Laser Management for Toenail Fungus
At Ashburnham Foot and Ankle Centre, we often use the FOX 1064 Diode Laser System to help manage fungal toenails. During the procedure, a laser beam is used to penetrate the nail plate and physically reach the infected nail bed. The laser elevates the temperature and damages the fungal cell walls, causing damage to the fungus and helping to inhibit further growth.
FOX 1064 Laser for Onychomycosis
The most common cause of brittle yellowing nails is fungal infection. It is estimated that 1 in 10 Canadians have fungal nail infections. Fungi are dermatophytes that feed on nail keratin. These organisms propagate in a warm, dark and moist environment. There is no better place for nail fungus to reside and infect toes than in shoes. Infected nails have yellowing or white spots on the nails. As the infection develops, nails will get thicker, further discolour and fracture. Progressive infection of additional nails is common.
- Thickening of the nail
- Build-up of debris under the nail
- Changes in texture, loss of shine and clarity
- Brittleness and crumbling at the edges of the nail
- Small separations of the nail plate from the nail bed
Laser Management of Nail Fungus
The use of laser to treat fungal nails is relatively new. In addition, there are different types of lasers available for clinical use. The Fox Diode 1064 laser uses light energy to gently heat the nail bed. The effects of laser energy on nail fungi are two-fold and understood in relation to cellular chemical reactions within fungal cells that are necessary for fungal growth and survival. The photo-thermal effect changes cellular metabolism and at increased temperature (42°C), cell components are damaged and metabolism is altered. The full effect of laser energy is not fully understood but there is thought to be a photo-chemical effect that further compromises fungal cell enzymes and proteins. Lipids in cell membranes are changed in structure and their function of protecting and regulating the internal environment of the cell becomes further compromised resulting in fungal death and nail clearance.
In addition, we frequently use the laser in combination with a topical antifungal medication. This approach in conjunction with thinning the nail plate at the time of treatment is a highly effective approach to eradicating nail fungus.
- No anesthesia is required, and treatment is often painless (only a warm sensation in the toe is experienced)
- There are no known lasting side effects (unlike with oral medications)
- There is no harm to the treated nail or adjacent skin
- There is no “recovery“ period after the procedure
Socks and shoes can be worn immediately after the procedure, and patients can resume their normal activity the same day.
If you’d like to learn more about modern nail fungus treatment options, visit The Canadian Nail Fungus Resource website.
To book an appointment to discuss laser treatment for your toenail fungus, call 705-741-4064, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fox 1064 Laser is also used to treat other foot conditions, including:
- Plantar warts
- Scar tissue
- Soft tissue injuries