At Boynton Beach Podiatry, we use laser therapy to treat toenail fungus — also known as onychomycosis — in order to vastly improve the appearance of the nails in our patients.
This painless therapy does not harm the surrounding tissue of the toe and nail bed. Furthermore, the laser therapy has no known side-effects and is considered a safer option than drug therapy.
Treatment is performed by Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, who utilizes laser therapy to treat hundreds of patients a year at his offices in Delray Beach and Boynton Beach.
Laser treatments are delivered in a short 20-30 minute session with additional treatments, if needed. That being said, Dr. Goldbaum insists that all his patients adhere to a strict treatment protocol that involves three separate sessions as well as the use of topical treatments in between visits to work in conjunction with the laser therapy.
The laser works by penetrating the nail plate and destroying the fungus under the nail. During this process, the laser light is absorbed by pigment in the fungi, which causes the pigment to heat, and this heat kills or damages the fungal organism. The fungus is irradiated without any damage to the surrounding nail or skin, allowing your nail to grow normally.
“In our office, we do it three times. In many other offices, they only do it one time,” said Dr. Goldbaum, who notes that his 91 percent success rate in treating fungal infections with laser therapy is slightly higher than the national average of 85 percent. “We have a whole treatment protocol. We utilize the laser, but we also utilize other things to make sure. We want to make sure the patient has the best chance of getting rid of fungus that we can. That’s why we use these other products in the interim.”
After completing all three of these recommended sessions, which requires an office visit every 5-6 weeks during treatment, Dr. Goldbaum insists that his patients should be happy with the results.
“They’ll see a nice pink formation growing from the base of the nail — known as the matrix area,” said Dr. Goldbaum. “As the nail grows out, we keep cutting away the fungus part and using the topical as well. By the time we’re done, the nail is all clear and it looks good.”
Is the procedure FDA approved?
Yes, the GoLaser PL-1064 is FDA cleared for use by physicians who diagnose and treat onychomycosis.
Is the procedure painful?
The laser treatment is painless to most patients and has no affect on healthy tissue. Some patients may feel a temporary warming sensation during the treatment, which is often described as nothing more than a minor discomfort. There is no anesthesia or injections are needed for this treatment.
Is the toenail damaged or removed during the laser treatment?
No the nail is not removed or damaged by the laser. The laser penetrates the nail and tissue to use focused and precise heat that is absorbed by the pigment within fungal organisms and destroys the fungus while keeping the nail intact.
Is only the infected toe treated during the laser treatment?
If one toenail is infected on each foot then all 10 toenails will be treated. This is done to prevent future outbreaks as fungus can travel easily between toes.
How long does the treatment take?
Each treatment session should last no longer than 30 minutes.
How soon after treatment will I see improvement to my toenails?
On average, the big toenails will re-grow completely in about twelve months and the smaller nails in about six months. According to Dr. Goldbaum, the initial signs of improvement can be seen within the first two months.
Can I walk after the treatment?
Yes, there are no bandages or special shoes needed after treatment.
Can I still paint my nails after treatment?
Yes, toenail polish can be reapplied the following day. However, no polish can be present on the day the laser treatment is performed.
Is this procedure covered by insurance?
No, laser treatment for fungal toenails is considered an aesthetic procedure and is not covered by insurance. If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA) or flex spending account, payment for laser treatment may be used with these types of accounts.
How should I prepare for the treatment?
It is important to remove nail polish, decoration and jewelry on your feet prior to treatment.
Will the fungus come back?
Your nail infection should improve following treatment, but you will need to continue with home care techniques to reduce recurrence of the infection.
Follow Dr. Goldbaum on Twitter @Delray_Podiatry
The content on this website is for informational purposes only. Do not rely or act upon information from www.DelrayBeachPodiatry.com without seeking professional medical advice. If you live in South Florida and would like a consultation with Dr. Ian Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, please see our contact information below:
16244 S. Military Trail #290, Delray Beach, FL 33484
2900 N. Military Trail #205, Boca Raton, FL 33431 (SOUTH BLDG)
8198 Jog Road #100, Boynton Beach, FL 33472