Onychomycosis or nail fungus is the most common disease affecting the nails. While it can affect fingernails or toenails, it is more common in toenails because socks and shoes often provide the warm and moist environment that fungi like.
What are the Symptoms?
The first sign of a fungal infection is a yellow or white spot under the nail tip. Over time, the patient develops other symptoms with the most common being discolored and thickened nails. An infected nail can become green, white or yellow. If debris builds up under the nail, it can become black. Other symptoms can include the following:
- Crumbly, ragged or brittle nail
- Nail with a distorted shape
- Dull-looking nail
- Separation from the nail bed
- Foul smell
- White or yellow spots on the nail bed
When Should Someone See a Professional?
Nail fungus that hasn’t responded to self-care or has gotten worse should be evaluated by a medical professional. People with diabetes, however, should always see a professional if they suspect they have nail fungus.
What is the GenesisPlus Laser?
The GenesisPlus is a laser that was cleared by the FDA in 2011 to treat nail fungus. It is made by a company called Cutera. The GenesisPlus is an NdYAg laser with a 1064 nm pulse. It works by heating the nail bed and killing both the fungus and its spores. At a temperature of 42° C (107.6° F), the laser disrupts the fungus’ metabolism and damages its enzymes, proteins and cells.
The GenesisPlus laser is safe for most patients. Even people with diabetes can undergo nail fungus treatment with a GenesisPlus laser.
What Does the Procedure Involve?
A special device emits the laser beam. The medical professional runs the device over the affected nails. The procedure usually takes about 15 or 30 minutes, and most patients need a series of treatment sessions to get the desired results.
While the patient will feel warmth, the procedure does not cause much discomfort, for the laser does not harm healthy tissue. Therefore, the patient will not need anesthesia. The patient will be able to walk immediately after the treatment and go about their usual routine.
How Long Will It Take to See Results?
The laser will kill all of the nail fungus during the treatments. However, it will take months for the damaged nail to grow out. A healthy toenail, for example, grows at a rate of about 1 mm (0.04 inches) per month. Thus, if around ¼ of the toenail was infected, it will take about three or four months for the damaged nail to grow out and be replaced by a healthy, new nail.
Learn More About Laser Genesis
At Laser Skin Solutions Jacksonville, we are proud to use the GenesisPlus laser for nail fungus treatment. Our office is located in Jacksonville Beach. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn more about how this treatment can benefit you.