24 May Fungal Nail Laser Treatment – Is it Worth it?
Cost Of Fungal Nail Laser Treatment. Is It Worth It?
Lets start by talking about your options and their pros and cons when it comes to treating nail fungus;
Over the counter medications; this is by far the cheapest way to treat a fungal nail infection with costs ranging between $12 - $90 for a tube/bottle of anti-fungal medication. As many of you may have found out topical medications take perseverance and have a very low success rate (approx 5-10%). Many people start with these as they don't require a prescription, and can be applied at home.
Oral Medication: To get this medication under prescription which significantly lowers the cost, you will need a doctors referral to get a sample taken of your nail. This takes approx 4 weeks to get a result, approx 50% of results come back with a false negative. This means that you may have an infection but is showing a negative result. If you do get a positive result then this treatment is an option for you.The sucess rate is approx 65-75% There a potential harmful effects of the medication which include liver toxicity, you will need to discuss this with your Doctor.
Hot Laser: This system uses laser that is on a high frequency that effectively "burns" the fungi. The success rate is approx 40-60%. The potential harmful effects of this treatment is permanent damage to the nail plate due to the heat of the treatment. Cost range dependant on the clinic.
Cold Laser (Lunula): This is the latest generation laser which uses 2 laser beams. The 1st laser weakens the cell wall of the fungi and the 2nd laser increases your bodies natural defence system to help it attack the fungi. The success rate is between 75-90%. There are no major side effects of this treatment and can be used on children and diabetics. The cost will vary dependant on how significant you nail infection is, as this will dictate how many treatment sessions you need. (fill out form below to get treatment prices)
All of the above treatments success rates will depend on your own health. People with poor circulation, diabetes, heart conditions, smokers and people with poor diets find that their treatment success rate is often significantly reduced due to these factors impeding the bodies natural ability to fight the disease. We often recommend seeing a nutritionist if people have a significant skin and nail infection.
Is Laser Worth The Cost?
So is laser worth the cost? Well it really depends on your own personal circumstance. If you have tried topical medications or are hesitant in trying oral medications then yes it is a far superior treatment. If you have had hot laser and it has failed then absolutely cold is a great option (see the graph below on the difference between the two lasers). If you have any of the above health/diet issues then it may be an option but bare in mind you success rate will be much lower than 75-90%, it could be as low as 40-50% so it would be worth discussing this with one of our Podiatrists before starting treatment.
It is important to note that there is a difference between hot and cold laser systems:
Lunula Cold Laser Treatment
- Up to 80% success rate
- Pain Free
- Each session takes only 30 minutes
- Can treat all 10 toenails at the same time
- Socks and shoes can be worn immediately after each treatment session
- Improves nail bed, due to increasing circulation via cold laser stimulation
- Safe for children and diabetics
Hot Laser Treatment
- Limited effectiveness
- Can be painful
- 1 hour + Treatment time
- Only one toenail treated at a time
- Closed footwear may be uncomfortable to wear after treatment
- Can damage nail bed
- Not recommended for children and diabetics
Lunula Cold Laser?
Now that you have an understanding of how different treatments work, it is easy to see why we now exclusively use cold laser. Unlike conventional anti-fungal medications and Hot laser systems, cold laser works by using two rotating laser beams:
- Blue Laser acts directly and specifically upon the fungus causing changes in its walls which weakens it significantly.
- Red Laser acts on your body’s natural immune cells fortifying them, thus making them more active to destroy the weakened fungus.
- Your body’s immune system is activated to attack and destroy the fungus.