Breakthroughs in treatment of ugly toenail fungus

Before and after toenail fungus treatment - Courtesy photo
Before and after toenail fungus treatment
— image credit: Courtesy photo

By Dr. Emily Sabbagh, Federal Way Laser Surgeons

We have all seen someone with thick ugly toenails.

Perhaps you or your loved one suffers from onychomycosis, or toenail fungus. In fact, one out of nine people has some toenail fungus, which until recently has been very hard to eliminate.

Toenail fungus begins with subtle signs and symptoms involving distortions in the shape of the toenail or crumbling toenails. The toenails may become thickened and begin to have signs of yellow or white spots. Sometimes the toenails may hurt and have bad smelling debris built up under the nails.

Finally, if nothing is done to control the onychomycosis or toenail fungus, the nail can become separated and thickened.

Disfigurement can lead to more serious conditions. People with toenail fungus often spread it to their fingernails buy picking their feet.

Toenail fungus is quite common. Our feet are often confined to hot sweaty shoes and socks, which makes for a perfect breeding ground for the nail fungus.

Fungus does not need sunlight to thrive. The shoes and toes are the perfect combination for the fungal overgrowth. Once it enters around the toenails or fingernails, the fungus has an endless supply of nourishment in the form of the nail beds and cuticle.

Toenail fungus loves the dark moist environment of the feet. The circulation around the toes is not as good as other parts of the body.

When oral medication is taken to combat the fungus, the diminished circulation cannot bring the medicine effectively to the infected toenails. This is one reason that the toenail fungus is so hard to control with daily oral medicine as well as topical medicine. Additionally, certain medicines used to treat toenail fungus have adverse side effects that can effect the liver. This can be a problem for individuals suffering from other medical conditions such as diabetes, which involves liver function.

The Pinpointe Laser is an FDA-approved laser to treat toenail fungus. The infected toenails become black or brown because that is the color of the fungus. The Pinpointe Laser works by targeting the pigmented fungus. The Pinpointe Laser utilizes the correct wavelength and spot size to effectively target the pigment in the black nail fungus. The beauty of the Pinpointe Laser is that it performs laser toenail fungus removal in one 20-minute appointment without pain.

Home remedies on the Internet are abundant for toenail fungus but are ineffective. Mouthwash to treat toenail fungus does not work. Not all black toes should be treated with a laser.

There are certain dermatological conditions that can cause black toenails and this may not be treatable with a laser. Talk to your dermatologist or family doctor about the new Pinpointe Laser to determine if the Pinpointe Laser is right for you.


You can receive a complimentary consultation at Federal Way Laser Surgeons to determine if the Pinpointe Laser is the right treatment for you. Visit or email


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