Sunday, March 30, 2014

Do Laser Treatments For Fungal Toenails Work?

The New York Times recently published an article regarding the efficacy of laser treatments for fungal toenails. They came to the conclusion that there is little evidence these treatments work.
They cited a study published last year in The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology where researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that laser treatments “provided no improvements in patients with toenail fungus, even after five sessions.”
Dr. Andrea Bershaw, the director of the nail procedure clinic at the Minneapolis VA Heath Care Systems says, “I think we want it to work, but the evidence just isn’t quite there yet. The studies have shown efficacy have been small, they haven’t been randomized controlled trials, and most of them have been funded by the actual laser companies themselves.”
For our podiatrists here at Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we would disagree with the statements above. The laser treatment we use for toenail fungus is the Noveon Podiatric Laser, different than other laser options. This particular laser treatment uses dual frequency wavelengths, two per toe,  that penetrates deep into the tissue surface. Unlike laser systems that use hand-held wands, our machine prevents human error by attaching laser pods to the toe.
Some patients are unable to take oral medications, and have seen little improvement with the topical medication alone. Laser treatment for toenail fungus is another option for those who have fungal nail conditions. It is important to remember that this particular treatment requires several visits, and results will be seen when the nail begins to grow out.
There are a wide variety of responses depending on equipment. We have seen favorable results, comparable to oral medication, with this dual frequency laser treatment, especially with patients who follow our at-home instructions and care guidelines. Long-term results are dependent on long-term care, with follow-up treatment of topical ointment. As with any treatment regimen, best results are seen when the patient follows their podiatrist’s recommendations to the T.

Reference: New York Times
If you believe have a foot problem and do not currently see a podiatrist, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.
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