Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Does laser treatment really work for foot fungus?"

ZocdocAnswersDoes laser treatment really work for foot fungus?


I have heard about this - is it true?


The answer to your question depends largely on what type of foot fungus you are referring to. If this is a skin fungal infection, or the so-called athletes foot, then there are much better treatments out there. Topical anti-fungal medications that can be purchased over the counter or by prescription from your doctor are usually the treatment of choice. An example of such a medication is miconazole or nystatin based creams. If what you have is a fungal toe nail infection AKA onychomyocsis. This is a much more difficult infection to treat. Newer laser options are out there, though I usually don't recommend them until we have tried medical therapy. This is mostly because of cost (laser treatments are expensive). The laser treatment have a moderately good success rate. I suggest that you schedule an appointment to see your primary care physician. He or she can examine your feet and determine what type of fungus you have. If it is a simple athletes foot, then you can get a script for a cream. If what you have is a toenail fungus infection, then you and your doctor can discuss the options available for treatment. Likely your doctor will recommend less invasive methods first such as topical anti-fungal nail paints, followed by oral medications such as terbinafine. You can also discuss the laser options out there and weight the benefits of these vs the risks.

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