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Laser therapy for fungal nails, a radiant solution?

A fungal nail infection takes a long time to treat. The big toenail, in particular, may require up to one year to fully recover from such an infection. There's a wide range of products and medications available, so it's best to consult your pedicurist, general practitioner, dermatologist, or pharmacist to determine which product may be suitable for you. Have you heard about UV, laser, or infrared treatment for this issue? If so, I'd be happy to provide you with the following information.

teennagel waarbij de helft schimmel is en de helft gezond
Nail fungus, before and after treatment

If we are to believe the advertisements, a 'laser' treatment (more information about which type of laser is often lacking, but it could be UV or infrared) would be a safe and effective solution for foot fungal nail infections. By firing short pulses of the laser rapidly one after another, the fungus is heated and destroyed. According to many websites promoting their device, the effectiveness of this technique in treating toenail fungus is "clinically proven," there are no side effects, the treatment is painless, and only one session is required. The price is around 40 to 50 euros per nail, but some websites recommend treating all toenails to reduce the chance of reinfection.

Since you also need to treat the nail at home with an antifungal and remove as much affected nail material as possible, treat socks and shoes, etc., the treatment with radiation is negligible; It is still not proven that radiation alone has a positive effect on the healing of the infection because other influences occur simultaneously. Therefore, Testaankoop, a Belgian consumer organization, known for their independent product testing and consumer advocacy efforts, asked these companies to remove the information that the treatment is clinically proven from their website because this is not true. They also requested that the duration of use and side effects be placed on the website and brochures so that consumers will be well informed. Until 2020, these demands had not been met.

To determine the appropriate dosage and intensity of UV radiation, for example, to cure a fungal nail infection, research is still being conducted and planned.

Because UV radiation still involves too many unknown factors, dermatologists do not offer this technique. So think twice before booking this treatment at a beauty or pedicure salon.

Conclusion: laser treatment is very expensive, involves medication, is based on unfounded claims, and is not evidence-based. If you've been suffering from a fungal nail infection for years, have already visited a pedicurist but haven't seen improvement despite daily care, make an appointment with a dermatologist to discuss which products may help you.

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