Laser nail treatments are sometimes given by podiatrists to fight fungal infections because they have fewer side effects than oral medication. Treating a fungal infection of the toenails is often quite difficult since the infection is in the nail where topical creams can't reach. Laser light penetrates the nail so it can reach deep fungal infections to kill off the fungus and promote healing. Here are some tips for treating a fungal infection in your toenails that you can try along with laser treatments.
Keep The Feet And Nails Dry
It's important to keep your feet as dry as possible since dampness promotes the growth of fungus. Even after you've had a laser treatment, you should work on keeping your feet dry. You'll probably have a series of laser treatments to get the best results, so between treatments and after, you'll want to take other steps to keep the infection from getting worse or coming back. If you have sweaty feet, change your socks a couple of times a day. Wear socks that pull moisture away from your skin. You want to prevent a fungal infection of your skin because that can spread to your toenails. Also, don't wear the same shoes every day. Rotate your shoes so they have a chance to air out and dry.
Use Antifungal Sprays, Powders, And Creams
You podiatrist may want you to use topical antifungal products along with the laser treatments. The powders help keep your feet dry. The sprays and powders can also kill fungus in your shoes and on your skin. Cream can be applied directly on the affected toenail although it may not be able to penetrate the nail to do very much good. Still, it may contribute some effort in the battle against a stubborn fungal infection.
Consider Toenail Surgery
One of the goals of laser treatments is to cure your fungal infection while avoiding oral fungal medications and surgery. However, in some cases, it may be necessary to remove your toenail. Removing the nail allows topical medication to reach the skin underneath. It also gets rid of a crumbly or loose nail that causes pain. Toenail surgery alone is not always a cure for toenail fungus. Your podiatrist might want to remove the nail and then follow up with laser treatments if your infection won't heal otherwise.
Fungal infections of the toenails can be so difficult to get rid of that they last for months, which can be very frustrating. Laser treatments might be able to help. The light penetrates the nail and affects the fungus in such a way that it gradually kills it off. The light also improves oxygenation, which further destroys the fungus and promotes healing. If you have a fungal infection in a toenail that won't clear up, laser treatments might be worth trying.