For Release: July 10, 2012
A new laser technology used to treat toenail fungus is available by Orthopaedist Dr. Pam Davis of Foot & Ankle Specialists of Davenport.
(Davenport, IA) – Putting our best foot forward in summer just got easier for those who suffer unsightly toenails from fungal infections. While many prefer air-conditioned feet clad in sandals and flip-flops during the summer, it’s also the season’s heat and humidity that creates the perfect conditions for this type of infection.
“People who often go to public swimming pools, gyms, or even athletes who sweat a great deal, can contract toenail fungal infections,” explains Davenport Orthopedic Surgeon Pam Davis, M.D., Foot & Ankle Specialists. “If your toes don’t have the opportunity to dry out, you are at higher risk.”
It’s becoming a more common occurrence. The National Institutes of Health reports the incidence of these fungal infections is growing, especially among older Americans.
Causes of Nail Infection
Most fungal nail infections are caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes. These fungi live in the dead skin layer around, under and on the nail bed itself. “Nail infections can cause permanent nail deformity, which can interfere with the ability to wear shoes comfortably, play sports or even walk,” says Dr. Davis. While not a serious illness, the fungus also can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. “You’ll know it’s a fungus if your nails are streaked with yellow, discolored, broken, brittle or thickened.”
New treatment for Toenail Fungus
Up until recently, patients suffering from toenail fungus were treated with either drugs or topical nail creams. Now, a new laser technology called “PinPointe™FootLaser™ can kill the fungus, in many cases, allowing the nail to grow out normally.
“Not all of my patients can tolerate the anti-fungal drugs and their side effects,” says Dr. Davis. “And the topical creams were messy and didn’t always penetrate the nail effectively.
“The laser is shaped and held just like a pen. I touch each nail as it delivers micropulses of light directly to the yeast or fungus causing the infection. The fungus absorbs the light energy, which heats its pigment, thus damaging or killing the organisms. The patient may only feel warmth during the process, and no anesthesia is required. The procedure takes about a half hour here in the office,” Dr. Davis explains.
“The treatment of nail infection is difficult because the infection is under and inside of the nail. This makes it hard for any treatment to reach and completely destroy the infection. There are often recurrences, but the laser treatment can greatly improve the appearance of a patient’s feet and in many cases, the nail will grow out clear if the infection is eradicated,” she says.
Dr. Pamela Davis
Midwest Foot & Ankle Specialists
4622 Progress Drive, Suite C
Davenport, IA 52807
563-355-2210 – phone
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