Toenail fungus or onychomycosis is one of the most common types of fungal infections. In fact, a whopping 25 million of Americans are affected by this disease. Though this disease is not particularly painful, it is certainly embarrassing and causes a fair amount of discomfort to those experiencing it. The most unfortunate thing about this infection is that it has a tendency to surface again and again.
Moreover, it rarely responds to over-the-counter medications. Hence, people infected with toenail fungus are often frustrated and resort to newer ways of treating this disease. One such emerging treatment option for toenail fungus is laser therapy. Laser treatment supposedly clears the infection so that its chances of resurfacing are minimum.
About the Treatment
Laser treatment for toenail fungus can be performed at any laser clinic. The treatment includes targeting a laser beam on the fungal infection, so as to destroy it completely. A hand-held laser device is used for this purpose, so that the technician can adjust the beam in a better manner. The laser beam generates sufficient amount of heat so as to vaporize the fungus and thus exterminate it.
The whole surgery can be completed in less than 10 minutes, for a single toe. One of the biggest advantage of laser treatment is that it can easily penetrate the thick nail and reach the fungus underneath. This is impossible to achieve with topical medications which do little to kill the fungus. Besides, the laser beam also does not damage the underlying nail bed.
A single session of laser treatment can get rid of about 80% of the infection. Although, the results are not instantaneous, the nail continues to grow normally thereafter, provided the nail bed is uninfected and healthy. A second session of laser treatment is required only in rare cases. In a years time, the appearance of nail should be normal and healthy.
Another advantage of laser treatment for nail fungus is that it does not have any side effects. Certain oral medications are capable of inducing nasty side effects, hence, are not recommended for all. People who cannot go for over-the-counter can indeed become eligible for laser treatment, since it can be safely performed on everyone, including young children.
Just like any other cosmetic surgery, the laser treatment prices are also dependent on several other factors. Some of the major determinants that decide the laser treatment cost are location of the laser clinic, severity of infection, number of toes affected, facilities offered at the clinic, etc. A low end laser clinic may charge you about USD 200-USD 500 for a single session, per toe. Whereas, a high-end clinic located in a plush locality and equipped with all sorts of facilities may charge you a whopping USD 1000-USD 4000, for the same treatment.
The cost may further escalate if you are required to undergo a second session. Generally, the cost of second session is about 15-30% of the first session. However, this is true only if the second session is performed within 8 months of the first session. Laser surgery being a cosmetic or aesthetic surgery is not covered by any insurance. Hence, it is not considered as an affordable treatment option for every individual.
Laser treatment is a viable option only in cases of severe toenail fungus infection. Mild to moderate infection is better treated with OTC medications or other means.
Disclaimer : Prices mentioned are subject to change according to location and offers.