Ways to get better looking feet this summer

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

By: Ruth Ann Cooper DPM 

(3TV/CBS 5)-- Are you embarrassed by thick, discolored toenails?

The problem is more common than you may realize.

Toenails that have white, yellow or brown spots or those that have become thick, misshapen or crumbly are likely infected by a highly contagious microscopic fungus.

Until recently, these infections have been especially difficult to treat. Now the FDA has approved the only non-thermal, risk-free laser treatment, called LunulaLaser.

What is toe fungus? 

It is estimated 10 to 13 percent of us will get a toenail fungus infection, called Onychomycosis.

The fungi thrive in warm, damp environments. Some people are exposed to wearing shoes all the time which may trap moisture against their toes. Once that fungus gets under the nail, it’s trapped! Blood flow can’t get to it.

Left untreated, the nail may become thicker and even more discolored.

What are the concerns of over the counter products? 

Topical products do not work well and need to be applied daily for as long as a year. Oral antifungal drugs may have a higher success rate, but they can be so toxic to the liver that your doctor may order blood tests throughout treatment.

Why are cold laser treatments more effective? 

LunulaLaser goes right to the area of the problem, improving oxygenation and blood flow, and boosting immune function. It treats the condition rather than the symptom. Unlike other lasers, LunulaLaser works without heat. That’s important.

That means it won’t cause the pain or damage to the nail or surrounding skin associated with other laser therapies. And, it has a greater anti-microbial/antifungal effect.

The FDA cleared LunalaLaser for toenail fungus treatment after reviewing data from three clinical trials.

Data show that 89 percent of patients respond to treatment, and see clear, healthy nail growth after just three months. 

This low-level, touchless laser treatment takes just 12 minutes per foot and can be done right in the podiatrist’s office. There’s no downtime. It typically takes just six LunulaLaser treatments for most patients to get results. 

How can we keep our toe’s looking great? 
  • Once you’ve got your toenails healthy again, here are some tips for helping them stay looking their best.  
  • Trim your nails and file down any thickened areas.
  • Be sure to disinfect nail clippers after each use. 
  • Wear sweat-absorbing socks, and shoes that breathe. If necessary, change your socks during the day.  
  • Take precautions whenever you are in warm, damp areas.
  • Wear sandals in locker rooms and communal shower areas, for example.  
  • If you just can’t give up pedicures, confirm that your salon sterilizes its tools after each customer.

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