Onychomycosis affects nearly 10% of the adult population. In most cases it causes the nail to thicken and become discoloured, with a yellowish hue being most common. Although the infected nail itself (whether fingernail or, more commonly, the toenail) is not painful the longer the infection remains untreated the more brittle the nail becomes. Pieces often break off and the tissue under and around the nail can become inflamed. Onychomycosis (also known as “tinea unguium”) is responsible for nearly half of all toenail abnormalities but the good news is that it is a treatable condition. However, as medical professionals and clinicians know all too well treatment is often complicated by the fact that onychomycosis lives in dead tissue, so delivering medication to the affected site via traditional topical or oral medications can be a problematic and sometimes frustrating process.
Up until recently treatment of onychomycosis has consisted almost exclusively of various topical medications such as ciclopirox nail paint or efinaconazole. Oral medications are also commonly prescribed to treat the condition including terbinafine, fluconazole and ketoconazole. But while many have experienced relief from onychomycosis as a result of these treatments that relief can either be a painfully long time in coming (a year or more in the case of some topical solutions) or, in the case of oral treatments like ketoconazole, have dangerous side effects. Indeed the US FDA has seen fit to issue warnings that certain onychomycosis medications may cause serious liver or adrenal gland problems. Fortunately today there is a better way: the Erchonia Lunula nail fungus laser treatment machine.
Laser treatments for onychomycosis have been around for some time but have generally been considered experimental and only partially effective. Until now. The Erchonia Lunula Onychomycosis Laser device has shattered the commonly held belief that effective laser treatment of onychomycosis was still years off. The Lunula Laser has cracked the code of onychomycosis by bringing true, dual-diode, Class 2 laser light to bear on the infected tissue. The Lunula fungus nail machine utilizes the proven anti-fungal effects of both the 405 nm (nanometre) wavelength as well as the well-documented regenerative capabilities of the 635 nm wavelength to both clear the infection and promote healing.
The Lunula Laser fungus nail laser machine is a “cold” laser system. So-called cold lasers produce wavelengths beneath 700 nm that do not generate heat in the tissue being treated. Rather than relying on heat to produce a desired effect they elicit true physiological responses via photo modulation. This is not a brute force laser treatment. Instead it is a subtle, targeted, highly sophisticated method for bringing the healing and regenerative power of light precisely where it is needed in precisely the right amounts. An approach patients and clients are sure to appreciate.
The engineers behind the Lunula have created a proprietary rotating, line-generated laser beam that optimizes photon (light particle) concentrations while providing comprehensive coverage of the surface area to be treated. As such the entire affected area including the nail, nail bed and surrounding tissues receive the proper amount, duration and intensity of treatment.
Whereas wavelengths above 900 nanometers produce heat in the tissue they’re applied to this heating is not necessarily conducive to treating this type of fungal infection. In fact Class 4 laser treatments can be counterproductive (more on that in a moment). The lower wavelength “cold” laser used by the Lunula Laser nail fungus laser treatment machine is calibrated specifically to take advantage of the laser’s innate ability to generate anti-microbial effects that have nothing to do with heat generation. The lack of heat has the added benefit of not creating discomfort in the patient.
To this point most laser treatments have been (and continue to be) focused on a single diode laser approach which uses either a Class 4 heat-based laser or a single diode Class 2 cold laser only. This approach addresses the bacterial aspect of the condition but does nothing to aid in the regeneration of affected tissue. Without addressing this equally crucial aspect treatments tend to leave patients in a kind of limbo, where spread of the fungal infection is perhaps arrested but precious little is done to facilitate healing and tissue regeneration. In addition, the heat generated by Class 4 lasers is often an issue with patients with peripheral neuropathy or other sensation deficit conditions since such patients can incur heat damage without being aware of it. And one more thing: heat based lasers are unable to treat the germinal/matrix layer where the fungi are often ensconced. As such mitigation efforts are never entirely successful. The Lunula Laser fungus nail machine by comparison penetrates directly to the germinal area so no treatment stone is left unturned.
The dual diode approach pioneered by the Lunula Laser nail fungus laser treatment machine delivers both mitigation and rejuvenation and as such can lay claim to being the first – and currently only – laser treatment available to do so. And since it is a cold laser there is no possibility of undetected tissue damage in people with peripheral neuropathy or other sensation-related comorbidities. The results speak for themselves. A recent study involving more than 100 patients showed an average clearance of nearly 74% following only 2 treatments. Much of the credit for these amazing results can be laid at the feet of the dual-diode treatment which facilitates both the elimination of the fungi and the restoration of previously affected areas.
In addition to potentially causing undetected tissue damage in certain patients Class 4 heat based lasers have the equally distressing habit of generating an acrid, foul plume potentially laden with active mycosis. Anyone in the room during such treatment is then at risk of actually breathing in active airborne fungi floating up from the treatment area on the hot air created by the laser. In other words, unless the clinic where the heat-based laser is being used has a sophisticated air treatment system everyone in the room is at risk of infection when a Class 4 laser is used to treat onychomycosis. But that’s not all. Laser plumes may also contain irritants, dust, mutagens and even carcinogens as well as bacteria, fungi, viruses, blood molecules and cancer cells. And the dangers don’t stop there. The plume from a Class 4 laser may also contain hydrogen cyanide, benzene, formaldehyde and other hazardous materials, particularly if the treated nail still contains fragments of nail polish.
Anyone who attempts to sell you on the notion that Class 4 heat-producing lasers are a safe treatment for onychomycosis is either misinformed or simply not being forthcoming with you. Why take such a risk with patients and clients? Especially since treatment is likely to only be marginally successful anyway? The Lunula dual-diode, fungus nail machine is superior in every quantifiable way to hot laser treatments. The cold laser treatment produces no toxic plume, won’t damage tissue and sets the stage for optimal tissue regeneration in the least amount of time possible. Subjecting patients, spa clients, your staff and yourself to potential pulmonary ingestion of active infectious agents and/or poisonous chemicals is an unacceptable risk just to clear a fungal infection from the nails. With the Lunula Laser dual-diode cold laser treatment that risk is effectively eliminated.
Onychomycosis may result from any of several different causative pathogens including dermatophytes and candida – commonly known as yeasts. Dermatophytes are by far the most common causative fungi in the more temperate climates of the West, while candida is ascendant in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world where hot weather and high humidity create a perfect environment for its growth. A common concern among patients is whether onychomycosis resulting from different causative pathogens responds differently to cold laser treatment and the answer is “no”. There is currently no evidence to suggest that onychomycosis resulting from candida responds any differently to Lunula Laser fungus nail laser machine treatment than onychomycosis resulting from dermatophytes.
Until now Lunula Laser nail fungus laser treatment machine protocols have called for 2 treatments spread out over a period of 2 to 3 months. Recent evidence however suggests that undergoing a treatment per week for 4 weeks may in fact produce a more satisfying and significant result. Close observation and follow up with Lunula Laser patients confirms that this dual-diode, cold laser treatment improves microcirculation in the form of increased blood flow to the toe. The same observations however indicate that this beneficial effect is fairly short lived. Therefore, in order to optimize the regenerative benefits of this phenomenon 1 treatment per week for 4 weeks now looks as though it will be the standard treatment protocol going forward. By administering the treatment thus improved circulation becomes a constant and this promotes enhanced nail growth as well as faster regeneration of surrounding tissue. This is yet one more way by which the Lunula Laser fungus nail machine is demonstrating its superior effectiveness over other laser, as well as non-laser, treatment protocols.
It’s an unfortunate fact that, regardless of the effectiveness of a given treatment regime, anyone who has suffered from onychomycosis will be susceptible to re-infection at a later date. However, a comprehensive post-treatment regime has been developed that should allow patients to more effectively ward off subsequent re-infections. The particulars of this post treatment regime typically include the following:
Patients are advised to disinfect their shower before using it after they have undergone Lunula Laser fungus nail machine There are a number of commercially available disinfectants that will do the job.
The patient’s closed toe shoes are all sanitized. Typically by subjecting them to a gas sterilization device.
Patients are advised to spray the inside of their shoes with an anti-fungal spray every time they put them on and after they take them off. This insures the shoes will remain fungus free and not be a source for re-infection.
Patients are also advised to be careful in choosing a salon for a pedicure. Some salons simply don’t hold up their end of the bargain when it comes to sanitizing their equipment. Be sure to go to a reputable salon, even if it costs a bit more.
Patients are also instructed to be sure they scrub their toes thoroughly every time they shower.
Patients are reminded that fungus was here long before humans and will be here long after we are gone. It is everywhere. As such there is no way to completely eliminate the risk of re-infection. That said however, most re-infections occur simply because inadequate steps were taken to prevent it. By following the above suggestions most re-infections can be prevented.
Note: Before administering treatment via the Lunula Laser nail fungus laser treatment machine patients should be asked if their spouse or significant other is also suffering from onychomycosis. If they are the patient should be informed that the most effective way forward is to treat both persons at the same time and it is strongly recommended that treatment be postponed until simultaneous treatment can occur.
The Lunula Laser dual-diode fungus nail machine is quickly gaining in popularity and can be found in an increasing number of spas and clinics throughout North America. It is approved for use by Health Canada and is the first and only laser device cleared by the US FDA for treatment of onychomycosis. As word spreads of this leap forward in treatment widespread acceptance is only a matter of time. And that is great news for the millions who have suffered silently the indignities of this intractable condition and for those tasked with treating them.
If you have been looking for a safe, effective, pain-free treatment for onychomycosis to offer your patients or spa clients your search is over. The Lunula Laser nail fungus laser treatment machine is here to answer the call.