Benefits of the treatment:
Fungal nail infection, you might have heard it being referred to as ‘Onychomycosis’, is a very common problem, affecting up to one in ten of the UK population. The condition can be unsightly and embarrassing, and until now they have been very difficult to treat. Our safe advanced medical laser penetrate into the nail bed to eliminate fungal nail infection on your fingernails or toenails. The treatment is not painful and takes 10 min.
The Laser treatment can be accompanied by POM (prescription only medication) if necessary. Our Registered Nurse Prescriber will assess your condition accordingly.
Onychomycosis is a common nail pathology estimated to affect 2%–10% of the population and comprises up to 40% of all nail disorders. It leads to discoloration of the nail, thickening of the subungual region, and, when advanced, onycholysis. Beyond cosmetic concern, onychomycosis may lead to secondary bacterial infections and predispose to erysipelas and cellulitis.
Systemic antifungal drugs are the mainstay of therapy for this chronic disease. However, these need to be taken correctly by the patient for the entire lengthy duration of treatment. In addition, there are concerns about potential side-effects, especially in patients with liver disease or patients taking other medicines.
In light of these limitations, although not considered the standard therapy, laser therapy offers a convenient solution with minimal side effects. Treatment is administered in the medical setting (office/hospital), avoiding long treatment plans with antifungal drugs. Laser therapy also has the potential to help patients where systemic antifungals are either contraindicated or associated with possible drug-drug interactions.
Although the potential mechanism of action remains unknown, several theories exist. By the principle of selective photothermolysis, based on differences in thermal conductivity, laser energy may be preferentially absorbed by fungal pathogens resulting in photothermal and photomechanical damage that spares surrounding human tissues. An alternate theory suggests the formation of free radicals by incident laser energy and light absorption by fungal pigment xanthomegnin, present in high concentration in Trichophyton rubric.
Dr Dmitri Malychev
Bristow, I. R. (2014). The effectiveness of lasers in the treatment of onychomycosis: a systematic review. Journal of foot and ankle research, 7(1), 34.
Liddell, L. T., & Rosen, T. (2015). Laser Therapy for Onychomycosis: Fact or Fiction?. Journal of Fungi, 1(1), 44-54
How does Laser work?
Light is absorbed by water in the skin beneath and around the nail, creating heat. This heat helps to destroy dermatophytes and eliminate the fungal infection. The laser applicator is placed on the nail and a short pulse of light is released. The entire nail bed and nail matrix is then treated in this way. Research shows that laser treatment is a safe and effective procedure – some studies report a success rate of up to 90% in three months.
What can I expect?
Treatments generally take in the region of 10 - 20 minutes. A degree of heating and slight discomfort can be felt during treatment. A skin cooling device can be used to make treatment as comfortable as possible.
Unlike side effects of some medication, laser treatment is generally very safe and does not cause any side-effects or unwanted reactions. The area may be red immediately after treatment and may be a little swollen and tender, but this usually subsides within a few hours. Unwanted reactions are very rare but may include a small blister in the area around the nail, or temporary lightening or darkening of the skin. In rare cases, if the nail is very badly infected, the nail may fall off, but if this occurs, it will be replaced by a smoother, health regrowth.
You will receive treatments every two to four weeks, depending on the area being treated. The number of treatments required varies, although typically six to eight treatments are needed for optimum results. The toe nails grow very slowly and result of the treatment will be seen as the infected nail grows out. It may take several months for the full results to become apparent.
Do I need to do anything before treatments?
If possible the nail bed should be filed to reduce the nail thickness which will improve laser penetration and treatment efficacy. Loose skin around the nails should be cleaned off. It would help if the dead skin under the nails can be cleaned as well. Please bring a spare pair of clean socks to wear after your treatment.
Prior to treatment you must first undergo a consultation where details about your medical history are obtained in order to confirm suitability. Before proceeding you will be asked to sign a consent form and undergo a test patch.
You will not be hustled or pushed into buying anything at your first consultation. It is designed and designated to provide necessary knowledge and understanding of the treatment and the technology used to assist you in making your own decision. Children from 16 years of age can have these treatment at Laserina Clinic if it is recommended by their GP.