This laser technology is one of the newest tools available to dermatologists to treat an unsightly and sometimes painful fungal nail condition called onychomycosis.
Millions of Americans have this fungal infection, which causes toenails and fingernails to turn yellow or white and begin to crumble.
How Does it Work?
Light energy from the PinPointe FootLaser penetrates the affected nail, killing the fungus that lives in both the nail and the bed of skin below. The laser does not harm the nail itself, however, or any surrounding skin.
Preparing for the Procedure
All you need to do is remove any nail polish from your nails the day before. Your doctor may also suggest that you have your infected nails thinned (debrided) by a nail technician prior to the procedure. Doing so can increase the effectiveness of the laser, but it can also leave your nails more sensitive to touch and prone to breaking. For that reason, it’s not always recommended.
The Treatment Process
The PinPointe FootLaser procedure requires no anesthetic or pain medication. Treatment usually takes less than 30 minutes. The exact length will depend on how many nails are being treated. Most patients experience no discomfort during the procedure—just a sensation of warmth as the laser kills the fungus.
Recovery and Post Treatment
There is no recovery period. You can walk out of the doctor’s office and return to your normal activities immediately. You can even apply nail polish to the treated nails, if you wish!
The nail area of your toe or hand may appear slightly red and swollen for 1 to 3 days, but you should have no other side effects.
The nail will not improve immediately. You’ll have to wait for the old, disfigured nail to grow out. It can take up to 9 months for a new fingernail and twice that long for a new toenail to fully replace the old one. But you’ll see gradual improvement as the new, healthy nail grows in.
If you see no improvement within 6 months, you may need a second treatment. Your doctor will discuss that option with you.