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Barry asked...

Can lasers treat nail fungus?

Is the use of laser for the treatment of nail fungus an effective treatment when compared with drug therapy or nail varnish?

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The answer

Traditionally fungal nails infections are treated with drug therapy because it is the best thing that actually works. Unfortunately the medication needs to be taken for up to 3 months (or sometimes more). As with all medications, there are potential side effects to consider (the liver can be damaged but this is rare). For this reason doctors prefer to avoid treating with medication if they can, but often let the patient decide.

Fungal nail infections are not serious or dangerous so can be left alone if they are mild. Nail varnishes do not work as effectively as tablets and are expensive. They also need to be applied for up to 6 months or more to have an effect. Laser treatment is being used in some private clinics only at the moment. So far it has had some good results reported but only as a short term solution. There has not been any research published yet to support its use as a safe long term solution.

Answered by Dr Emmajane Down.


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