Your Questions Answered
Below is a list of frequently asked questions, just click on a question and the answer will be revealed.
WHY DO WE CHARGE FOR A CONSULTATION?
We are Podiatrists providing a complete medical assessment and consultation that requires a full appointment in order to provide an appropriate treatment plan rather than just a short glance at your nails. We also cut and file in order to appreciate the colour, texture or quality of the nails which gives us a good idea of severity of infection enabling us to advise on the most appropriate treatment. It also improves the look of the nails which we have found pleases our patients!
We provide unbiased and honest advice about the suitability of all available treatments for fungal nail infections.
This is not a sales appointment but a medical consultation.
WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT THIS TREATMENT?
The laser treatment for fungal nails is a breakthrough in treating the fungus infection. The laser is applied externally, and in many cases just one treatment is required. There is no requirement for oral or systemic medication that can cause side effects. There is no requirement for painting and filing the nails to apply lacquer for months on end. There are no reported side effects. The beam of laser energy is targeted through the nail to the nail bed, eliminating the fungus within.
WHAT ABOUT OTHER LASERS?
Many clinics use lasers which are not authorised for treatment of fungal nail infections because they either have them in the clinic already or they are cheaper devices. Unfortunately as no research has been carried out on such lasers with regards to treatment of fungal nail infections their effectiveness in treating them as well as and any possible adverse effects is unknown.
WHO CARRIES OUT THE TREATMENT?
Martine Abrahams BSc (Hons) MChS and Kate Walker BSc (Hons) MChS – both podiatrists, carry out the treatments in our Radlett and Harley Street clinics. They are registered with the Health Professions Council. Podiatrists are not medical doctors but specialists in the care of the foot and the structures that impact upon it. Podiatrists are Primary Care Practitioners and do not require a referral from a third party to consult. They have each completed a Bachelor of Science degree with honours in podiatry and they are members of The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists.
IS THIS COVERED BY HEALTH INSURANCE?
Health Policies vary so please do check with your insurer. Many will pay the cost of our consultation. Payment is required in full at the time of your treatment and you should arrange reimbursement directly with your insurer.
Cash Back Plans such as SimplyHealth will pay the appropriate percentage up to your annual limit and we will provide a receipt for this.
AXA PPP do not provide cover for this or any non-surgical Podiatry treatment.
HOW DO YOU KNOW THERE IS A FUNGAL NAIL INFECTION?
There are specific clinical signs and details that are highly suggestive of a fungal infection such as discoloured, crumbly, loose nails. There is often the presence of athlete’s foot too. Many people will have a diagnosis from their GP too but if there is doubt, nail clippings can be taken and sent for culture. However, there is a 30 per cent false negative rate with clippings. Most diagnoses are made by taking into account the signs and symptoms along with medical, social, sporting history.
WILL THE NAIL INFECTION RETURN?
Any infection can return if the causative fungus is able to gain access under the nail or on the foot. We will discuss methods of improving hygiene, reducing the amount of fungi that live on the foot and other ways to minimise reinfection.
The use of regular antifungal creams or sprays, avoiding walking barefoot in wet public areas, good hygiene and shoe rotation techniques are suggested. At your first appointment advice regarding prevention of recurrent infections is given verbally as well as in written form. The London Nail Laser Clinic places great importance on foot health education whilst also having a large range of products available to help prevent reinfection.
DOES IT HURT?
Treatment with the Lunula ‘Cold’ Laser is totally pain free.
IS THERE A RECOVERY PERIOD?
This is not an invasive treatment and there is no recovery period, no bandages and no pain relief or anaesthetics required. You may fly, return to work, bath/shower and continue as normal after the treatment. Sport and activity is not affected.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS THE TREATMENT?
Clinical studies have shown a 97 per cent improvement rate in the nails with 4 treatments of the Lunula ‘Cold’ Laser. We have seen similar results in our clinics.
WHAT ABOUT FINGERNAIL TREATMENT?
The Lunula ‘Cold’ Laser can be used on fingernails with the same success.
WHY DO ALL MY NAILS NEED TREATING?
Fungal spores are present on the foot irrespective of which nails are affected. Toe spaces, grooves around the nails as well as the sole and arch of the foot are all places where fungi thrive. The dark, moist, hot and enclosed environment of the shoe provides an easy breeding site for fungi. If all fungus is not treated, reinfection is more likely.
A research study published in The British Journal of Dermatology in 2009 assessed fungi in normal-appearing nails among people who have had athlete’s foot and those who had never had any fungal problems. It concluded that fungi could be isolated from normal-appearing toenails and that the presence of these spores was strongly associated with the presence of athlete’s foot (tinea pedis). Subclinical dermatophytes in the nail plate may serve as a reservoir for ongoing local infection.
WHAT IF I ONLY HAVE ONE TOENAIL AFFECTED?
Guidelines for use of this technique advise that all the nails should be treated to prevent fungal spores spreading. With toenails especially, because they are tightly packed against each other in shoes and in a warm, moist environment, the chance of cross infection is high. We usually suggest treating the entire foot to minimise the chance of reinfection but in selected cases we will treat one nail. This will be discussed with the Podiatrist at your consultation.
CAN I PAY BY INSTALLMENTS?
An interest-free finance plan can be arranged to pay over six or ten months. Please request an application form and complete this in advance of any appointments. This would not take effect until the final finance contract was signed immediately before any treatment.
HOW MUCH DOES TREATMENT COST?
A consultation is charged at £79 which includes assessment, nail cutting and filing, diagnosis and discussion to ascertain best course of treatment.
The consultation fee of £79 is payable at the time of booking in advance of your appointment. You may either pay by phone on 0203 372 4018, or via this website by clicking on the ‘shop’ tab above and then clicking on initial consultation appointment fee, or following this link:
We can hold your appointment in our diary for 72 hours and during this time we will need to take the consultation charge in order to confirm the appointment.
Lunula ‘Cold’ Laser treatment costs from £399 for both feet depending on severity of infection and number of treatments required.
We advise a minimum of four Lunula ‘Cold’ Laser treatments for moderate infections.
HOW LONG IS AN APPOINTMENT?
A consultation appointment lasts for 20 minutes and treatment can be carried out straight after the consultation, if required. This will add a further 20 minutes on to the appointment time.
WHEN IS THE TREATMENT CARRIED OUT?
In many cases patients request the option to have time available after a consultation to treat the nail immediately. Other patients prefer to attend for a consultation separately. In either case there is no obligation to have the treatment and we would advise if we felt it would be unsuitable.