PGA Foot & Ankle P.A.
E. Charisse Dunn, D.P.M.
Foot and Ankle Surgeon & Podiatrist located in Palm Beach Gardens, FL
If you’re looking for a fast and effective treatment for toenail fungus, laser treatments may be the perfect solution. Podiatrist Dr. E. Charisse Dunn offers state-of-the-art laser treatments at PGA Foot & Ankle P.A. to patients in the Palm Beach Gardens, Florida area. These laser treatments are quick, painless, and highly effective in eradicating unattractive fungus. Call or go online to make an appointment with Dr. Dunn to find out how laser therapy can help you.
Laser Nail Treatment and Fungal Toenails Q&A
What is toenail fungus?
Toenail fungus is very common and occurs in men and women of all ages. Typically, toenail fungus starts as small, yellowish spots under your toenail, which can grow and spread, causing your toenail to thicken and even crumble around the edges.
When confined to just your toenails, the fungus is called onychomycosis, but when it spreads to your surrounding skin and between your toes, the fungal infection is athlete’s foot.
Fungal toenail infections are usually contracted in moist environments that foster fungal organisms, such as shared showers, wet surfaces, and prolonged confinement in sweaty socks or shoes.
How does laser therapy work to correct toenail fungus?
Traditionally, most fungal toenail infections are treated with topical ointments and antibiotics, but more podiatrists are turning to laser therapy as an excellent and fast-acting treatment to clear up the unsightly results of fungal infections.
At PGA Foot & Ankle, P.A., Dr. Charisse Dunn uses the latest in laser technology called HyperBlue®. HyperBlue laser treatments reach below the surface of your toenail to target and destroy the fungus without damaging the surrounding area.
Other advantages to the laser treatments are:
- No downtime
- No anesthesia since the procedure is painless
- Short treatment times: Usually 10 minutes each
- Using nail polish allowed
To learn more about how HyperBlue laser therapy can address your toenail fungus, call or go online to make an appointment with Dr. E. Charisse Dunn to see if you are a good candidate.
How many laser treatments are necessary to clear toenail fungus?
After evaluating your fungal infection, Dr. Dunn recommends a course of treatments that depends on the extent of your infection. Typically, you can expect to undergo three to four short treatments.
When will I see results?
While the laser therapy destroys the fungus underneath your toenails and halts its spread, it will still take time for your affected toenails to grow out. Rest assured, though, that when they do, they will leave clear, natural-looking nails in their wake.
How can I prevent the fungus from returning?
Since fungi exist everywhere, it pays to be vigilant about protecting your toenails from reinfection. You can do this by:
- Wearing footwear in public showers, locker rooms, and pool areas
- Ensuring your socks are dry and wick moisture
- Wearing different shoes every other day
- Trimming your nails straight across
Above all, play close attention to your toenails to catch any changes before they become larger problems that require more serious intervention.
What is toenail fungus?
If your toenails are thick, discolored, smelly, and possibly painful, it may be the result of a fungal infection. Fungal infections mainly occur due to a warm, moist environment, such as:
- Shoes that cause your feet to be warm and sweaty
- Walking barefoot in locker rooms
- Walking barefoot outside in wet grass where fungus thrives
Because fungus is such a common organism, anyone is susceptible to the infection. In fact, several people in the same family can get fungal infections at the same time when family members use the same nail clippers or towels, or share the same shower.
What causes fungal infections in toenails?
There are a variety of conditions that can cause nail changes, such as:
- Trauma to the nail
- Circulatory problems: Diabetes
In order to identify the cause of the infection, Dr. Dunn takes a sample of your nail for confirmation.
Can toenail fungus be prevented?
The first order of business in preventing fungal infections is to control excessive moisture. You can accomplish this by:
- Wearing 100% cotton socks
- Changing into dry socks after any physical or sporting activity
- Using moisture-absorbing foot powder inside your socks to keep your feet dry
- Wearing shoes in public locker rooms and showers
Additionally, it’s important to check that your shoes fit properly. If possible, you should also avoid pointy-toed dress shoes that press your toes together.
How are fungal toenails treated?
Topical solutions are effective for early infections when your nail thickening is minimal, and your infection is superficial. With thicker nails and deeper fungal infections, Dr. Charisse Dunn typically prescribes oral medication after drawing the necessary blood work.
Another solution is laser treatment of fungal toenails, which can be used in conjunction with, or as an alternative to, oral antifungal therapy. Laser treatment is an excellent alternative for several reasons, such as:
- It’s painless
- It’s effective for both superficial and deep infections
- It can be used on patients with any medical condition
It’s important to remember that fungal infections are often resolved but rarely cured, due to the nature of the organism. A daily regimen of topical antifungal therapy, antifungal spray or powders, and proper hygiene is necessary to achieve the best results.
To find out how you can combat unsightly toenail fungus, call or go online to book an appointment at PGA Foot & Ankle P.A.
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