Case Study: Treating A Stubborn Fungal Nail Infection Using Cold Laser
- Self-declared ‘busy body’
- New grandparent
We first met Debbie just over 12 months ago, when she came in looking for a way to fix her fungal toenail infection. Debbie first noticed the yellow/white patch on her right big toenail over three years ago, after removing nail polish that she had applied at a nail salon.
As she had recently become a new grandparent and her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter had moved in with her the previous week, Debbie felt it was time to finally do something so that the infection wouldn’t spread to her family. The infection had gradually worsened since she first noticed it and now affected:
- Her entire nail right toenail
- The smaller toe immediately next to it
- Small white/yellow patch towards the end of her left big toenail
TREATMENTS TRIED AT HOME
For almost a year before seeing us, Debbie reported trying a variety of nail lacquers, creams and even talcum powder to try to eliminate the infection. She applied the ointments at least once per day but they yielded no results and instead left her frustrated.
OUR FIRST APPOINTMENT
Our first appointment with Debbie was simple and efficient. During the assessment, we confirmed the presence of her fungal nail infection (this is very important as other nail conditions can mimic the symptoms of nail fungus), talked about the problems she was facing, and offered her much relief in the knowledge that fungal nail infections are one of our specialties!
We discussed her treatment plan, timeframe, and our secret weapon for treating fungal nail infections: The Lunula Laser.
Before the first session, we thoroughly prepared all of the nails by trimming them back, thinning any thickened nail areas and removing excess skin built up around the nails where fungus may be hiding. Debbie had seven sessions of Lunula laser in total. We find that this number varies depending on the severity of the infection, but usually lies between four and ten sessions. Each treatment session was simple and smooth as complications with the laser are a rarity.
We gave Debbie her home-care pack which contains instructions and products to help fight the infection and reduce the chance of reinfection at home. It is through thoroughly addressing each patients home environment (where the fungus is present) that we find other treatments are greatly lacking and where we get fantastic results. Debbie followed our instructions very carefully, ensuring to dry her feet, disinfect areas where fungus may be present and use our products as directed. This helped to protect not just Debbie, but everyone in her household from picking up a fungal infection.
We also treated Debbie’s shoes with UV light to eliminate the fungus present in her shoes. We checked in with Debbie at 3, 6, and 12 months following her final laser session to make sure everything was going as expected.
Month 3 - The right big toenail and smaller toenail beside it showed 4mm of healthy, non-infected nail at the base of the nails. The left big toenail patch had remained the same with no new infection growth and had moved slightly towards the end of the nail due to regular nail growth.
Month 6 - After we trimmed the nails at this visit, the patch on the left toenail was no longer present and no new infection had fostered. Debbie was stoked! The right big toenail had another 4mm of healthy nail growth (8mm total at the base of the nail) with no signs of a persisting infection. The small toenail next to it showed the same results, but due to its smaller nail size, was now approximately three-quarters clear.
Month 12 - The small right toenail was now completely clear! The left big toenail still remained clear and infection free. The right big toenail had 15mm of clear growth from the base of the nail upwards and so any signs of the previous infection now only remained at the ends of the toenail, ready to be completely gone the next time it came to trim her toenails.
Both Debbie and our team were very satisfied with these results. The highlights for Debbie was now being able to confidently be in open-toed sandals and bare feet, no longer feel embarrassed by her toes, and not worry about spreading the infection to her family.
If you’re battling a fungal nail infection, whether it has just started or has been festering for a decade, let us help you fight it and get back on the path to healthy, clear nails. We’re seeing the best results we’ve seen in decades of podiatry practice with the Lunula laser and are excited to see what it can do for you!