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Do you have discolored thick toenails? Are you embarrassed to show your nails in public? If so, then Mercado Foot & Ankle Center can help. One of the first in the area to use laser therapy to treat fungal discolored nails, Dr. Mercado successfully treats Onychomycosis painlessly with this new technology.

Before the advent of laser treatment, the only products available to treat this condition were strong medications that can cause liver damage and largely ineffective liquids and creams. The laser therapy is highly effective treating the fungus at the source.

What to expect

What to expect

While lasers may seem scary to some, they use safe light energy and are used daily for cosmetic procedures. Now that same state-of-the-art technology can be used to treat toe nail fungus. This safe and painless laser treatment irradiates the fungus and kills it without any damage to surrounding skin.

You can visit our office for a consultation to determine if you are a candidate for laser treatment. The laser treatment takes about 20 minutes to treat both feet. As each toe is treated by the laser, you will feel a mild, warming sensation. Many times only one treatment is necessary.

The laser treatment potentially consists of up to 3 sessions beginning at day 1, 6 weeks and 12 weeks if necessary. Shoes and nail polish can be worn immediately after treatment. We will discuss post treatment care to avoid fungal re-infection.

Significant improvement can be seen over one year, but many times you will notice results within 3-6 months, depending on how quickly your toenails grow. New, clear growth begins to appear at the bottom portion of your nail as the diseased portion of your nail grows out.

Frequently asked questions

Is the laser treatment painful?
There is no need for anesthesia or painkillers. There might be a slight sensation of heat, but that subsides quickly. The laser light passes through the toenail without damaging the surrounding skin.

Does this laser treatment work?
Clinical studies show that over 80% of treated patients how significant improvement. In most cases the nail fungus pathogen is completely eliminated.

What is nail fungus?
A fungus is an organism that lives in warm moist areas. Fungus of the toenails is a common problem that can affect people of all ages. Toenail fungus often begins as an infection in the skin called Tinea Pedis. Over time, it grows underneath the nail and causes changes to its appearance.

Do I have to take any drugs?
No drugs or topical ointments are required, although these may be prescribed depending on your situation and diagnosis.

Is this covered by my insurance?
This procedure is considered aesthetic and therefore health insurance does not provide coverage. You can ask your employer if you can use your Health Savings account for payment.

What is the cost for laser treatment?
One toe $200
Two toes $300
Each additional toe $ 50
How do I pay for this service?
We accept cash, checks and all major credit cards
Call today for a consultation appointment at an office convenient to you.
Naperville 630.922.7722
Carol Stream 630.690.3338
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Many people don't realize they have a fungal nail problem and, therefore, don't seek treatment. Yet, fungal toenail infections are a common foot health problem and can persist for years without ever causing pain. The disease, characterized by a change in a toenail's color, is often considered nothing more than a mere blemish. Left untreated, however, it can present serious problems.

Also referred to as onychomycosis, fungal nails are infections underneath the surface of the nail, which may also penetrate the nail. Fungal nail infections are often accompanied by a secondary bacterial and/or yeast infection in or about the nail plate, which ultimately can lead to difficulty and pain when walking or running. Symptoms may include discoloration, brittleness, loosening, thickening, or crumbling of the nail.

A group of fungi, called dermophytes, easily attack the nail and thrive on keratin, the nail's protein substance. In some cases, when these tiny organisms take hold, the nail may become thicker, yellowish-brown, or darker in color, and foul smelling. Debris may collect beneath the nail plate, white marks frequently appear on the nail plate, and the infection is capable of spreading to other toenails, the skin, or even the fingernails.

Nail bed injury may make the nail more susceptible to all types of infection, including fungal infection. Those who suffer chronic diseases, such as diabetes, circulatory problems, or immune-deficiency conditions, are especially prone to fungal nails. Other contributory factors may be a history of Athlete's Foot or excessive perspiration.

You can prevent fungal nail infections by taking these simple precautions:

  • Exercise proper hygiene and regularly inspect your feet and toes.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry.
  • Wear shower shoes in public facilities whenever possible.
  • Clip nails straight across so that the nail does not extend beyond the tip of the toe.
  • Use a quality foot powder (talcum, not cornstarch) in conjunction with shoes that fit well and are made of materials that breathe.
  • Avoid wearing excessively tight hosiery, which promotes moisture. Socks made of synthetic fiber tend to "wick" away moisture faster than cotton or wool socks, especially for those with more active lifestyles.
  • Disinfect home pedicure tools and don't apply polish to nails suspected of infection.

Depending on the type of infection you have, over-the-counter liquid antifungal agents may not prevent a fungal infection from recurring. A topical or oral medication may need to be prescribed, and the diseased nail matter and debris removed, a process called debridement. Note: Please consult your physician before taking any medications.

In severe cases, surgical treatment may be required to remove the infected nail. Permanent removal of a chronically painful nail, which has not responded to any other treatment, permits the fungal infection to be cured and prevents the return of a deformed nail.