Are Laser Treatments for Toenail Fungus Really Effective?

Sometimes toenail fungus is hard to get rid of. Despite all the creams and medications, it won’t go away. But, a new laser treatment for toenail fungus may be the answer to that problem.

Nail fungus, or onychomycosis, is a common condition caused by different fungi. In the past, your doctor may have prescribed a combination of oral and topical antifungal medications. But, typically these types of medications take months of treatment.

According to the Mayo Clinic, you would take oral antifungals for 6 to 12 weeks. But, topical medications may take longer. And, some types of nail fungus infections don’t respond to medications at all.

However, new laser treatments to treat toenail fungus are popping up. One Japanese study recorded a 68.8% improvement of all laser treated cases. But, most health insurance plans do not cover it because it is considered cosmetic.

This is bad news for anyone with persistent toenail infections. Because the recorded efficacy of prescribed medications is only 50%, it makes it less likely to help than laser treatments. Unless they were willing to pay out of pocket.

Insurance providers won’t be changing their minds anytime soon, though. According to another study, evidence of the effectiveness of laser treatments are limited and poor. And, any additional studies need methodological quality and bigger samples sizes to prove the effectiveness better.

So, what does this mean for you? If you have a persistent toenail fungus infection that isn’t responding to medications, laser treatment may be a possibility. But, you would have to decide to believe the limited studies available or not. Especially since you would have to pay for multiple expensive treatments out of pocket.

Final Thoughts

The laser treatment for toenail fungus doesn’t have a lot of evidence to back-up effectiveness. So, if you have deep pockets and a persistent fungus infection, you may want to try it. Otherwise, save your money for more concrete evidence.

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