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How are lasers used to treat fingernail fungus?

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Lasers treat fingernail fungus by penetrating through the hard nail and allegedly killing the fingernail fungus beneath it. The appeal of lasers is that they can accurately heat and kill fungi without harming neighboring tissue, though its actual effectiveness has been refuted by certain studies, notes the New York Times.

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The laser is directed through the nail itself and is able to precisely target the fungus and heat and kill it, allowing for a noninvasive, fast and painless solution to a fungal problem, claims the Laser Fingernail Fungus Treatment NYC. The energy from the laser harmlessly passes through the nail and does not damage the tissue around the fungus. Other than a slight sensation of heat, the treatment center claims that there are few side effects and no pain during the procedure itself, and the treatment takes less than 20 minutes with no recovery time.

Laser treatment is an alternative to taking an oral drug. However, a New York Times blog post in 2014 states that a study reported in The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that the laser treatment was ineffective, even after multiple sessions. Nevertheless, the treatment has been tested in laboratories and received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and has become a fairly common procedure due to its simplicity and ease, notes the New York Times.

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