toenail fungus

Fungal toenails form due to an infection that gets in between either the cracks in the nail or possible cuts on the surrounding skin. When this occurs, it’s likely to discolor and thicken the nail; this makes it hard to care for or trim. The nail itself may also become brittle and could potentially crumble. The fungus under the nail may build over time, separating the nail from the bed and ultimately causing it to fall off if not treated properly. 

Fungal nails typically form due to the lack of footwear in public, warm, damp environments. Popular areas where patients have picked up a fungal infection include communal showers, locker rooms, gyms, and swimming pools. If you’re prone to sweaty feet, you may be more likely to develop a fungal nail as well.  You may also be more likely to develop a fungal nail if you have a weaker immune system or have a history with athlete’s foot.

For a proper diagnosis and advised treatment plan, it’s recommended that you consult with a podiatrist as soon as possible for professional care and to prevent the infection from spreading.

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GenesisPlus Q & A

How does GenesisPlus work?

GenesisPlus applies laser energy to the nail plate and surrounding tissue. The laser light gradually heats the fungus and promotes the growth of healthy, clear nails.

Can you describe the causes, symptoms and prevalence of toenail fungus?

Toenail fungus is a very problematic condition that can cause both physical and emotional effects. It is a type of fungal infection, known medically as onychomycosis, that affects about half of all Americans by age 70.[1] Fungus infection occurs when fungal debris becomes trapped under the nail, often as the result of an injury to the nail. It can be contracted in damp areas, such as public gyms, showers, or pools. Athletes and people who wear tight fitting shoes or hosiery, which can irritate the nails and retain moisture around them, are at a higher risk. Diabetics and people with other chronic conditions also have a higher risk of getting toenail fungus.

As toenail fungus grows and spreads deeper into the nail, it can cause the nail to swell and become discolored—depending on the type of fungus, the color of the toenail can vary between brown, yellow or white. The fungus can also cause the nail to thicken and to crumble, and in some cases, it will cause the nail to completely detach. Toenail fungus also can be painful, causing irritation and burning in the infected area; sometimes, even wearing shoes becomes a painful ordeal for the person affected.

In addition to the physical effects of toenail fungus, it also can interfere with person’s social life. Some people, for example, avoid wearing toeless shoes or taking their shoes off around others because they are embarrassed about the appearance. In some cases, a person’s toenail fungus will also produce a foul odor, which can heighten the social stigma.

What are the benefits of GenesisPlus compared with other treatment options?

  • Effective in clearing nails of both mild and severe forms of fungus
  • New nail grows out clear
  • No significant side effects
  • As with oral drugs and prescription topicals, final results are achieved when the nail grows out, which can take a few months

Are there other laser treatment options available? How is GenesisPlus different?

There are other laser treatment options available for toenail fungus, but GenesisPlus offers a fast, effective procedure for onychomycosis that can be done over a patient’s lunch hour. They may then return to regular activities immediately after the 10-20 minute session.

From a physician perspective, an important benefit of GenesisPlus is the level of intelligence it provides during treatment. Its handpiece, for example, provides real-time temperature feedback and a visible aiming beam to ensure that affected area is being treated safely and effectively. GenesisPlus features a larger spot size for the treatments of warts and scars, and it doesn’t require the use of any costly consumables, such as cooling spray and toe clips.

What is the level of demand for treatment of nail fungus?

Nail fungus affects about 30 million Americans, and recent reports suggest that demand for treatments of the condition are climbing. It is estimated that Americans currently spend about $2.1 billion annually on oral and topical prescriptions for nail fungus. That doesn’t include the millions of dollars spent on home remedies like tea tree oil and therapeutic rubs. Despite the large demand, however, many of these consumers may be disappointed when they find these treatments have questionable results or cause unwanted side effects. That is why it is important for people with nail fungus to always discuss treatment options with a doctor.

How is the procedure performed?

After an initial consultation with the patient, the physician determines if treatment with the GenesisPlus is appropriate. The procedure requires no anesthetics, and it typically takes about 40 minutes to treat all 10 nails. It is recommended that all of the nails be treated even if some of them have no visible signs of infection as fungus can be transmitted undetected. During treatment, the physician makes multiple passes with the laser over each toe, occasionally pausing to ensure patients are comfortable. There is no patient downtime following treatment. For a brief period of time following the procedure, it is recommended that patients periodically apply antifungal cream to prevent re-infection. Following treatment, the nails will eventually grow out appearing clearer and healthier than before.

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