Does nail fungus laser treatment work?


You’ve tried just about every over-the-counter product available, but none of them seem to cure your toenail fungus. When home treatments don’t work, it can be frustrating and embarrassing (cue Disgust from Inside Out!) —but it doesn’t have to be long lasting. Laser fungus removal is a modern and safe treatment option to remove and prevent future fungus concerns. Here, we will explore nail fungus laser treatment including efficacy, prevention, and next steps. 

If you think you are experiencing toenail fungus, we advise you to consult with your primary care physician or your podiatrist for a professional diagnosis. After a gentle evaluation, the podiatrists at Arizona Foot Doctors in Scottsdale, Arizona, would provide you with treatment recommendations based on your condition, lifestyle, and health.

What is toenail fungus?

Toenail fungus describes a fungal infection under the nail that will cause the nail to thicken and turn yellow. Without treatment, this infection can spread to other toenails. While most commercial foot fungus remedies provide limited relief or take multiple applications over weeks or months to rid the infection, nail fungus laser treatment can take as little as one treatment and has a positive track record for treating this unsightly condition.

Is laser nail fungus treatment effective?

Before you schedule an appointment, your first question may be, “is nail fungus laser treatment effective?” Clinical studies show support for this treatment’s efficacy, and toenail fungus laser treatments are approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration. Looking at the clinical trial data/facts, nail fungus laser treatment is effective.

  • A 2016 study by the FDA found that patients who received nail fungus laser treatment displayed clear nails at three months and six months after treatment.
  • A 2019 study published in the journal American Family Physician by the American Association of Family Physicians found that after 180 days of nail fungus laser treatment, patients had a 30% cure rate and a 91% improvement in symptoms. The AAFP study also concluded that laser treatment is more effective for fungus removal than both over-the-counter and prescription topical and oral antifungal medications.
  • In 2018, the journal Lasers in Medical Science published a study about the efficacy of nail fungus laser treatment l. These researchers reported a success rate of 83.7% among the patient population, who had infections that affected at least two-thirds of the nail.

How does nail fungus laser treatment work?

The Scottsdale podiatrists at Arizona Foot Doctors are expertly trained to perform nail fungus laser treatments. The lasers used for fungus removal attack the organisms under the nail without damaging the skin and tissue. Unlike topical therapies, the light can penetrate through the toenail to reach the fungus.

Before the procedure, our technicians may file your nails to prepare the area for the nail fungus laser treatment. You should remove nail polish or decals from your nails before your appointment. The treatment is almost always painless, though you may feel warmth or tingling on the nail bed during the treatment.

After nail fungus laser treatment, most patients display healthy new nail growth without damage to the surrounding tissue. The laser foot treatment can prevent the fungus from spreading and reduce the pain or discomfort associated with infection.

Most patients need just one nail fungus laser treatment, though it can take six months to a year for your nail to return to its former appearance (depending on the extent of the infection). While recurrence of infection is unlikely, some fungal infections may return and require additional treatment.

Because toenail fungus worsens and spreads over time, early treatment may prevent complications such as toenail loss. Individuals who have an immune disorder or diabetes are at risk for serious health issues caused by untreated toenail fungus.

Why choose Arizona Foot Doctors for nail fungus laser treatment?

At Arizona Foot Doctors of Scottsdale, we use the safe, effective PinPointe FootLaser for gentle, painless nail fungus laser treatment. Each appointment lasts about 30 minutes, and you can go right back to your regular activities with no downtime. After laser foot treatment, our Scottsdale podiatrists will recommend follow-up visits to assure that the nails are recovering and determine if additional treatments are necessary. When you schedule a consultation with our team, you’ll learn more about the cost of nail fungus laser treatment  and what to expect during the procedure.

Originally published: February 18, 2021