Laser Plus Topical Antifungal Effective for Onychomycosis

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At six months of follow-up, 80% receiving combo therapy were culture-negative
At six months of follow-up, 80% receiving combo therapy were culture-negative

HealthDay News — Fractional carbon dioxide laser therapy combined with topical antifungal is effective in the treatment of onychomycosis, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Anil Kumar Bhatta, MD, from Shanghai Tongji Hospital, and colleagues evaluated the clinical efficacy of fractional carbon dioxide laser-assisted topical therapy for onychomycosis in 75 patients with 356 onychomycotic nails (confirmed by mycologic examination). Three sessions of laser therapy at 4-week intervals and once-daily application of terbinafine cream for three months were prescribed for all affected nails.

The researchers found that 3 months after treatment, 94.66% of treated patients were potassium-hydroxide-negative and 92% were culture-negative. However, at six months of follow-up only 84% and 80% were potassium-hydroxide- and culture-negative, respectively. Of the 73.33% of patients who scored higher than 6 on the Scoring Clinical Index for Onychomycosis electronic calculator, 98.18% showed response to treatment at three months and 78.18% at 6 months.

"Fractional carbon-dioxide laser therapy combined with topical antifungal was found to be effective in the treatment of onychomycosis. However, randomized clinical studies are needed before it can be widely used in clinics," the authors write.

Abstract
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