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Is the cost of nail fungus laser treatment worth it?

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Quick Answer

Q-Clear Q-Switch laser treatment can effectively treat toenail infections and eliminate nail discoloration, according to Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists. Typically, only one treatment is necessary, although severe infections may require multiple treatments. It takes up to 12 months to see full results. As of 2015, Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists charges $195 to treat two fungus toenails and $495 to treat more than two toenails. As laser toenail treatment is a cosmetic procedure, it isn't covered by health insurance.

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Although laser treatments to treat toenail fungus are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, there is limited evidence demonstrating their effectiveness as of 2014, reports The New York Times. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham showed that laser treatments did not effectively treat toenail fungal infections, even after multiple treatments.

In a 2014 interview with the New York Times, Dr. Andrea Bershow of the Minneapolis VA Health Care System does not recommend laser treatments for nail fungal infections because they cost a lot of money and may or may not work. Instead, she recommends treating toenail fungus with Lamisil, an oral prescription medication that is effective and generally safe. In some cases, patients have their toenails removed entirely.

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