Article by Barbara Morse Silva
A Providence treatment center has turned to state-of-the-art lasers to treat common toe fungus in patients.
Joanne Grant is having her second laser treatment at University Foot and Ankle Center. She's here because of onychomycosis, more commonly known as toenail fungus.
"I've had toenail fungus for the vast majority of my life. I've had it since probably around 9 or 10. I think I got it as a swim team member. So I got it on a pool deck," Grant said.
She ignored it for years until she heard about a new laser being used at the center. It's called Cutera GenesisPlus laser.
"One, it's important that it's FDA-cleared for toenail infections and toenail fungus. We also found that it's the highest energy laser for this application, which will mean that it's going to have the highest efficacy rates," said Dr. Ed Dos Remedios, of University Foot and Ankle Center.
Grant is in for treatment No. 2, and because the laser is high energy, it can get hot. She has to let the doctor know when it's time to move on to the next nail. He'll circle back again to ensure each nail is treated with the proper dose.
"Typically, the treatment is three treatments, and at three month intervals. So now we're starting to see if the patients we started treating way back in January and end of December, and we're starting to see what we call proximal clearing of nail," Remedios said.
Which means the nail that is growing out is clear of infection.
The first line of treatment is usually topicals, and there are oral medications. But Grant opted for the laser.
"I was really enticed about it because I just didn't want to take medication. I didn't want to have my liver checked," Grant said.
And so far, so good.
"I can see the new growth coming in. You can see the old diseased toenail growing out and the new growth coming in is really exciting," Grant said.
The Cutera is one of a few FDA-cleared lasers to treat toenail infections.