Can fungus toenail infections spread to other parts of my body?
The fungus itself usually lives in the skin and nails, and usually does not go internally to your organs. However, if you have a fungus living in only one of your toenails, it is very likely that it is also living in a dormant form under other toenails and on your skin. As it breeds, it breaks down your healthy toenails and skin and makes them more porous for other more dangerous germs, like staph, to penetrate your body. Staph and Strep infections cause infections such as cellulitis, ingrown toenails, and impetigo. Nail and skin fungus makes it more risky for bacterial infections in the elderly, diabetics, those with impaired circulaton, or those with mishapened nails. Thus, keeping the nails and skin healthy diminishes bacterial infections
Why is there a laser treatment for fungal toenails?
For many years people have tried various methods such as: household bleach, tea tree oil, Vick's Vapo Rub, antifungal creams, antifungal oil, and oral medications. A professional strength antifungal cream is very effective if the cream can penetrate, such as in the skin layers, but it can not penetrate the thick, impervious nail plate. Antifungal nail "polish" is specially formulated to penetrate deeper than the creams, but it too has a limited depth. Oral medicaations have been about 50% successful if the medication can get to the fungus. Oral medications rely on the blood stream to deliver the anti-fungal medicine to the fungus. In bacterial skin infections , the blood stream more easily delivers the medication to the infection.
However, toenail fungus is a different type of infection. Frequently, the fungus creates "death zones" of nail that are no longer connected to the bloodstream. As you move away from the root of the nail toward the tip of the toe there is less blood supply. This means that the fungus never receives sufficient concentrations of the anti-fungal medication. Imagine if you put dry fertilizer on a plant, but it never rained enough to bring the fertilizer to the roots of the plant.
Because of the limitations of topical lotions, creams, and pills, researchers developed a laser therapy to combat fungal toenail disease.
How does the laser work?
The laser light passes through the toenail without causing damage to the nail or the surrounding skin. The laser beam weakens or kills the fungus and other germs. It is thought that the laser penetrates the fungus at a level where creams and oral medications are not as effective.
The new toenail takes 6-12 months to grow in, but results are often seen in as little as 3 months. Success rates vary, but the Lloyd Podiatry laser treament plan usually results in over 90% improvement of patients whose primary nail condition is attributed to fungus.
Is the procedure painful?
Most people feel no pain. Some people feel a warming sensation that rapidly diminishes, however, in over 10,000 procedures, we have never had to cancel a treatment. We can adjust the laser intensity.
How do I prepare for my visit?
At home, remove all nail polish and jewelry from the toes, feet and ankles. Also, if you have any acyrlic nails, or anything artificial on your nail plate, it should be removed before treatment.
What can I expect on my visit?
A consultation examination with Dr. Lloyd outling the treatment protocol, a nail prep procedure to maximize the effectiveness of the laser where we will resurface your nail and remove as much fungal nail debris as possible. Next, you will go into an antifungal foot bath to decontaminate surface germs. Finally, the actual laser procedure which takes 15-30 minutes. The whole session may take one hour, depending on the pathology.
Is there a recovery period?
No. Just walk in and walk out. There is no pain or dressings to wear.
How long does the procedure take?
The actual laser procedure takes about 15- 30 minutes, but allow approximately 1 hour for your visit.
Why do all nails have to be treated?
We treat all nails even if there is not a visible infection, because there may be dormant fungal infections in nails that seem healthy. At Lloyd Podiatry, we want to deliver a comprehensive and thorough treatment.
Will the fungus come back?
The infection usually improves following one treatment, and after eight months, there is dramatic improvement.
Like all infections, some people are more prone to them than others, and like most germs, the fungus is everywhere in the environment. At Lloyd Podiatry, Dr. Lloyd suggests returning for a courtesy laser booster treatment at the four month mark, and the eight month mark. There is a courtesy "no charge" for the laser portion of these visits if done before eight months, but there is an office visit charge for the evaluation and management portion of the visit. After eight months, patients are finished with the therapy, but Dr. Lloyd highly recommends returning for Laser Hygiene Treatments every six months. Similiar to the dental world, we have found that prophylactic laser hygiene treatments help to maintain nail health and vitality. There is a separate charge for this session.
How much experience have you had?
Dr. Lloyd has used lasers extensively in his 30+ years of practice and has experience since 2009 with the Cutera and Pinpointe lasers treating thousands of infections. In fact, Dr. Lloyd was the first laser center in Indiana to use the powerful Cutera laser in treating toenail and fingernail disease. When results matter, choose Lloyd Podiatry! Please visit our You Tube Channel
Lloyd Podiatry Group and click on videos https://www.youtube.com/@LloydPodiatryGroup/videos
When can I paint my nails or have a pedicure?
If you must, you can apply polish immediately after the treatment, but anti-fungal nail polish is recommended. Because Dr. Lloyd recommends a topical anti-fungal nail solution be painted on the toenails daily during the treatment period, we recommend that you refrain from nail polish. However, if you have a special occasion and would like to have your nails painted, feel free to paint them. Try to remove the polish after the event, and return to the treatment protocol. This will ensure a more thorough treatment of the disease.
How do I pay for the procedure?
We accept cash and credit cards.
Is this covered by my insurance?
This procedure is considered cosmetic and therefore health insurance does not provide coverage, and we will not bill health insurance for the laser portion of the treatment. We will be happy to bill your insurance for other charges such as an office visit, or nail surgery if you should need it. Keep in mind that even with these charges, sometimes pre-payment is required.
How much does it cost?
The exam and consultation with Dr. Lloyd, a Board Certified Podiatric Surgeon is between $90-$120. (insurance office visit)
The laser procedure portion of your visit will include toenail prepping and resurfacing, an anti-fungal foot bath, and then the laser “scrubbing” treatment. This fee in 2023 is $1,485. There are courtesy laser boosters at the fouth month and the eighth month, which Dr. Lloyd recommends that your return for if your schedule permits. There is no charge for these laser sessions, but there is an office visit charge for evaluating and managing the disease.
Dr. Lloyd's Laser Protocol involves anti-fungal skin and nail medications that are essential for reducing the topical skin and nail fungus between laser visits. Keeping the fungal count down, reduces the infection rate.
This fee is approximately $110 and will last you for 4-8 months. These are special proprietary medications that you will purchase in the office.
Additionally, Dr. Lloyd may use oral medications to penetrate the nail root buried deep under the skin where the laser cannot reach. These prescriptions would be sent to your pharmacy.
Dr. Lloyd had found the laser as the essential cornerstone of treatment, but combination therapy is normally utilized for an even more comprehensive treatment. Frequently, we may cusomize your treatment depending on your special pathology or conditions. For example, excessive perspiration.
Who developed this laser procedure?
Leading researchers and medical professionals working together for 20 years with funding provided by the National Institute of Health developed the technology in the patented FootLaser. Over the last 13 years, Dr. Lloyd has refined and improved the treatment protocol to ensure satisfactory results. Check out our many satisfied patients!
Where are you located?
Two office locations:
St. Vincent Fishers Hospital Medical Office Building entrance 3
13914 Southeastern Parkway, Suite 301.
Fishers, IN 46037,
2117 E. 5th St.
Anderson, IN 46012
How can I schedule a treatment?
Call Lloyd Podiatry today!
Or go to the first page of the website www.lloydpodiatry.com and click on a variety of ways, including Text Messaging