One year checkup: Toenail fungus disappears for most patients using laser tool

1322398121 90 One year checkup: Toenail fungus disappears for most patients using laser toolAmanda Loman | the Grand Rapids PressZeroing in on the issue: Dr. Charles Solon uses a laser to treat fungus on a patient’s toenail. the podiatrist has seen good results with the laser, and most of the nails treated remain fungus-free.

Health stories are people stories. For the past year, the Grand Rapids Press Health section has addressed a wide range of health issues, and most were seen through the lens of individuals who were directly affected. the stories captured those people’s lives at one moment in time, as they grappled with medical conditions and worked toward solutions. Now, we return to a few of those stories to learn what has happened since then.

A podiatrist who began offering laser treatments for nail fungus eight months ago has had good results so far: most of the nails treated are fungus-free.

However, the results are mixed for the woman whose toenails were featured in a March 6 story in the Health section.

Dr. Charles Solon, a Grand Rapids podiatrist, began treating patients’ nail fungus with a Q Clear laser as an alternative to oral and topical medications. the treatments cost $200 to $925, depending on how many nails are treated.

In eight months, Solon’s office, Croswell Podiatry, has treated 162 people, with a total of 648 nails. So far, the cure rate is 87 percent, he said. in cases where the fungus was still present at the six-month check-up, the nails were treated a second time at no charge.

Because nails take six to 12 months to regrow, it is too early to tell whether the second treatment fixed the problem.

Karen, the woman whose feet were photographed for the Press story, is one of the patients who required a second round with the laser. She did not use her real name in the story.

“She did have initial clearing, but the fungus did return in several toes that were initially treated,” Solon said.

Karen is one of two patients who had a less common, powdery white fungal infection, and the infection returned in both patients, Solon said.

At least one other Grand Rapids practice now is offering the laser treatments for nail fungus: Foot & Ankle Specialists of West Michigan.

Solon said he has not seen any side effects or complications from the treatment.

“At this point in time, I am very pleased with our results,” he said.

E-mail Sue Thoms: sthoms@grpress.com

One year checkup: Toenail fungus disappears for most patients using laser tool

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