At Podicare, we do not use laser treatments on fungal nails and let me tell you why.
Laser is a relatively new treatment in the battle against toenail fungus (onychomycosis) and like any new therapy for a chronic problem it has lots of promise and hope. Unfortunately, goodwill is not enough to prove it works. What our Podiatrists rely on is evidence in the form of research and reviews of that research. At present, the research tells us that we know that oral antifungal medicine is the gold standard, and for those who cannot take this, antifungal topical applications are the next choice.
Recently the WA podiatry association held an education session in which Heather Glaser* discussed her published systematic review of the research for treating onychomycosis with a laser. The research reviewed by her and her team was found to be weak and more needs to be conducted to into the use of a laser for treatment of onychomycosis. This is not to say that laser doesn’t work, just that there is a lack of quality evidence to support it. As laser therapy is a new modality, we expect there will be more research to come. At Podicare, we will continue to monitor the publications to see if the evidence changes.
Any treatment of fungal toenails is going to be a slow one, whether it is oral, topical or laser treatments. Once the fungus in the nail is destroyed, the damaged part of the nail still needs to grow out. There is no way to speed this process up unless the nail itself is removed, and then the nail still needs to regrow.
In the meanwhile, the Podicare podiatrists continue to treat fungal infections as we have been. The podiatrist will reduce the areas of infected nail to reduce the fungal load in the nail, they prescribe a topical treatment or refer to your GP for a prescription of the oral medication. Regular treatment and review may be advised until the damaged nail grows out.
*more information on Heather Glaser’s research can be found here:
The effectiveness of laser treatments for onychomycosis in adults in the community: a systematic review
Heather J Glaser, Craig Lockwood and Karolina Lisy
Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 2015 8(Suppl 2):O15
Published on: 22 September 2015
The Pod behind the Blog
Corrina Petric: Podiatrist, small business owner, mother, volunteer
Aspiring to Inspire