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Laser therapy is the latest and most effective treatment available for the treatment of fungal nail disease (Onychomycosis) and has only been available through Podiatrists for approximately 5 years. Onychomycosis affects 2-14% of the general population with that figure rising to 20% in 60 yr olds and 50% of the population over 70 yrs old.

Fungi are all around us and given the right conditions i.e. warmth, moisture, low light levels, and a food source, they can multiply and flourish. Nail fungi feed on keratin, a structural protein within the nail, and invade the nail plate and nail bed by penetrating from the nail margins. Fungal infection is more likely if the nails have been damaged by toe stubbing etc.

Fungal nail disease can cause pain in some cases and will sometimes thicken and discolour the nail plate causing a white, yellow, brown or black colour to areas of the nail.

One of the biggest problems with the condition is negative self image, especially when living in the warm climate of the sub tropics where toes are on display most of the time.

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ORAL ANTI FUNGAL MEDICATION
Approximately 14%- 50% effective with a recurrence rate of 10-53 % (Journal of drugs in dermatology April 2012) when taken daily for 3-4 months. Side effects from this treatment can involve liver damage and temporary loss of taste. These side effects prevent individuals with compromised liver health being treated. Many patients and Doctors consider the potential side effects too great a risk to treat a relatively benign condition.

OVER THE COUNTER TOPICAL TINCTURES, LIQUIDS AND CREAMS
Approximately
5.5% - 8.5% effective (Journal of drugs in dermatology April 2012)
when used daily for 10-12 months. Side effects from these treatments can involve irritation of the surrounding skin. Most patients do not adhere to the protocol of daily application as it is tedious over such a long period further reducing the above
quoted efficacy. In reality Podiatrists only very rarely report success with this treatment.

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Efficacy of treatment varies with the severity of the fungal infection and patient compliance with the self treatment protocol after the application of the Laser. Patients with a mild superficial infection may only require 1 Laser treatment. A severe full nail infection may require 3 or more Laser treatments.

Laser therapy (1064 nm) has been fully tested by medical research teams and it is considered safe, well tolerated by patients and very effective in promoting the growth of clear nails in patients with fungal nail disease. Research has shown that 1 Laser treatment will achieve between 60% and 81% chance of total resolution of the infection and 2-3 Laser treatments will achieve an 81% rate of total resolution. All patients should see a significant improvement after initial treatment but this won’t usually be evident until the nail has grown for 8 weeks.

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During the first Laser treatment, a laser beam will be directed across the nail bed of all infected toes. The Laser will generate a small amount of heat beneath the nail and within the underlying fungal colony as the fungi attract the energy of the Laser – this is what kills the fungus.

You will feel a warm sensation during the procedure. The treatment takes approximately 5 minutes per foot.

PREVENTION OF RE-INFECTION

We also aim to prevent re infection of your nails from your shoes, which can also harbour the fungi, by sterilising your shoes for you on the day of treatment. We also rent ultraviolet light shoe sterilisers to our patients so they can treat all of their shoes and slippers at home.

A new pair of socks should ideally be worn post treatment. We recommend patients either wash all of their socks in a Canesten clothes washing detergent, or discard all of their previous socks and buy all new ones to give the best chance of avoiding re-infection. Fungal spores are resilient in socks. We would further recommend drying socks inside out in direct sunlight to help reduce fungal spore levels as an ongoing practice.

On the day of Laser treatment we also apply anti-fungal spray to the skin on your feet which you then have to keep applying once daily for approximately 2 weeks. This additional treatment is required because you may also have a fungal infection of the skin and the skin and nails can cross infect each other. A fungal skin infection may not be causing any symptoms although present.

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You will not see a result immediately. Nails grow slowly, approximately 10 -12 months from base to tip. As the treated nails resume healthy growth you may not see significant improvement for 2-3 months, but you should see a gradual growth of clear nail.

HOW WE MONITOR YOUR PROGRESS
We take digital photographs of your nails at your initial consult and compare your nails to this record as your treatment plan progresses. This will accurately determine your progress.

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INITIAL CONSULT $75.00

• Diagnosis of fungal nail disease (you may not have a fungal infection).

• Drill nail plates (painless procedure) to prepare them for Laser treatment.

• Discuss all aspects of Laser treatment in full and take photographs of nails for later comparison.

• Trim nails and treat any other Podiatric problems, eg. corns, calluses etc.
 

LASER THERAPY CONSULT

1-5 nails treated $300.00, 5-10 nails treated $350.00

• Treatment of all infected toe nails, and surrounding nail folds with 1064 nm Laser

• Application of antifungal spray to skin on both feet.

• Sterilisation of 1x pair of shoes with ultra violet light device (99.9% effective at destroying fungal spores and bacteria).

• Follow up advice on self treatment protocol. (Patient to bring a pair of new socks to wear after treatment).
 

FOLLOW UP LASER CONSULT WITH USE OF LASER A SECOND OR THIRD TIME,

1-5 nails treated $150.00, 5-10 nails treated $215

• Treatment of toe nails that show signs of infection, and surrounding nail folds with 1064 nm Laser

• Application of antifungal spray to skin on both feet.

(Please note that before having a second or third laser treatment your toe nails may need to be prepared again with the drill before Laser application to remove as much of de natured fungal material from the previous treatment. This preparation is charged at $65)

• Follow up advice on self treatment protocol. (Patient to bring a pair of clean socks to wear after treatment).

 

FOLLOW UP LASER CONSULT WITHOUT USE OF LASER $65.00

• Check all nails for fungal infection – if clear no Laser required

• Trim nails and treat any other Podiatric symptoms eg. corns, calluses.

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www.drcomfort.com.au

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www.dolaustralia.com.au

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