Podiatrists Dr. Arnold Gross and Dr. Eric Foreman are offering patients a new option for relief from onychomycosis, better known as nail fungus.

A treatment brand-named PinPointe Footlaser has been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of nail fungus, a condition estimated to affect more than 10 percent of the U.S. population, or 35 million Americans. People with chronic diseases, including diabetes, circulatory problems or immune-deficiency conditions, are especially prone to nail fungus.

During the PinPointe FootLaser treatment, a specially designed laser beam is directed across the nail. The laser penetrates the nail bed, targeting the fungi responsible for the infection, while leaving the nail and surrounding healthy tissue intact. The procedure takes about 30 minutes and can be done comfortably in the privacy of a doctor’s office with little or no discomfort.

In a recent clinical study, after a single treatment with the PinPointe FootLaser, between 68 percent and 81 percent of patients experienced increased clear nail at six and 12 months and 81 percent of all patients had sustained improvement at 12 months.

“Toenail fungus is an incredibly embarrassing, chronic condition, affecting millions of people worldwide, and genuinely impacts a person’s quality of life,” Gross said. “For some with diabetes or immune disorders nail fungus can lead to serious health problems. We are thrilled to offer this new option to people who haven’t had success with currently available nail fungus treatments.”

Onychomycosis is caused by fungus under the nail. As they grow, fungi feed on keratin, the tough protein that makes up the hard surface of the nails. The nail becomes darker in color and debris may accumulate under the nail. And the infection may spread to other toenails, the skin or the fingernails. Nail infection can cause nails to be discolored, thickened, brittle and crumbly, and in some people it can interfere with wearing shoes or cause pain when walking.

The treatment of nail infection is difficult because the infection is under and inside of the nail. This makes it hard for any treatment to reach and destroy the infection. Oral drugs can be effective but must be taken for six to 12 weeks — and they have side effects such as headache and diarrhea, and more rarely, the risk of liver damage or heart failure. Topical drugs must be applied daily, often up to a year, but are less effective because the medication cannot pass through the nail to reach the infection. Some individuals become so frustrated they even try home remedies — tea tree oil, bleach, vinegar, mouthwash. And over-the-counter remedies sold at drug stores that do not stop the infection. In the most severe cases, the nail is sometimes removed surgically.

To determine if the PinPointe FootLaser is an option for you, call (248) 646-6882 or www.footdocs.com.

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.

Comments (3)
  1. Kwame says:

    The index toe and my right foot was messed up as far back as I can remember. I actually thought it was a genetic thing and the same tow on my left foot started to get thick and curled to a C shape. I spent a year concentrating on cutting it often, but it just reverted to thickening. So I went to the doctor and did the 8 weeks of oral pills and after 25+ years have normal looking toenails.

  2. Heymate,
    This is a great page for such a hard topic to talk about.

    I look forward to reading many more great posts like this one.


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