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Pinpointe Toenail Fungus Laser Treatment

What is Onychomycosis?

Nail Fungus Before and After Pinpointe Laser at Glacier Foot and Ankle

Onychomycosis is a chronic fungal infection causing thickened, discolored and disfigured toenails. Onychomycosis is the most common disease condition of nails. Fungal toenails can become unsightly, embarrassing and are often painful. The infection has been notoriously difficult to eradicate and will not simply 'go away'. The infection often begins under a single toenail and if left untreated will insidiously advance into additional nails. The condition is very common; onychomycosis is estimated to affect up to 35 million Americans. Onychomycosis often affects people with Diabetes or other disease conditions which weaken the immune system.

Previously available treatments have often been either limited in effectiveness or potentially problematic. Used alone, simple over-the-counter topical antifungal remedies rarely clear up the nail infection; topical medications are those applied on the surface only. They simply fail to penetrate into and under the nail plate to kill the infecting fungus. The thickened nail debris must be aggressively debrided for any topical surface medication to have effect. Debridement is the removal of the thickened, deformed nail plate debris by trimming, clipping and grinding the material away. Thorough debridement is absolutely required for successful treatment; this can be difficult for many people to do at home effectively. In the office setting, sterilized instruments and specialized grinding heads are used to remove the debris, thereby decreasing the fungal burden on the tissues and increasing the effectiveness of topical medications. Prescription topical medications are more effective than the over-the-counter concoctions. Topical treatment often requires daily application for up to 12 months or more. Oral antifungal medications have proven to be much more effective than topical treatment alone. Any oral medication may be associated with side effects. The available oral antifungal medications are not safe for patients with a history of liver or kidney problems. For most healthy people, without such problems, oral antifungal medications can be considered safe. Combination treatment utilizing both topical and oral antifungal medication is more effective than either treatment used alone.

Pinpointe Laser at Glacier Foot and Ankle

The PinPointe FootLaser treatment now offers additional hope to those suffering from onychomycosis. High-energy laser light pulses pass through the nail and kill the fungus where it lives, deep under the toenail surface. The PinPointe FootLaser does not cause damage to the toenail or the surrounding skin. This in-office treatment is safe and has no harmful side effects. Treatment often requires a single 30-45 minute session. Thorough nail debridement is performed several days pre-treatment. Clinical studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of the procedure for the majority of patients treated, reportedly increasing clearing of toenails in up to 70% of those patients. Clinical studies began in November, 2007. This patented technology has been under development for over 20 years.

On October 15, 2010 after years of clinical study and worldwide use, the PinPointe FootLaser received FDA clearance for the temporary increase of clear nail in patients with onychomycosis. The FDA clearance states temporary because there is no absolute lifelong cure for onychomycosis. Potential for recurrence is accepted to be true with treatment versus any type of infection. The opportunistic fungal pathogens that cause onychomycosis exist worldwide and re-exposure and re-infection can occur. The realistic goal must be to resolve the current infection, clear up the existing disfigured toenail, and then take simple measures to prevent recurrence.

The most effective results are obtained with a comprehensive combination treatment regimen. Mono-therapy can fail. A combination treatment approach gives the best clinical results. This includes: definitive diagnosis of infection, thorough toenail debridement to remove the unsightly nail debris, daily application of a prescription Rx topical antifungal lacquer, a full course of a prescription Rx oral antifungal medication, and a PinPointe FootLaser treatment. The use of sanitizing foot soaks and topical antifungal creams on the skin is important to resolve any associated athlete's foot infection, which is very common. Athlete's foot is also a fungal infection and this skin infection often leads to toenail involvement. Shoes should be sanitized as they can harbor the infecting fungus; this can be accomplished using a simple shoe spray or a UV light device. A combination treatment regimen removes the unsightly nail debris and kills the infecting fungal organisms from both an internal and external approach. The overall comprehensive treatment program is not difficult or complicated. After clearing of the toenails, simple steps can be taken to prevent recurrence. Proper hygiene and daily foot care in combination with the PinPointe FootLaser treatment can finally make sustained clear toenails a reality.

Glacier Foot and Ankle is able to offer this new treatment option to patients suffering from onychomycosis. Dr. Ploot is the only PinPointe certified provider in Montana. Call 755-1300 to schedule a consultation. Medical insurance does not cover the procedure. For more information and to view a gallery of pictures demonstrating the effectiveness of the laser treatment, please see Let us help you to clear those fungal toenails.

DR. ERIK PLOOT, DPM Podiatric Physician and Surgeon
Certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery

Good Morning America: FDA Approved Nail Treatment The Doctors on Laser Tonail Fungus Removal The PinPointe Foot Laser


Glacier Foot and Ankle Associates
95 Indian Trail Road Kalispell, MT 59901

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