Why Blue Cross Blue Shield Won't Cover Laser Treatment For Toenail Fungus

We’ve written before on the effectiveness of laser treatment as an option for people dealing with toenail fungus. The Wall Street Journal reports that “Published data on laser treatment for nail fungus is scant, but early results suggest it is a reasonable option for people who don’t want the side effects of oral medications.” PinPointe, a manufacturer of an FDA-approved toenail fungus laser, claims efficiency ratings as high as 71.4% — and another manufacturer, Nomir, says their Noveon laser cures 85% of patients.

toenail fungus laser

Image Source: DallasLaserMed.com

That makes laser nail treatment an attractive option compared to nail lacquers that see cure rates below 30% and oral pills that can cause side effects like liver damage. However, as you may have  heard, insurance companies do not currently cover the cost of laser treatment for fungal nails. What gives? We looked at the latest review by insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield to find out.

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Genetic Deficiency Linked To Athlete’s Foot & Deadly Fungal Infection

Most people who come down with athlete’s foot infection simply go to the drugstore and wait a few weeks for it to clear up. However, there are some cases where the fungal infection spreads below the surface of the skin to the lymph nodes, bones, digestive tract, brain, and other skin surfaces. Though it is a relatively rare condition, researchers at The Rockefeller University and Necker Medical School in Paris have identified the genetic culprit behind this mechanism.

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The Honest-To-God Truth: Women Have Just As Much Foot Odor As Men

“Men smell of cheese, and women of grapefruit or onion,” say Swiss researchers who recent shed some light on the respective odors of sweaty men and women. The team of researchers from Geneva company Firmenich reported that female sweat contained high levels of sulphur compounds that, when mixed with bacteria, smells of onions. By contrast, men had high levels of a fatty acid, which turns to a cheese odor when exposed to bacteria. Independent smell assessors reported that the female eau de onion scent was, in fact, worse-smelling.

women onions

Image Source: UnderachievingDomesticGoddess.blogspot.com

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Bacteria and Foot Health: Frontline Documentary Explores How Antibiotics Are Contributing To The Rise Of "Superbugs"

Did you happen to catch the new Frontline documentary covering the rise of antibiotic-resistant “superbugs”? If you missed it, you can catch the whole 53 minutes here, on the PBS website. In the past, ailments like strep throat or a scraped knee could kill a person. Health experts warn that we may be on the verge of such widespread death once again. CDC Director Tom Frieden said that superbugs resist most antibiotics and can actually spread resistance to other types of germs in the body. Roughly half the people who get bloodstream infections caused by these silent menaces die from them.

nightmare bacteria

Image Source: American.edu

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Type 2 Diabetes: How It Affects Your Feet and Various Body Parts, and What You Can Do

Wild sugar level fluctuations can threaten various parts of the body over time. “Diabetes can have devastating effects on the body,” explains Dr. Ryan Minara from The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in New York City. “In many cases, diabetes causes abnormalities in the small blood vessels of the body, which affects the peripheral nerves. Some of the smallest blood vessels in the body occur in the eyes, kidneys, and feet, and diabetics often face problems in these anatomical areas,” he adds.

It usually takes five or six years of poorly controlled diabetes for complications to arise, according to some studies. However, keep in mind, most people with type 2 diabetes have had the disease for five years before they are diagnosed. The good news is that you can prevent many of these complications through careful diabetes management.

diabetes management

Image Source: HuffingtonPost.com

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Is Anacor’s Tavaborale The Onychomycosis Cure We’ve Been Waiting For?

Anacor is one of six “under-performing biotech stocks analysts love,” according to Equities.comThe company develops small molecule therapeutics and “scored a big victory with the FDA’s recent acceptance of a New Drug Application for Tavaborale in October,” says the site. They’ve seen stock gains of 92.77% since June. Recently, a Canadian company was ordered to pay Anacor $142.5 million for trying to steal intellectual property and develop the toenail fungus treatment independently, despite contractual obligations. This makes us wonder… how juicy are these trade secrets? Could tavaborale be the onychomycosis cure we’ve been waiting for?

onychomycosis treatment

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Cast of "Survivor" Battles Athlete’s Foot

Just how bad can athlete’s foot get? Fans of the hit TV show “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” got a closer look in episode 5. In the Philippines, contestant Katie Collins developed a bad case of tinea pedis (athlete’s foot) from spending too much time in sopping wet shoes. “From wearing wet shoes all the time, I got tinea…. so, it burns. You get, like, little sores and they can be very painful when you walk. And it gets, like, under your toenails,” she explained. For some viewers, this up close look at foot fungus was a little too much to bear!

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Are Your Children's Stinky Feet Driving You Crazy? Handling Kids and Shoe Odor

Children are sweet, helpless creatures who still have so much to learn about the world. Their minds and bodies are growing fast, in amazing ways. Unfortunately, these hapless youngsters also encounter bodily changes that are hard for adults to comprehend. Piano teacher Alicia Notarianni made this analysis one day:

“On several occasions,an adorable child has come to my home, removed her shoes and taken a seat at my piano bench. Within seconds, an odor begins to waft, gently, confusingly, into the air surrounding her. I tend to think, ‘Surely this offensive blight cannot be emitted by the feet of a child who otherwise inspires such great affection. But again and again, it has proven to be true.'”

If your child’s stinky feet are driving you crazy, continue reading for tips on getting through this stage of life.

smelly feet

Image Source: Livestrong.com

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Watch Your Feet: Deadly Flesh-Eating Bacteria Sweeps Florida

How many times have you noticed a small cut on your foot? Imagine a tiny foot wound the size of a coin killing an otherwise healthy 59-year-old man in just 28 hours. That’s what happened in Florida this month after vibrio vulnificus bacteria spread over Henry Konietzky “like acid,” according to his wife. Nine others have died from a similar infection this year, prompting local health officials to warn locals about their contact with saltwater, where this flesh-eating, gram-negative bacteria thrives and breeds.

vibrio

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November Is National Diabetes Awareness Month: Learn the Warning Signs Today

Diabetes is a devastating diagnosis for the entire family. It’s important for people to know that the tendency to develop type 2 diabetes runs in the family, but is also greatly influenced by lifestyle choices. Often, detecting the signs early can help individuals prevent the development of the diabetes. In fact, the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program can help people cut their risk of developing diabetes in half. November is National Diabetes Awareness Month to highlight the importance of support, management and prevention of this common disease.

diabetes feet

Image Source: WithFaithAndDiabetes.com

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