|Interview Given to Dr. Banta, Podiatrist, with the Indiana Laser Clinic
|Question: How common are infected toenails?
|Answer: About 40 million people in the United States have fungus infected toenails.
|It is very hard to get rid of. Most people have it for years. You see discoloration; the nails become thick and darkened. With some people an odor develops. Until recently, the only thing we had to treat it was a topical medication. Oral medications came out in the last ten years, but they had some side effects. Such as allergic reactions and the effects on the kidneys.
|Question: Now you use lasers to treat this; what are the advantages?
|Answer: Laser treatment is a cool thing, because there are no counter-indications. Laser kills only the fungus. It’s able to penetrate the nail plate and sterilize the nail bed. The best part of this is that it’s 88 percent successful, whereas the oral medication was maybe 50 to 60 percent effective. It’s (usually) a one-time treatment.
|Question: What about the 12 percent where it doesn’t work?
|Answer: You have to do it again at eight months. You can do normal activity with the laser treatment. Women can paint their toenails the next day.
|Question: How do most people contract the fungus?
|Answer: One is by contact; you can pick it up in locker rooms, foot baths, swimming pools. There is a genetic factor so that some people, due to the ph of their skin, are more susceptible. Active people might injure the toenail and when the nail separates, the fungus enters underneath it. Then destroys it from the inside out.
|Question: Should you get this treated?
|Answer: You do want to get it treated. In the past, the problem has been, what do you? Unfortunately, insurance views this as being aesthetic, so it’s not covered. The treatment costs $975. When you do the treatments, you laser all the nails.
|Question: How does it work?
|Answer: It takes from 30 to 40 minutes. Patients sometimes feel heat, but it’s just a warm feeling. We do it in the office. It’s very safe.
|Question: Do you see an Immediate change?
|Answer: You start seeing changes at four months and will see significant changes by eight months. A nail typically takes about 12 months to completely replace itself, especially the big toenail.
|Article Posted by the Indianapolis Star