We are officially knee deep in winter and I am loving every second of it! Right now in Chicago, I would be warming up my car, utilizing my seat warmers, scraping frost from my windows and trying to avoid the black ice on the way to work. But here in Florida my only concern is whether or not to take the 589 into work. Other people unfortunately wake up thinking to themselves that they wish their toenails were not so thick, discolored, and fungal. Onychomycosis or fungal nails is a problem that effects many people and is really tricky to get rid of. Oftentimes my patients will say they spent a small fortune in over the counter anti fungal creams, lotions, and solutions and yet they see no improvements.
At Advanced podiatry we provide comprehensive toenail restoration by combining simultaneous therapies in order to achieve optimum results. Our protocol is as follows: First we use the Diowave laser. The laser is used to eradicate the fungus that is present on nail plate by utilizing heat to denature the fungal elements. The treatment with the laser lasts approximately 1-2 minutes per toe nail and is painless. Our certified technicians, are highly trained and talk through the process with the patient while undergoing treatment for maximum comfort. We repeat the laser treatment for all fungal nails every 3 weeks for a total of four treatments.
Our next treatment is the topical solution for the nails. We have a specially formulated anti fungal solution that we have had great success with. The patient easily applies the solution to the affected nails twice daily and it dries almost immediately after application. We typically suggest you apply the solution in the morning and then at night. We also suggest that you do not use any nail polish during this period of time to ensure proper penetration of all treatment regimens. The solution should be applied to the nail, nail folds, cuticle, and underneath the nail in order to achieve good penetration levels of the anti fungal solution.
Approximately 80% of the time our patients who come in with fungal nails also have tinea pedis (athlete’s foot). The patient is therefore given a topical anti-fungal for their feet as well. The reason is that the tinea pedis can reinfect the nail and vice versa if left untreated. The cream is placed on the feet twice a day (morning and night) just as the nail solution would be applied. This increases patient compliance and also effectively treats the foot fungus in a timely manner.
Finally, we also treat the shoes, or the environment of the foot. Day after day we wear the same shoes that harbors lots of pathogens including fungus. In order to prevent reoccurrence and fungal elements in our environment we must treat the shoes we wear. The patient is encouraged to at least spray the shoe once a week but daily would be ideal. This is because every time we wear our shoes, our feet sweat and create an environment for bacteria and fungus to grow. By killing the fungus in the shoe we can therefore decrease the reinfection of the nails and feet.
The process of treating onychomycosis is very tedious but our patient satisfaction remains very high as long as we stick to the plan. I encourage our patients to use their smart phone and take pictures of their toes from the beginning of the treatment to the end so that they can personally see their progress overtime. The typical amount of time it takes for a toe nail to completely grow out is 6 months to 1 year. That means our treatment has to last that long as well. Patience is very important in order achieve maximum benefit and we help our patients understand that right from the beginning. With perseverance and the proper tools we can help eradicate the unpleasant fungal toe nails that you have been hiding away under your nail polish and closed shoes. Please call and make an appointment to discuss how we can improve the look of your toenails today.
Dr. Jairo Cruz Jr.