2299 Post St.
San Francisco, CA 94115
At Bay Area Foot Care in San Francisco, we see many cases of toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis (on-ih-koh-my-KOH-sis), every year. Matter of fact, it happens to be one of the most common reasons a patient chooses to visit us.
Toenail fungus is relatively harmless to a person’s overall health, but the physical discomfort and embarrassment caused by this seemingly harmless condition can easily be removed through a simple high-tech and cutting-edge laser treatment offered here at Bay Area Foot Care.
Toenail fungus brings with it a list of unpleasant symptoms like unsightly thickened toenails that have grown brittle and distorted in shape and have gained a yellow-brown discoloration. It also brings with it a dark-colored buildup that gathers under the nails and emits a rather foul-smelling odor. It is important to note that this fungus can affect fingernails, but it is far more common in toenails.
Toenail fungus is an infection and generally comes hand in hand (or perhaps better said foot by foot?) with athlete’s foot, which is often the precursor to the development of toenail fungus. The most common fungus responsible for the infection is called dermatophyte, though yeast and molds can cause nail infections as well.
You may be at greater risk for contracting this infection if you sweat heavily, are prone to athlete’s foot infections, and routinely walk barefoot in damp communal areas like showers or locker rooms.
Age can also play a role in a person’s susceptibility to toenail fungus, as old age generally brings with it reduced blood flow, slower-growing nails, and more years of having been exposed to the fungi responsible for these types of infections.
Though most often benign in nature, toenail fungus can lead to more severe complications if a person happens to fall into certain categories. Severe cases can be quite painful and may cause permanent damage to a patient’s nails.
The infection, if untreated, can also progress into more serious infections that can spread beyond the feet. This most commonly occurs in patients who also have a suppressed immune system due to diabetes, medications, or other conditions.
Not only is toenail fungus one of the more common reasons for a visit to our clinic, it also happens to be one of the easiest for our clinicians to treat. Historically, clinicians have used harsh chemicals or invasive surgical solutions, but at Bay Area Foot Care, we use our GenesisPlus laser procedure to effectively neutralize and destroy the fungal infection without the need for painful or invasive procedures.
The GenesisPlus laser eliminates the fungus through small pulses of light that pass through the nail and into the fungus below without causing damage to the underlying nail bed or surrounding tissues. The treatment causes the fungal cells to shut down and raises the temperature of the nail plate and bed, destroying the infected cells.
The laser treatment generally only takes about 20 minutes to treat 10 nails and is 60 to 65% effective at eliminating the infection after a single treatment. The procedure is noninvasive, requires no anesthetic, and results in no recovery time, allowing a return to regular activity immediately.