Frequently Asked Questions
Please find the answers to our FAQ’s about cold laser treatment for toenail fungus below. If your question isn’t on this page, please get in touch with us on 06 370 4057 and our friendly team will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
How much does the cold laser treatment cost?
Your initial consultation with us costs up to $119. At your appointment, we’ll assess the nail and the extent of the infection, as well as conduct a fungal lab test to confirm the presence of your nail fungus, at an additional small fee. The reason behind this is that approximately 50% of patients that come in to see us do not have a fungal nail infection, and their nail discolouration has a non-fungal cause. We don’t want you wasting time and money using laser if you don’t have a fungal infection, hence the initial consultation with lab test is always the first step.
Following the confirmation of your fungal infection, we’ll run you through the treatment process and give you an estimate of how many sessions you’ll require depending on the assessment of your nail and history. Because there are different types of fungal nail infections and different severities of infection, this is assessed on a case-by-case basis by our experienced laser technicians and podiatrists.
Each session costs $120 and includes the laser treatment of ALL of your toenails (both infected and non-infected to limit the risk of it spreading) as well as the sanitisation of your footwear using UV light to work on any fungus present in your shoes that may be contributing to your ongoing infection. Don’t worry – we’ll talk you through all of this at your initial appointment. Around half of our patients have just four sessions and get fantastic results. If you are needing more than this, we will explain this at your initial consultation.
What should I bring to my appointment?
Please bring anything that you’d typically bring to a doctors appointment, like your relevant medical history. Additionally, please bring 1-2 pairs of shoes that you commonly wear and will be wearing throughout the course of your treatment. These will be sterilised while you have your treatment to destroy any fungus lingering in your shoes. We can sterilise different pairs at every treatment session. We supply you with a complimentary pair of cotton or merino wool socks to wear after your appointment.
We do advise that you don’t wear any nail polish on your toes to the appointment so that your Podiatrist can confirm the diagnosis of a fungal nail infection.
Can you guarantee cold laser will work for me?
We can guarantee that if you attend all appointments, follow all of the hygiene and re-infection protocols and follow the instructions from your podiatrist, that there is a VERY high chance that you will achieve clear, healthy nails. On average in our clinic, we’re proud to have an 85% success rate when our instructions are precisely followed. Part of this success is because of our careful attention to detail from your first appointment to your last.
In our experience, the reason we find some patients do not achieve the results they’d hoped for with the laser is because of personal circumstances that result in not following the hygiene protocols to prevent reinfection from the patient’s home environment. As fungus spreads through spores which can still be present in your shoes, socks, and other surfaces (particularly moist, damp surfaces such as showers), you do need to follow instructions to minimise this risk. We find that most of our patients have no problem with this, and we make it easy with our home care pack you’ll receive containing all the information you need, as well as additional antifungal products.
If you fall into the 15% of patients that do not achieve the expected results, we will discuss your options with you which may include combining laser with specific topical antifungal agents.
Can I pick up another fungal infection once mine goes away?
Just like stubbing your toe twice, it is possible for you to pick up another fungal nail infection. But just like wearing sturdy shoes to avoid stubbing your toe that second time, we provide you with the right tools and information to reduce this risk to our best ability.
As leading experts in this field in New Zealand, we equip you with everything you need to minimise this risk as much as possible. Our Hygiene and Re-infection guides outline everything you need to know about fungal nail infections, where you’re at risk of picking them up and how to avoid them. If there is anything you’re uncertain of, our expert team will be happy to answer all of your questions and is just a phone call away.
What does the laser feel like?
Most people feel little or no sensation while their foot is under the light. Some patients have commented on a mild tingling sensation- this may be the result of the stimulating effect of the laser on your circulation.
Does the laser hurt?
Not at all. The laser is completely pain-free with no heat or discomfort. It uses photochemistry as opposed to heat to destroy the fungus, which has no side effects. Your foot is not secured or ‘locked in’ to the cold laser device, so you are able to move it in or out at any time if you feel nervous. You will see two blue/pink/purple laser beams move over your feet and that’s all!
What are the side effects of cold laser?
None. Cold laser has absolutely no known side effects and has been extensively studied. That is, aside from destroying nail fungus, boosting circulation and stimulating the immune response to clear the infection and reduce the risk of it coming back!
I’ve tried other treatments and they haven’t worked for me. How do I know the cold laser will work?
We guarantee that you are not alone in sharing this concern. We see patients daily that are frustrated after having tried countless costly ointments and creams from the pharmacy with no success. Others have tried prescribed oral medications with no success. It is for these exact reasons that we invested into the cold laser technology.
Unlike topical ointments that have a success rate of 5.5% to 8.5% and oral medications that have a success rate of 14% to 50% (with up to a 53% chance of re-infection), studies on our Lunula Cold Laser have repeatedly shown success rates of between 83% to 97% after 4 treatments. Our clinical experience backs this up, with over 4 out 5 patients extremely satisfied with their results and currently sporting clear, healthy nails.
While we can’t guarantee a 100% success rate due to re-infection risks that are out of our control (more so to do with your home environment and immune system), we can guarantee that this is currently the best and most advanced solution for fungal nails available on the market and is used extensively worldwide.
Our clinic is dedicated to fungal nail treatments and this is our area of expertise. This means we’ve got all of the tools and information to prepare you for your best chance of success.
What do I do if I see fungus re-appearing on my nails?
If you’re worried the fungal infection may have come back, give us a call and come in and see us. We’ll be able to assess the nail and determine if it is a fungal infection or whether it’s something else. Depending on the results, we’ll be able to advise you on the best action to take.
Should my family members get treated too?
The British Association of Dermatology recommends that family members be assessed and if infected, be treated at the same time to avoid reinfection. If you have a fungal nail infection, there’s a good chance that your family members do too because of the surfaces you share like floors and showers, where fungus often spreads.
If you bring them in, we can check their feet and nails for any signs that an infection has started to form, free of charge. Having everyone that is at risk treated reduces that.
How is nail fungus spread?
Fungus reproduces and spreads through microscopic spores. These spores spread to surrounding surfaces through the air and can land on the skin and nails. When conditions are suitable, the fungus will grow and infect the nails and/or skin.
Ideal conditions for fungal growth are dark, warm and moist environments. This is why closed in footwear and sweaty feet are ideal for fungus to grow and thrive. Showers are also a common area where fungus spreads and infects the feet.
How long is the laser appointment?
The first appointment takes 30 minutes. Here we get your history, assess your feet, conduct the lab test and get a diagnosis. Once your fungal infection is confirmed, we prepare the nail if required. We will then either start treatment, which takes an additional 24 minutes, or book you in for your first laser treatment in the next available time.
Subsequent appointments to complete your laser treatment will last between 15 to 25 minutes.
We review your progress at 3, 6 and 12 months. This takes 10 minutes and we examine the feet and track your progress with photography.
Do I need to take a day off work for the treatment?
Nope, there’s no recovery time needed after the laser as it is safe and painless. Simply put on your clean socks and shoes afterwards and you’re good to go!
Can I keep wearing the same shoes and socks?
You can keep wearing the same shoes after we have sanitised them with UV light to kill the fungus present in your shoes. For socks, we recommend you either wear new socks or hot wash existing socks with an antifungal agent to destroy the fungus and spores present in your socks have spread from your nails. This significantly reduces your risk of re-infection to get you the results you want!
What should I be doing at home throughout the treatment?
During your appointment, we will give you all of the information you need about managing your home environment to reduce the risk of reinfection so you can get the best results from your treatment. This ranges from sanitising your shoes and socks to replacing infected nail polishes and thoroughly cleaning fungus-prone surfaces such as showers.
Is laser the only part of the treatment or are there other steps?
Before the laser treatment, we start by preparing the nail. We may trim it back if needed and use a burr to reduce some of the fungus. After treatment, we coach you on everything you need to know to get the best results and minimise the risk of reinfection. This information is a critical key to success. Because the laser kills the fungus currently present on your nails and skin, re-infection must occur for the fungus to not clear. Knowing the right steps to take means you achieve the best outcome.
If only one nail is infected, why does the whole foot need to be treated?
Fungus spreads through microscopic spores that are spread through the air and land on the skin and nails surrounding the infection site. Even if the fungus hasn’t penetrated the surrounding nails or caused an infection, there’s a good chance that fungal spores will still be present on the surrounding skin and nails. The laser destroys all fungus present on the feet so that the spores cannot cause reinfection and undo all the work put into treating the infection.
Will I need anaesthetic for the treatment?
No. The wavelengths of the laser mean they do not cause any pain at all, meaning no anaesthetic is required.
Can this be covered by my health insurance?
Yes, we are aware of policies that do cover Cold Laser treatment, particularly those that include a podiatry component to the cover. For certainty, please check with your specific health insurance provider prior to your appointment.
We are a Southern Cross accredited provider and do offer an Easy-Claim Southern Cross facility to make claiming simple and efficient.
What does the take-home treatment pack contain?
Each pack contains a pair of cotton or merino wool socks for you to wear immediately following your appointment. This is to keep fungal spores present in existing socks away from the nails. The pack also contains Hygiene and Prevention guides, an antifungal cream and an antifungal shoe spray. We will advise you on the best application for both.
Is there anyone that can’t use the Cold Laser?
Currently, our only exclusion for Cold Laser is women that are pregnant or believe they may be pregnant. This is not because any adverse effects have been found during pregnancy, but simply because this group have never been involved in the rigorous studies required to gain FDA approval. Safety and sound ethical procedures are one of our cornerstones, so we will not carry out the procedure where there is a chance of pregnancy.
Are you WINZ accredited?
Yes we are for those eligible for financial assistance. Please contact our team for more details.