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Lasers and photodynamic therapy in the treatment of onychomycosis: a review of the literature.

  • Author(s): Becker, Caitlin
  • Bershow, Andrea
  • et al.
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License
Abstract

Onychomycosis is a widespread problem. Oral antifungal medications are currently the gold standard of care, but treatment failure is common and oral therapy is contraindicated in many cases. There is a need for effective treatment without the systemic complications posed by oral therapy. Laser and photodynamic therapy may have the potential to treat onychomycosis locally without adverse systemic effects; some small studies have even reported achieving clinical and mycologic cure. However, there is reason for restraint; these therapies are expensive and time-consuming. Furthermore, they may not be covered by insurance and have not been proven effective with randomized, controlled clinical trials. This paper will review current literature regarding the use of laser and photodynamic therapy as potential treatments for onychomycosis.

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