FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR COLD LASER FUNGAL NAIL THERAPY
Please read our FAQ’s below to find out more about our cold laser treatment for fungal nail infections. If your question is not answered here, please call us on 07 4942 5016 and our friendly team are ready to answer your queries.
1. How much does it cost to have the cold laser treatment for fungal toenails?
At our initial consultation, we will assess your nail and see if you will benefit from this treatment. At this appointment, we will need to conduct an instant lab test to determine if the nail has a fungal nail infection. If there is no fungal infection present, then the cold laser treatment will not help! We only use this treatment on patients with confirmed fungal infection.
If we can confirm a fungal infection is present, then cold laser may be an appropriate treatment for you. We will run through the treatment process and give you a guide as to how many treatments you will need. The number of sessions needed will depend on the type of infection, and the severity of infection.
Treatment can vary between 2 to 8 sessions, depending on the above factors. Each session is $150 (or $141 for concession), and they are weekly appointments. Private health funds will pay rebates on both the consultation (014) and the laser treatment (145).
2. What should I bring to my first appointment?
Please come 15 minutes early so we can do your initial paperwork. It is also a good idea to bring a pair of shoes that you commonly wear (e.g. work boots, joggers) which we can treat with our UV steriliser while you are having your laser treatment. We also advise bringing a brand new pair of socks to your first appointment, so as to not reinfect your nails immediately.
We also ask that you remove all nail polish before your initial consultation, and to not reapply nail polish until the series of treatments are complete, as the treatment will not work while there is nail polish on the nail. It is advisable to throw out all current nail polish, as it will likely be infected with fungal spores.
3. How likely is cold laser to work to fix my fungal toenail?
Our patients that follow the full course of treatments, and follow all the reinfection and hygiene directions, have success rates between 80% to 90%. We will only offer this treatment option if we can confirm a fungal infection is present, and if we believe that you as a patient are likely to follow the necessary additional treatment requirements (daily terbinafine spray, reinfection prevention, and footwear hygiene).
To help achieve the best results, we will provide you with the necessary starter kit, however you will need to purchase various refills of these products throughout the course of the treatment.
We generally find that poor results are a result of not following the necessary directions.
4. Can the toenail get another fungal infection at a later date?
Yes. The fungal spores that cause fungal nail infections are common, and easily transmitted. It is a good idea to treat all household members at the same time if they also have fungal nail infections.
Once your infection has cleared, we give you advice to prevent reinfection. If you ever think you’re getting a reoccurance of nail infection, be sure to come in for another appointment with your podiatrist for a review.
5. What does the cold laser feel like?
There is no heat or pain associated with the cold laser treatment. We have found some patients comment on mild tingling sensations, however nothing at all that is painful or uncomfortable.
6. Does the laser hurt?
No. No pain at all. It produces no heat at all. The laser has a photochemical effect on the nail fungus and does not use heat to kill the fungus.
7. Are there any side effects of cold laser?
No. Extensive studies have shown no known undesirable side effects of cold laser.
8. Can you guarantee that cold laser will work for me? I’ve tried all or many of the other treatments with no results.
This is a common question we get asked. It can be frustrating to try and fix an issues and not getting any improvement. Spending money on oral medications and topical creams or lacquers for a long time is a common experience for our patients.
It is most helpful to compare the published findings of the various types of treatments for fungal toenail infections. Topical treatments (ointments, creams, and paints) applied to the nail have sucesses between 5.5% to 8.5%. Oral medications (tablets) have success rates between 14% to 50%, along with high reoccurance rates (up to 53%). Studies using Lunula Cold Laser have shown success rates of between 83% to 97% after 4 or more treatments.
We cannot promise 100% success rates due to the risks of reinfection and various other individual variations, we know that this treatment option is the most effective and most advanced treatment option for treating fungal toenail infections.
9. What should I do if I see a fungal infection coming back on my nail?
If the nail fungus looks like it’s reoccuring, please give us a call and book to see one of our podiatrists for a review. We can give you customised advice based on your individual case.
10. Should my family members get treated too?
It is a good idea to have other household member checked, as infections can very easily spread from person to person. If a family member has similar symptoms or appearance in their toenails, we advice having them come in for an assessment.
11. How did I get the fungal nail infection?
Toenail fungus spreads via microscopic spores. These spores rest on surfaces, in shoes, and can settle on skin and nails easily. If the conditions are favourable, the fungus grows and infects and nails or skin.
Fungus loves warm, dark and moist environments. Feet and toenails are very susceptable to infection. Infections are commonly shared in showers.
12. How long is the cold laser appointment?
Our first assessment appointment takes 30 minutes and we will get the history of the infection, take the nail sample lab test and get the result within 5 minutes. If the nail is infected with a fungal culture and you want to proceed with the cold laser therapy, we will then prepare the nail by debriding the affected nail and rebook you for your first laser session, and all your subsequent laser sessions. We will give you the necessary preparatory advice and education to make sure you understand the things you will need to do to ensure a good result.
Subsequent appointments to complete your laser treatment will last between 15 to 25 minutes.
We review your progress as necessary, usually at 3, 6 and 12 months.
13. Do i need to have time off work or not participate in any activities?
No, there’s no need to avoid any activities. Just go straight back out at at it!
14. Should I keep wearing the same shoes and socks?
We can offer to sterilise your footwear with UV light while your laser session is in progress. It is advisable to wear brand new shoes after your laser appointments.
All your existing socks need to be washed on high heat with anti fungal wash. We stock this and can sell you a bottle to take home.
15. What should I be doing at home to make help prevent reoccurance?
We will give you all the necessary information to enable you to prevent reinfection at home. The most important steps are sanitising footwear, socks and surfaces such as showers.
16. What else needs to happen other than the cold laser sessions?
At your assessment, you podiatrist will debrided the nail (grind back the infected, thick nail) and prepare it to ensure the laser treatments are as effective as possible at killing the fungus and spores.
We have our patients spray their nails once a day with topical terbinafine, to help kill any transient fungal spores, and to prevent reoccurance during the treatment phase.
17. Why does the laser treat all the nails on the foot, even if only some are affected?
Fungal spores are microscopic and easily spread from nails to skin, and to other nails. The benefit of the Lunula Cold Laser treatment is it destroys all fungus present in all the surrounding skin and nails. This helps to prevent reinfection. There is no extra cost for treatment for more than one nail.
18. Will I need anaesthetic for the treatment?
No, the treatment produces to heat or pain.
19. Is there private health rebates for Cold Laser Treatment for fungal nails?
Yes, private health will cover both the consultation 014 and the laser therapy 145. We will discuss this with you at your initial assessment appointment.
20. What does take home starter pack contain?
Each pack contains a hygiene and reinfection prevention guide, give give you advice on how to get the best results, and avoid reinfection. The pack also contains an antifungal topical spray, which you will need to use daily to help prevent fungal spores from reinfecting your toenail/s. We will advise you on the best application for this. You can also purchase antifungal clothes wash to wash your socks.
21. Is there anyone that can't be treated with Cold Laser?
There are no studies testing the use of Low level laser for patients that are pregnant. It is not because there are any known effects on pregnant women, however we advise that we would prefer to wait until after pregnancy before beginning therapy.