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Lockport Foot Care, PLLC Harry I. Zirna, DPM

Onychomycosis (Fungus Toenails)

Serving Amherst, North Tonawanda, Lewiston, NY & Beyond

Onychomycosis or fungus toenails is an infection of the skin and nail bed which can affect the fingernails and toenails. It can result in cosmetic changes such as thickening with discoloration (white, yellow, green, brown or black) of the nail, moldy odor, loose debris beneath the toenail. It is estimated that 35 million people in the US are afflicted with this condition. The condition has a genetic predisposition showing an autosomal dominant pattern in which the body has an inability to mount a cell mediated immune response to Trichophyton rubrum, a common organism involved in many of these infections. Several factors make an individual more susceptible such as general hygiene, daily repetitive use of the same shoe gear, hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), community showers and pool decks. The condition becomes more prevalent with increasing age, diabetes and the presence of poor circulation. Diabetics are 2.8 times more prone to developing onychomycosis. In some instances chronic shoe pressure on a thick fungus toenail can result in a bacterial infection beneath the toenail which can lead to bone infections and possibly a digital amputation.. 

In addition to causing embarrassment, pain, and an unhealthy appearance of the toenail, nail fungus can also result in associated fungal infections of the skin such as tinea pedis (athletes foot), tinea cruris and tinea corporus. Nail fungus is contagious and can spread by close contact from one nail to involve other nails over time. In addition to causing difficulty in trimming and managing of toenails, advanced stages of the fungus toenails can occasionally cause pain in shoes making ambulation difficult. Fungus infections of toenails can be caused by a variety of different types of fungal organisms, such as dermatophytes (most common) Tinea rubrum and Tinea mentagrophytes as well as molds and/or yeasts 10% of the time. These organisms are commonly found in soils, carpeting, pet fur, shower stalls, public locker rooms, pools, hot tubs or poorly maintained hotel rooms.

Lasers work by destroying the fungal cell wall and thus causing death to the fungus. This is achieved by superheating the soft tissues (coagulation) containing the fungus by incorporating a high energy (peak power of 318 joules/cm2 or 15,385 watts per pulse) short duration micro pulse laser beam (0.65 milliseconds in duration).

Lockport Foot Care is now using a state of the art, best-in-class Nd:YAG 1064nm laser to treat fungus toenails. The Aerolase LightPod Nd:YAG 1064nm laser is the highest energy laser on the market capable of achieving the highest success rates in the industry (87%) after just two treatments, a significant advancement over older Podiatric Nd: YAG 1064nm lasers having only a 40-50% success rate after 3 treatments. When the Aerolase laser is used in combination with specially designed skin coolers, an advanced cold air technology which provides gentle cool air to the treatment site, the treatment becomes virtually painless. Lockport Foot Care is the only office in WNY offering the Aerolase laser and skin cooling system for your comfort.

Treatment results are NOT IMMEDIATE, as it takes anywhere between 4 to 10 months for the new non infected toenail to grow out. During this period of time it is recommended that patients follow a smart preventative care program to prevent reinfection during the waiting period which will be discussed after receiving treatment.

  • Learn how you can benefit from this revolutionary new treatment for fungus toenails and get sandal ready for the summer. Call Lockport Foot Care today at 716.874.1100 or 716.434.3338.
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