Monday, August 24, 2009
Medical Reports: Fight the Fungus
If you've ever had a fungal infection in your nails, you know it's hard to get rid of. Now there's a laser that's zapping the infection in just one shot. Tonight Seven's Diana Diaz shows us a promising new treatment to Fight the Fungus.
WSVN -- Flip flops and sandals are part of our daily uniform here in South Florida, but not even the hottest summer day could force Christine Cruz to show off her feet.
Christine Cruz: "It was very embarrassing you didn't want anyone to see your feet or anything like that, so I always wore closed shoes."
She's been hiding a secret for four years. Now, a stubborn fungus that's infected her big toe.
Christine Cruz: "I tried topical solutions. I tried even home remedies that people told me about. Once I got it, I couldn't get rid of it."
In the past, there hasn't been a really good cure for fungal nails. Topical solutions don't always work and oral medications carry a risk of side effects.
Dr. Eric Weinstein: "For years and years I would tell my patients we can put a man on the moon, but we can't cure fungal nails."
Now, podiatrist Eric Weinstein is excited about a brand new device called the Pinpointe Foot Laser. He's the first in South Florida to get the laser, which zaps fungus in just one treatment.
Dr. Eric Weinstein: "The laser basically kills the fungal debris which sits underneath and within the nail."
The laser shines through your nail and vaporizes the fungus. Doctors work in a grid pattern going back and forth with the laser over every single nail, wven the healthy ones.
Dr. Eric Weinstein: "We do all ten toes because sometimes even if there is just one or two bad toes, there's fungal debris hidden under the nails."
The procedure take about 30 minutes and is pain-free.
Christine Cruz: "It just feels like a little pinch."
Patients will have to spray an anti-fungal treatment on their feet and shoes to prevent reinfection, and the nail should grow back healthy in eight to 12 months.
Dr. Eric Weinstein: "It's got a proven success rate of about 88 percent. On the rare occasion where we don't see enough success we can do a second treatment."
As for Christine, she can't wait to show off her toes again.
Christine Cruz: "Just being able to wear sandals with a nice pedicure and have your feet look nice just makes you feel good."
Diana Diaz: "Insurance doesn't cover the treatment and it does not come cheap running about $1,000."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Eric Weinstein, DPM
1360 Coral Ridge Drive
Coral Springs, FL 33071