Nail fungus, particularly in the toenails, is a common malady among older persons and laser therapy is being used as a treatment but is it worth it?
Dermatologist B.E. Elewski says that merely being over 60 years of age is a risk factor for this type of fungus. It is wise for elderly persons to use effective treatments, including new therapies that appear promising. Is laser therapy for toenail fungus one of the promising treatments?
There are many traditional treatments for nail fungus including oral and topical anti-fungal treatments. In addition, the affected part of a nail or the whole nail plate can be removed surgically and rapidly as an outpatient procedure.
These traditional treatments have potential side effects. Oral medications can cause upset stomachs and even liver damage, according to the Mayo Clinic. They are not always effective in elder persons. Topical ointments may take months to work. Removal of the nail or a portion is painful and takes a long time for growth of the nail. Recurrence and reinfection are common.
Laser treatment of nail fungus, which was approved by the FDA in 2010, penetrates the nail plate and kills fungi underneath. Advocates of laser therapy for toenail fungus say the procedure is fast, painless and brings quick results. But scientists do not agree.
The Disappointing Truth: Nail Fungus Laser Treatment is Ineffective
Becker and Bershow reviewed the scientific studies of laser therapy for toenail fungus and found no effective results in randomized, controlled, clinical trials. In addition, the therapy was not painless and recurrence of fungal infection was high.
However, the authors of the literature review acknowledged that reinfection is so common with nail fungus that it is possible that reinfection, not recurrence of the original infection, was responsible for the unpersuasive results.
Another study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, noted that laser treatment did not produce a cure when tested on humans with toenail fungus. The researchers noted that only one kind of laser light was tested. Nevertheless, they stated about their results: “In vivo treatment did not result in onychomycosis cure” meaning that the testing of laser treatment on human patients did not produce a toenail fungus cure. (see sources below)
Nail Fungus Laser Therapy is Expensive, Elective and Cosmetic
Another detriment of nail fungus laser therapy is cost. The expense is usually not covered by insurance because toenail fungus is deemed a cosmetic issue, not a serious health matter. Treatment is elective and based more on the appearance of the feet than an actual health threat. The cosmetic side of nail fungus is perturbing to those who have it. Symptoms of nail fungus include distortion of the nail surface, including a brittle or ridged appearance, discoloration of the nail surface (usually a dull yellow color) and brittle-looking or crumbling nails. But it is rarely a dangerous condition.
Until laser therapy passes more randomized, controlled, clinical tests elderly patients may wish to forego the expense. Although laser therapy for nail fungus may be the wave of the future, at this time it has not proven effective. Scientists recommend traditional treatments as they have proven to be more effective.
So What Can You Do to GET RID OF IT?!
Doctors will often recommend Oral antifungal drugs.
Studies show the most effective treatments are terbinafine (Lamisil) and itraconazole (Sporanox). These drugs help a new nail grow free of infection, slowly replacing the infected part.
You typically take this type of drug for six to 12 weeks. But you won’t see the end result of treatment until the nail grows back completely. It may take four months or longer to eliminate an infection.
Treatment success rates with these drugs appear to be lower in adults over age 65. And treatment success seems to improve when you combine oral and topical antifungal therapies.
Oral antifungal drugs may cause side effects ranging from skin rash to liver damage. You may need occasional blood tests to check on how you’re doing with these types of drugs. Doctors may not recommend them for people with liver disease or congestive heart failure or those taking certain medications.
For more severe cases, there are surgical and other treatments such as Nail removal. If your nail infection is severe or extremely painful, your doctor may suggest removing your nail. A new nail will usually grow in its place. But it will come in slowly and may take as long as a year to grow back completely. Sometimes surgery is used in combination with ciclopirox to treat the nail bed.
Fungus Stop is made in Greece by a company called Zane Hellas, and is the #1 bestseller in Nail Fungus Treatments on Amazon, with numerous positive testimonials and photos included in its over 1,500 customer reviews, which simply wouldn’t be possible with an ineffective product.
The main active ingredient in Fungus Stop is Carvacrol. Carvacrol is an ingredient found in the highest content in Oregano Oil and is completely natural.
Carvacrol has very strong antifungal properties and can completely eradicate toenail fungus.
Used since ancient times and there are many published scientific medical studies on the properties and effectiveness of Carvacrol Oregano Oil.
Fungus Stop also contains Vitamin E and Vitamin C to nourish the skin and nails.
Fungus Stop produces fast results in the appearance and color of the nails.
Treatment can be completed only in 4 Weeks with this highly effective maximum strength solution.
Fungus Stop is Clinically Proven and formulated at Therapeutic Grade strength.
Fungus Stop is an Antifungal, suitable for Toenail Fungus, Athletes Foot, Bacterial Infections and Parasites Problems. If you are diabetic and think you may be developing toenail fungus, see your doctor first, as diabetic foot problems may be more serious.
Brush Fungus Stop on to your nail (around and under nails), once a day for 4 weeks . Heat sensation is normal.
Wait 5-7 minutes until absorbed. Do not wash your feet or hands for 5-7 minutes.
During this time avoid the hand contact with eyes.
If the fungal infection it is on your toenails put clean socks.
Stop use if irritation occurs or there is no improvement within 4 weeks. Do not use on broken skin or any other foot conditions.
When to See a Doctor
You may want to see a physician if Fungus Stop hasn’t helped. Also, as previously mentioned, be sure to see a doctor if you have diabetes and think you’re developing nail fungus.
How Do I keep Toenail Fungus From Coming Back?
Wash your hands and feet regularly and keep your nails short and dry. Wash your hands and feet with soap and water, rinse, and dry thoroughly, including between the toes. Trim nails straight across and file down thickened areas.
Wear anti-fungal socks that absorb sweat. Fabrics effective at wicking away moisture include wool, nylon and polypropylene. Change your socks often, especially if you have sweaty feet.
Choose shoes that reduce humidity. It also helps to occasionally take off your shoes or wear open-toe footwear.
Discard old shoes. If possible, avoid wearing old shoes, which can harbor fungi and cause a reinfection. Or treat them with disinfectants or antifungal powders.
Wear rubber gloves. This protects your hands from overexposure to water. Between uses, turn the gloves inside out to dry.
Don’t trim or pick at the skin around your nails. This may give germs access to your skin and nails.
Don’t go barefoot in public places. Wear sandals or shoes around pools, showers, and locker rooms.
Choose a reputable nail salon. Make sure the place you go for a manicure or pedicure sterilizes its instruments. Better yet, bring your own and disinfect them after use.
Give up nail polish and artificial nails while you are treating nail fungus. Although it may be tempting to hide nail fungal infections under a coat of pretty pink polish, this can trap unwanted moisture and worsen the infection.
Wash your hands after touching an infected nail. Nail fungus can spread from nail to nail.
Toenail Fungal infections of the nails can be a persistent and sometimes embarrassing problem, and occasionally can become painful.
If you suspect you are developing toenail fungus, I recommend that you begin a treatment with Fungus Stop right away, and give it a good 4 weeks.
See your doctor if you are diabetic, or if you don’t see any improvement within a few weeks of using the product.
With time and consistency, you will very likely be able to cure your toenail fungus yourself, so be patient and apply the treatment daily.
Thanks for visiting and reading …
I hope this article provided some helpful information about getting rid of toenail fungus; it’s much easier to do these days than most people think.
Becker, C., Bershow, A. (September 14, 2013). Lasers and photodynamic therapy in the treatment of onychomycosis–a review of the literature. Dermatology Online Journal, 19(9): 19611. Available online at http://escholarship.org/uc/item/0js6z1kw. Accessed March 10, 2017.
Carney, C., Cantrell, W., Warner, J., Elewski, B. (October 2013). Treatment of onychomycosis using a submillisecond 1064-nm neodymium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 69(4): 578–582. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2013.04.054.
Elewski, B. E. (July 1998). Onychomycosis: Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Management. Clinical Microbiology Review, 11(3): 415-429. Available online at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC88888/. Accessed February 17, 2017.
Great Neck Family Foot Care. (February 24, 2017). Safe & Effective Laser Treatment for Toenail Fungus. Available online at http://greatneckfamilyfootcare.com/2017/02/safe-effective-laser-treatment-toenail-fungus/. Accessed March 10, 2017.
Mayo Clinic. Nail Fungus. Available online at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nail-fungus/basics/symptoms/con-20019319. Accessed February 17, 2017.
O’Connor, A. (March 14, 2014). Laser Treatments for Toenail Fungus. Ask Well. New York Times. Available online at https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/14/ask-well-laser-treatments-for-nail-fungus/?_r=0. Accessed March 10, 2017.