How to Treat Nail Fungus
Onychomycosis, also known as a fungal infection of the nails, is characterized by thickening, discoloration, and splitting of the nails. Over-the-counter medications such as oral and topical can help reduce symptoms but don’t treat the root of the problem. Essential Aesthetics proudly offers Nd:YAG Q-Switched laser treatments to kill the root of the problem once and for all.
What Causes & Symptoms of Fungal Nail Infections?
A fungal nail infection occurs when there is an overgrowth of fungi in, under, or on the nail. Since fungi thrive in warm, moist conditions, they are most common on the toenail which is usually confined to shoes. If you come in contact with someone else that has a fungal infection, you may contract it as well. Signs and symptoms of fungal nail infections include:
- Yellow streaks in the nail bed and on the underside of the nail
- A buildup of debris under the nail
- Discoloration or thickening of the nail that may separate from the skin under the nail
- A powdery nail surface
- Brittle and/or broken nail
How Do Laser Treatments for Nail Fungus Work?
At Essential Aesthetics, we use the Nd:YAG, Q-Switched laser treatment which emits 1064-nm wavelength energy across the nail plate to heat and completely kill all traces of fungal organisms.
Laser treatments at Essential Aesthetics always begin with a formal consultation with our certified medical provider, Dr. Ellie Zarnegar. DMSc, PA, At this time, she will develop a customized treatment plan for your concerns.
Nd:YAG, Q-Switched treatments for nail fungus are fairly comfortable, so no topical anesthetic is necessary. Since fungus usually spreads from one nail to another, all 10 nails are treated with the laser at the time of your appointment. Dr. Ellie begins by applying a cooling gel to the treatment areas to protect the nail and surrounding skin. She will then use the laser hand-piece to send light energy to the affected areas in short pulses. During the treatment, you will feel a warm sensation, but in general, this laser treatment is not painful.
The treatment takes approximately 15-20 minutes and has little to no downtime. You may experience redness in the treated area for a few hours post-procedure. It is important to avoid any sun exposure after your treatment.
The number of treatments depends on the severity of the condition. Optimal results are typically achieved after 5-7 sessions with 2-4 weeks in between. After treatment, we advise having your shoes sterilized and keeping your feet dry and sanitized between cleansing.