An old wise man once said, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” This adage can be applied to many aspects of life. We come across it everyday in our office when a patient comes in asking for a quick fix on their fungal nails. In reality, there isn’t a fast treatment. Typically it takes anywhere from 3 to 6 months to get good results. So if you’re hoping to have clear nails for your Spring cruise or Summer beach vacation, it’s time to make some moves now.
Fungal nails can be very stubborn and resistant to treatment and medications. That is why when it comes to dealing with fungus, I personally like to throw the “kitchen sink” for best results. This includes oral meds, topical meds, and something that makes us unique to the Tampa Bay area: The Diowave 30 Watt Laser. Old, out-dated lasers work by heating up the nail bed which often causes pain and discomfort. At Healthy Feet Podiatry, we have one of the newest lasers that uses a lower wavelength which increases the oxygen level in the skin and nail that effectively kills the fungal cells.
Our machine also consists of a red light laser beam which photo-inactivates the cell and destroys the genetic component which prevents it from continuing to grow and proliferate. By carefully and meticulously making multiple passes on the nail with the laser beam, it effectively penetrates all layers of the skin and nail. This gives the best result as there are higher levels of fungal cell death which decreases the ability of fungus to reproduce and reinfect.
Sometimes the fungus causes the nail to become severely thickened and dystrophic which may make the laser difficult to penetrate. That is why we’ve added a mechanical debridement of the nail to our protocol. This thins down the nail plate and allows for maximal penetration of the light. In rare and severe cases of fungus, removal of the entire nail is necessary for best results.
While there isn’t an absolute cure for toenail fungus infections with 100% results, this is as close as you will get in the Tampa Bay area. Everybody is different and everybody responds to treatment differently but here at Healthy Feet Podiatry, we have several doctors who are here to listen to your concerns and tailor a treatment plan that is right for you. Call us to make an appointment at 813-875-0555. Don’t be that guy wearing shoes at the beach.