Lasers are used for everything from removing hair to clearing up the appearance of toenail fungus. Generally speaking, we support the use of lasers to clarify a fungus nail. It’s much more effective than the topical solutions out there, which only work eight to 10% of the time. It’s also less invasive than oral medication, which requires liver monitoring and may cause unpleasant side effects like the loss of taste. However, laser toenail fungus treatment isn’t for everyone. Here are some of the reasons why you may decide against it.
1. Laser toenail fungus treatment is expensive… and not covered by insurance.
According to A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Center in Fort Collins, Colorado, the cost of fungal nail laser treatment may vary, depending on the number of nails affected and the severity of the infection. “The national average for laser treatment is between $500 and $1200,” they explain. However, offices that use state-of-the-art laser equipment that can get the nails done in less time may offer prices in the $300 to $900 range. Most people require only one treatment, but some people may need to come back for multiple sessions, says the UK Guardian. Insurance doesn’t cover the cost because they deem it a “cosmetic procedure.”
2. You still have to wait for the nail to grow out.
Unfortunately, with any toenail fungus treatment, you have to wait for the old fungus nail to grow out. While laser treatment may improve the look of the nail during this time, it’s still going to be a good six months before you see a noticeable improvement. While you wait, you may see results like this:
3. There’s no guarantee you won’t get onychomycosis toenail fungus again.
So you’ve paid the $1,000 out-of-pocket, you’ve waited the six months… time to get on with life, right? Not so fast! Toenail fungus is one of those health issues — like cellulite and balding, says dermatologist Dr. Boni E. Elewski — that remains one of the “great unsolved American lifestyle problems.”
“I never use the term ‘cured’ with toenail fungus,” says Washington podiatrist Stephen J. Kominsky. “With a cure, people think there’s no chance for a recurrence. In this case, there is a chance.”
If you walk around without shoes on in public places, you could easily pick up fungus nails again. Treating fungal infections takes a well-rounded solution that involves keeping the feet dry and protected, practicing good hygiene, and sanitizing the shoes nightly to prevent recurrence.