What type of fungal infections of the toenails can the laser be used to treat?
The A.R.C. FOX Diode Laser is an effective treatment of nail fungus infections caused by dermatophytes (Microsporum, Trichophyton and Epidermophyton), yeasts (Candida albicans) or mold fungus. In particular, this includes the most common pathogen: Trichophyton rubrum (ca. 80 %)1. This fungus subsists, like all other dermatophytes, on keratin and consequently causes nail fungus.
How does the fox laser work?
The FOX Laser uses the 1064nm wavelength (close to infrared light) to treat and eradicate nail fungus leading to the increase of clear nails in patients with onychomycosis (e.g. derniatophytes Trichophyton rubrum and T. mentagrophytes, and/or yeasts Candida albicans, etc.)The laser radiation penetrates the nail plate, the paronychium and the eponychium as it reaches the infected nail bed. The laser energy is only absorbed by the pathogens in the nail bed and not in the surrounding tissue. As a result, the increase in temperature will damage the fungal cell wall causing the cells to die and inhibiting further growth
Can it treat all types of infections?
It is common for nail fungus to coexist with other types of fungal infections of the skin. In fact, this occurs in approximately 50 % of all nail anomalies and in one third of all fungal infections of the skin. If there is any evidence of the coexistence of tinea pedis in the treatment area (paronychium, eponychium, etc.), treatment with the FOX laser is not recommended. Due to the tinea pedis, the skin may already be inflamed and the laser could worsen the condition. Other conditions to take into account prior to treatment include traumatic injury to the nail, diabetes mellitus, peripheral vascular diseases (PVD) or ingestion of immuno-suppressive agents.
Is the treatment painful?
Vital for the success of the FOX laser treatment is the warming of the nail bed to approximately 45°C and that the warmth be maintained for at least 40 seconds. Even though the patient will feel the warming sensation, no anesthesia is necessary. By using a moderate pulse energy and a constant motion over the the nail, the desired dosage of laser energy can be uniformly delivered into the nail bed with minimal patient discomfort.
Can this treatment be performed on all skin types?
During the FOX laser treatment, the paronychium and eponychium will be uniformly irradiated to destroy fungal structures. The laser radiation will be absorbed more quickly by a patient with darker skin leading to a faster temperature rise. Therefore, it will be necessary to speed up the motion to avoid over treating.
What will be the predicted cure rate?
In clinical studies, improvement has been observed in 68-80% of patients after 3 treatment sessions, but there is no guarantee of success. Results depend upon minimizing the risk of recurrence with adequate hygiene precautions (disinfection of the shoes, washing of the socks with 60° C, etc.). In addition, it is recommended to use an fungi-static tea tree oil foot spray or other fungi static products.
Are there any limitations after the FOX laser treatment?
After laser treatment, there will be a persistent sensation of warmth in the nail bed which may be uncomfortable. However, patients can return to normal activities. Shoes can be worn immediately after treatment.
Before the treatment
- You will be asked about your overall health (see below) and the duration, extent of previous medication of your infection.
- You will be asked to remove your shoes and socks
- Any nail polish will be removed from your nails
- Your feet will be wiped to remove any debris
- Your fungal nails will be photographed to assess progress of the treatment and whether any additional treatments are required later on.
After the treatment
- It is recommended that clean socks are put on
- You may carry out your normal activities and return to work
- It is important that you adhere rigorously to nail hygiene procedures as prescribed by your treatment clinic and return for any follow up treatments
- Do not apply any nail polish or lacquers until the treatment has been fully completed
- It is important that you inform the treatment centre of any pre-existing medical conditions:
- The long term effects of prolonged use of non-thermal laser exposure are unknown.
- Laser treatment should be applied only to normal, intact, clean skin or treatment will not be effective.
- Laser treatment should not be applied over, or in proximity to, cancerous lesions as conclusive test have not been conducted.
- Safety of non-thermal laser for use over a pregnant uterus has not been established.
- Caution should be used over areas of skin that lack normal sensation.
- Avoid direct contact of the laser beam into human or animal eyes.
- Do not use directly over areas with open wounds
- Do not use on patients who:
- Have active cancer anywhere, or past cancer of the foot
- Have a history of keloid or hypertrophic scar formation
- Have active infections or a compromised immune system
- Have sunburn in the area being treated
- Are taking photo-sensitizing drugs and anti-coagulants
In clinical studies, improvement has been observed in 68-80% of patients after 3 treatment sessions, but there is no guarantee of success. Results depend upon minimizing the risk of recurrence with adequate hygiene precautions (disinfection of the shoes, washing of the socks with 60° C, etc). In addition, it is recommended to use an anti-mycotic cream between the toes and on top of the nails.
Initial laser treatment: $80
Subsequent treatments: $75
Treatments will take place on a monthly basis. It is recommended to schedule in 3 appointments. After this period of time further treatment may be advised pending on the current status of infection