By Dr. Mark Green, Kansas City Foot and Ankle
What do your toenails say about you? Do you have thick, abnormally colored toenails? Are you embarrassed to wear open-toed shoes in public? Chances are “there’s a fungus among us”. You may have a condition know as onychomycosis.
The first question people ask is, “I keep my feet clean, so how did I get it?”
Fungus thrives in dark, moist environments. You have to come in contact with it. You can pick up fungus at the pool, or the locker room or community showers. You can take it home from a nail salon or by wearing wet shoes. Trauma to the nail is also an invitation for fungus to move in. Fungus get in between the layers of the nail and as the fungus grows, it spreads the layers apart causing the nail to become thicker, brittle and discolored.
There are three treatment options for fungal toenails. Medications that apply to the nail directly, medications that you take orally and laser treatment. Topical medications are not effective for most people and require daily treatment of the nail for a year or more. Oral medications are more effective than topical medications, but since they are metabolized through the liver they can cause serious side effects. The latest technology for the treatment of fungal nails and the treatment that I’m most excited about is laser treatment.
At Kansas City Foot and Ankle, we use the Q-Clear laser, an FDA cleared laser that is extremely effective in destroying the fungus and improving the appearance of your nails with only one or two treatments. While other lasers heat up the nail, our Q-Clear laser creates short, but extremely powerful pulses of laser energy so it’s mechanism of action is actually through a mechanical or “shockwave” effect, and not by heating up the skin and nail. There is very little potential for discomfort or burning of the tissue with our laser as compared to other lasers.
Isn’t it time you stopped hiding your feet? Call Kansas City Foot and Ankle today and see if laser treatment is right for you.