There are an estimated $4.0 billion spent on fungal infections, including $1.5 billion for onychomycosis or toenail fungus. Around 35 million people in the United States, and 700 million worldwide, suffer from toenail fungus. Patients and physicians alike have few or no treatment options due to the safety concerns associated oral medications available as the current standard of treatment. Many of these strong drugs can cause liver damage! This is certainly a risk that many are not willing to take.
There are home remedies and there are thousands of products being pushed on the internet, however, the solution for toenail fungus remains elusive. Dr. Marc Katz, a Tampa podiatrist, sees dozens of people each week complaining of the unsightly nail deformities. These patients have spent hundreds of dollars on remedies with no success. They have become so frustrated, says Dr. Katz. People just want to wear their sandals in sunny Florida without feeling self-conscious.
I’m always looking for the most advanced technology to help my patients and now I’ve found the answer, LASER. And not just any laser therapy. In my opinion, the Noveon seems to be the winner.
At first, Dr. Katz investigated the Pinpointe laser but was not impressed. His opinion was that the laser had not been properly studied and he notes that the Pinpointe still has NOT been FDA approved for fungal nails or onychomycosis in the US. In addition, the Pinpointe uses an Nd:YAG laser at 1064 nm in the infrared region that has a higher incidence of burns and can turn normal cells into potentially cancer causing cells.
The Pinpointe and other Nd:Yag beams are not controlled and dependent on the user placing the beam correctly and keeping it at a set distance. Without this control the treatment success can vary and spots can be missed. Also, a problem known as pulse stacking can lead to burns and over-treatment of an area. Katz stated that the Noveon has overcome this problem by using pods that control the distance and the amount of the beam contacting the nail. The actual laser device controls the treatment seamlessly allowing for the best outcome with a reproducible dose of laser at a specified distance every time. This truly distinguishes the Noveon from Nd:Yag lasers(Pinpointe, Aerolase, CoolTouch, Lux and other cosmetic lasers). The Noveon has been developed and studied for nail fungus and the Nd:Yag is a cosmetic laser for skin and hair.
The Noveon uses 2 different wavelengths of low energy near infrared beams that produce death using light(not heat) without harming the normal tissues. Katz states that this allows for more thorough treatments and better results with less chance of injury.
If you are already going to have the treatment and spend the money you should have the best, said Katz. And he believes that it is worth the wait for FDA approval of the Noveon which should be in early 2010.
Dr. Katz has been chosen by Nomir medical to be one of the early adopters of this cutting edge technology to get rid of toenail fungus. The laser is powerful, proven and allows for reproducible results in a safe environment. Patients are already waiting in line for the treatments, says Katz. The treatment is not covered by insurance but the demand is still huge! The cost will likely be between 800 and 1200 dollars for the full treatment course.
There is no pain involved with the procedure. Most patients will undergo 3 separate treatment sessions with virtually no side-effects. Each treatment session lasts 20 minutes or less and is performed in a comfortable office setting.
So get ready to say goodbye to unsightly toenail fungus.