STEVEN H. SILVERS, D.P.M.
How does laser treatment work?
The laser wavelength passes through nail and normal skin, interacting with components of the fungal cell, which absorbs energy from the laser light. The energy is converted to heat, resulting in destruction of the fungal cells.
How successful laser treatment?
laser treatment is successful approximately 60% of the time. This would indicate that treatment may lead to moderate to significant clearing of the nail plate. In comparison to oral antifungal medications which demonstrate a success rate of 70%, the laser treatment would be quite attractive when considering the possible side effects associated with use of these medications.
How many treatments are required?
Following the initial treatment, evaluation in six months is undertaken. If indicated, further treatments may be rendered as necessary as indicated by the appearance of the treated nail plates.
Does laser treatment require local anesthetic?
No anesthetic is required. Discomfort during the procedure is very minimal and lasts for only a very short period of time.
Can the nail fungus grow back?
Even after the fungus is killed with the laser treatment, nails can remain susceptible to future infection. As a preventative measure, a regimen of topical antifungal agents will be initiated following treatment.
Is this treatment covered by insurance?
Although FDA cleared for treatment of nail fungus, insurance carriers consider treatment with a laser for any skin condition a cosmetic procedure and therefore do not reimburse for treatment. Treatment may however be paid for with HSA or Flexible Spending Account funds.