Laser Treatment Procedure
Cutera and Pinpointe lasers are the latest tools in the treatment of toenail fungus. The laser destroys the cellular elements in the fungus, which live under the nail.
Fungus and mold hate the sun. Think of it. Did you ever see mushrooms growing on a sunny beach? No, they like moist, dark environments just like the hiding place under your toenail. The fungus lives under your nail and grows there eating your nail and leaving behind smelly, offensive “toe jam”. You can’t get creams or lotions to penetrate the nail, so the fungus just keeps on munching and breeding until eventually the nail is so diseased that it changes its shape or color or grows into the surrounding tissue.
I like to think of the Laser treatment as natural sunlight concentrated down to a specific wavelength. Unlike natural sunlight that kills surface fungus, the light beam is so powerful that it penetrates that toenail. Microbursts of laser light particles penetrate and overwhelm the fungal cells to inactivate them. Occasionally, there is a very mild warming of the nail as the fungal killing energy is released into the nail.
To prepare the toenails for treatment, they are gently thinned with a micro bur that cools and sanitizes your nails with an anti-microbial mist. Next, an anti-fungal footbath is used to reduce the fungal build up on the skin of the feet and ankles. This is necessary to reduce the risk of re-infection after inactivation with the Cutera or Pinpointe laser.
The laser treatment begins with microbursts of the laser beam equally distributed over each infected toenail to “scrub” the nail of infection. Sometimes the patient experiences a little warming with the treatment, but never enough to require anesthesia.
The laser treatment is completed in 20-30 minutes and the patient is free to resume all normal activities, including nail polish. Recommendations will be made on how to manage your nail conditions and a follow up is scheduled in 4 and 8 months. Noticeable nail clearing may begin in 3-4 months. After 6-12 months most nails look significantly better and there is no need to keep your feet hidden! Let the sun shine in!