Do Lasers Work on Toenail Fungus?

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Do lasers work on toenail fungus? When suffering from toenail fungus, laser therapy is the most effective way. Once the laser removes the fungus, it’s up to you to continuously care for your feet. Through laser removal and proper aftercare, you can remove the fungus long-term. 

Throughout this article, we’ll give you a clear idea of how toenail fungus can be avoided. We’ll give you an idea of how the laser removal operation works, so you’re prepared when you undergo it. That way, you’ll get rid of your fungus and keep it from returning. 


Do Lasers Work on Toenail Fungus? 

Lasers are effective at killing toenail fungus. Multiple types of lasers can work to solve this issue. However, it can take approximately 12-18 months of consistent treatments for the fungus to be fully removed. 

While lasers do work on toenail fungus, you have to make sure that you’re prepared. 

Speak to a podiatry specialist about your current situation to see if they can assist you. That way, you can have your toenails surgically processed with the help of a laser. 

Does Lasers Work on Toenail Fungus – Explained

To explain, lasers are devices that create heat through pulses of energy. For instance, when it’s used for onychomycosis, the laser is pointed to target the fungus within the affected person’s leg. 

You can use YAG (laser yttrium-aluminum-garnet) or CO2 Lasers for this type of toenail fungus treatment. The lasers can have different wavelengths ( 1320  nm, 930 nm, or 870 nm) that affect the localized temperature. 

After the laser is pointed to the targeted area, the fungus decomposes. Specifically, the infected tissue is destroyed and removed over time. The laser heat also has a sterilizing effect, preventing new fungi from growing. 


The laser toenail fungus removal tool won’t exert too much energy on the fungus if used correctly. Because of this, repeated treatments are needed to ensure the fungi are completely removed. 

After your first treatment session, the fungus growth will be reduced. But since the fungal injection can survive the treatment, chances are you will likely need to go to multiple sessions to fully remove toenail fungus. 

Can You Diagnose Toenail Fungus?

It can be difficult to differentiate toenail fungus from other nail conditions. Often it just looks like white spots under the nail. But it can spread, including internally.

If it’s hard to tell what’s going on with your nail, your doctor will take a sample of your nail and test it. A special dye is used to examine fungal spores via a microscope. 

To diagnose what is the cause of the infection, a fungal culture will be taken from the sample.

On average, this can take about 3 weeks. You have to keep your feet protected from further fungi outbreaks during this time. 

What Does a Laser Toenail Fungus Procedure Look Like?

After discovering you have toenail fungus, you can decide whether to try a home remedy or have it treated professionally. Home remedies are hit or miss, and there’s a lot of questionable stuff out there.

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Prescription treatments have a much higher chance of working, but there can be interactions with other medicines, etc.

That’s where laser treatments come into play. Laser treatments are non-pharmaceutical and can be highly effective.

Laser Fungus Treatments

Before getting the fungus removed via laser, you’ll go through a consultation process with your podiatry specialist. They will find the best approach for you and answer all of your questions. 

For added comfort, your doctor can smooth down the toenails. Doing so will make you happier with the appearance of your toes. 

The laser treatment is painless and quick. You’ll be able to go back to work without any downtime. However, the laser doesn’t kill the fungus altogether. You’ll likely need multiple treatments to get it all, and you’ll have to go back to the podiatry specialist to repeat the process. 

You’ll be left wondering if anything has happened, and it has.

A few months after the operation, you’ll notice a new stretch of clean toenail appearing from the bottom.

This is normal and will require patience to grow out fully. 

To prevent the chances of reinfection, make sure you provide proper aftercare. If not, chances are you’ll see the fungus reappear. 

Why Toenail Fungus Is Dangerous 

Without treatment, toenail fungus can grow in severity over time, but it doesn’t always get worse. Many millions of people deal with toenail fungus, and it is particularly common in older people.

If you can treat it, though, it’s best to get rid of it.

This is an insidious problem, meaning that you’ll deal with issues with your nail and the appearance of the fungus. 

Leaving the toenail fungus untreated leaves you open to multiple problems. For instance, your toenail can become infected and separate from the nail bed. Pain and itching are other side effects; if you don’t treat them, you’ll find it difficult to walk in shoes. 

If you have a compromised immune system, you must immediately treat the toenail fungus. Even a minor infection can lead to bacterial skin infections like cellulitis

Another reason is that untreated fungal infections can lead to other areas of your foot. In severe cases, you’ll have to surgically remove your nail to get rid of the fungus. 

Toenail Fungus Symptoms

You can spot toenail fungus by checking the color of your feet. Brownish, white, or yellow discoloration of the nails is a clear sign of toenail fungus. Over time, the nails become brittle, change shape, and get thicker. 

On some occasions, the fungus can hurt as well. The infected nail will detach from the nail bed, causing further pain. Usually, the largest toenail is affected the most. For most people, the toenail will grow on the side of the front of the nail. 

It’s rare to see a toenail infection form at the nail base. Toenail fungus tends to occur in people with weak immune systems or serious illnesses. Sometimes it can occur after an organ transplant because the doctor prescribes immune system suppressants. 

The toenail infection can sometimes create white patches to appear on the nail’s surface. They’ll appear as dots but also will spread out. 

How To Prevent Toenail Fungus

Regularly Disinfect Your Common Areas

Toenail fungus can be contagious, and can be transmitted from athlete’s foot. Regularly disinfect common areas so that you don’t accidentally spread the fungus.

Start by scrubbing your shower and use bleach-based cleaners to cleanse it fully. Use an antibacterial spray for your shoes and wash out your socks with bleach and hot water to kill fungi. 

Make sure to wash your feet daily and dry them off afterward. You’ll want to make sure that the tight areas that can get trapped by moisture are also dried off.

Change Your Shoes

Alternating your shoes is a great way to reduce toenail fungus. If you wear the same shoes multiple days in a row, you’ll increase the chances of getting a toenail infection. 

Don’t wear the same shoes two days in a row to be safe. Invest in a few pairs of shoes and rotate them throughout the week. And place your shoes out in the air where they can dry up quickly. 

Anti Fungal Powder

You should use antifungal powder to prevent fungi from reappearing. Sprinkle the antifungal powder on your socks, so the spores don’t grow on your feet. This works better in hotter climates where you’re more likely to sweat. 

Trim Your Toenails

Trimming your toenails will stop ingrown toenails from growing. Keep the toenails short. Short toenails reduce the chance of breaking or snagging your toenails.

But be sure to disinfect your toenail clippers regularly! This is critical, and will prevent you from spreading toenail fungus.

This is important because once the toenails are damaged, they are more likely to become infected. 

Wear Proper Shoes

Fungus likes to grow in dark, warm, and moist areas. This means that if you have sweaty feet, you’re more likely to get exposed to the fungus. Wear shoes that give your feet air to breathe. 

In addition, you can wear moisture-wicking socks. Doing so will prevent the fungus from regrowing your skin. Take advantage of drier, warmer weather by wearing sandals as much as possible during warmer climates. 


To conclude, lasers are an effective tool for removing toenail fungus. Through repeated laser appointments, you’ll be able to remove the toenail fully. Remember to stay patient throughout the process to ensure that your toenails remain protected over the long term. 

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).