Onycomycosis, or fungal infection of nails—most often on the toes—affects about 12% of Americans, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. At least 1 out 10 people in Minnesota has toenail fungus. Some people are genetically prone to it. Others, including swimmers and other athletes, may be more likely to get it because they go barefoot in public areas or because their feet are often damp, scientists say. In its mild forms, nail fungus is merely a cosmetic problem, but over time it can cause toenails to grow abnormally and become painful when walking.
Toenail laser treatment offers a new alternative to oral medication, which carries a risk of liver damage, and a nail lacquer, which has poor efficacy. Treatments typically take 15-30 minutes for up to 10 toes. Depending on the severity of the problem and the laser used, patients may need two to three treatments.
How the lasers work varies and how they affect toenail fungus isn’t fully understood in all cases. The research shows its laser kills fungus, others believe its laser inhibits fungal growth, paving the way for the body’s own defenses to clear the nail.
Patients in the Minneapolis and St Paul areas have this expectation that because it’s a laser treatment, once you zap it and its gone forever. That totally ignores the fact that this is an infectious disease and that recurrence is very possible unless good prevention measures are taken, such as not going barefoot, keeping feet clean and dry and changing socks daily.