You know the old adage--out of sight, out of mind. While this phrase dates back to the 13th century it's even more relevant today since so much of our lives are lived at warp speed. We have to continually remind ourselves to take care of the big and little things in life or they can easily fall off our radar.
The same is true for our feet. Unless we're experiencing pain or discomfort we typically won't take action when it comes to going to the doctor. Toenail fungus is one of those things that we forget about once we shelved our sandals and tucked our feet into socks and boots for the winter.
And it's too bad really. Because fall is the best time to start killing toenail fungus.
It takes a good 9 months for your nails to completely grow out. If you get started now, you'll have beautiful nails this summer.
How do I know its toenail fungus?
Not all discolored or ugly nails are fungal nails. Trauma from wearing tight shoes or running can also cause toenails to change color. To ensure its fungus we'll take a sample of your nail and send it to a special lab.
How do I get rid of toenail fungus?
I'm glad you asked. While there is a bunch of hype out there about using everything from Vicks to Vitamin E, onychomycosis (the scientific name for nail fungus) is quite difficult to eliminate.
Nail fungus doesn't just live on the top of your nails where topicals are most effective, but beneath the nail in the nail bed and in your skin surrounding your nails.
We've found that using a combination of laser treatment, topicals, a short course of oral medication, and an ultraviolet shoe sanitizer provides the most effective treatment for killing toenail fungus. The PinPoint laser penetrates the nail bed to destroy the fungus. Topical medications destroy the fungus on the top of the nail and on the skin surrounding the nail. Oral medications treat the fungus systemically. And the shoe sanitizer kills fungus in the shoes.
How long does the treatment take?
You'll receive three laser treatments over three months. The treatment involves passing a laser beam over the infected nails and surrounding skin. The doctor will repeat this several times until enough energy has reached the nail bed. Your nail will feel warm during the treatment. A single treatment session takes about 30 minutes. Healthy new growth will be visible in as little as 4 months but will take up to 9 months for your nails to completely grow out.
What will it cost?
Because laser treatment for fungal nails is not covered by insurance, we make it as affordable as possible. Your first visit is covered by insurance. At that visit you'll have plenty of time to talk to Dr. Berg to determine if this treatment is right for you.
What are our patients are saying?
"Although I did have to take the oral medication for toenail fungus, it was a lesser amount than is typically taken. That plus the laser did the trick!"
- Jay N.
"This office is efficient and caring. The treatment for toenail fungus includes 3 laser treatments and a topical to apply twice daily. This is a long process but so far is working well."
If you or a loved one has toenail fungus, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. You can also request an appointment online.
For information about other foot and ankle problems, download our eBook, "No More Foot Pain".
In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly. You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!
Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.