For those of you who have undergone laser treatment toenail fungus infection and are extra concerned about preventing recurrence, SteriShoe manufactures and sells an ultraviolet light shoe tree. When it is placed within your shoes and activated, fungus within the shoes will be killed by the ultraviolet light. Some PinPointe Laser providers can sell this directly to you from their office. Otherwise, you can visit SteriShoe.com to purchase it directly. Type in code CA2719SS for free ground shipping.
Many female patients have inquired as to the appropriateness of using nail polish following treatment with the pinpointe laser. I do allow use of ‘Dr’s Remedy’ nail polish which has tea tree oil as one of its ingredients. Tea tree oil does have antifungal properties. In some unpublished studies the effectiveness of tea tree oil has approached topical anitfungal medications that require prescriptions. Furthermore, never share polish, nail cutting instruments or soaking basins at the pedicurist’s salon….that’s a great way to pick up a fungal infection!
Nail plate infections, also known as onychomycosis, are typically a result of a fungal infection. The most common fungus is from the Trichophyton group. These infections may also be mixed, involving both fungus and yeast. In those cases, Candida may also be involved. These agents are found in many settings. They tend to frequent dark, warm, moist environments.
Generally these infections occur as a result of prolonged tinea pedis, which is commonly referred to as athletes foot. Nail infections may also however also occur as a result of trauma to the nail plate, where the nail is partially lifted off of the nail bed. In those situations, the fungus may directly infect the nail plate and nail bed region. Once these structures become infected, nail plate changes typically associated with this infection (discoloration and thickening) tends to rapidly ensue.
Use of various topical over-the-counter and home remedies are successful only a small percentage of the time. Treatments such as white vinegar/acetic acid or hydrogen peroxide may act to make the nail environment inhospitable to fungus growth. These treatments, along with topical antifungal agents cannot penetrate the nail or cuticle region where the nail root is located.
Oral antifungal agents such as Lamisil, Sporanox and Nizoral can be quite effective. These medications however are not innocuous and may be associated with various side effects up to and including liver injury.
The PinPointe Laser acts by heating and therefore killing the fungal cells. The laser has no effect on normal nail, skin or soft tissue. The success rate of the laser is similar to that seen with oral medications. There have been no side effects reported with use of the laser in thousands of patients.