No matter how you mask a fungal infection, you can't hide from it.
"Foot fungus infections are very common, a lot of this has to do with minor nail trauma. For example, runners or athletes they will injure the nail and they will develop an infection that way, patients that have compromised immune systems, diabetics. A lot of this starts with athletes foot infections of the skin. That infects the toe nails as well," said Dr. Lawrence Karlock with Austintown Podiatry Associates.
If left untreated, Dr.Karlock says toe nail funguses can cause your nails to fall off, other toes can become infected and some nails can become a quarter to a half inch thick. Patients have three options when it comes to treating the infection...topical medications, oral medications and lasers, like the Gensisplus laser, which was recently approved by the FDA.
"I really did not want to go with the medication because of the possible implications to the liver. So, this was a way I could come in, do it painlessly at a lunch break or a very short amount of time, get in and get out and then not have the problem to worry about any more," said patient Kathy Zook.
The laser doesn't work for all patients. However, Dr. Karlock says it does have a 60% success rate and one treatment is usually all that's needed. If you're interested in learning more, the machine is brought to his office from Columbus every other month. You can visit the office's website at http://www.ohiofootdocs.com/index.html.