concentrated light beams of different wavelengths and focuses them on the site where the fungus thrives under the nail. Because it pinpoints the location so precisely, the fungus itself is vaporized, but the surrounding tissue is not harmed. Two separate wavelengths of light are used for the most effective treatment.
What the Treatment Is Like
The procedure is done right in our office. It is painless, has no known side effects, and does not require any anesthesia. We simply use a pen-like laser device to focus the light beams onto your toenails. A treatment takes about 20 minutes, and after that you are free to put on your shoes and walk out as you came in—no recovery time is needed. We usually do treatments once a week for 3 weeks, and then again at week 8, depending on the extent of your infection.
We design a 4-pronged approach for treating fungal nails that combines laser therapy with treating your shoes to destroy the fungus, using antifungal creams on the skin around your nails, and applying an antifungal sealant to the nails after a laser treatment. If the nails are in really poor shape, we can add our nail restoration after the third treatment, so you can have more attractive toes while the new, healthy nail grows out.
We know our laser therapy plan works, because we designed it based on our own experience with difficult toenail fungus, and because we have helped many patients in the capital district who have come to Ottawa Foot Practice for help in treating fungal nails. Don’t wait any longer; the earlier treatment starts, the easier and quicker it is to get rid of your toenail fungus. Call our Ottawa, Ontario office today at (613) 595-9700 to set up an appointment, or schedule one through our website.