Staying A Step Ahead

Toenail fungus caught early, treated with painless, in-office laser.

On the February day that Super Bowl LV was played in balmy Tampa, the high temperature in Chicago was 7. That’s why Ted Harris, a developer and home builder, moved from the Windy City to Sarasota a couple of years ago. That, and the fact there isn’t a lot of land to develop in Chicago.

Ted standing in a field with palm trees behind him.

Ted Harris

Ted loves that he can comfortably walk the beach most any day of the year in a T-shirt and shorts.

“I started coming to Sarasota about five years ago, and now it’s become my new home,” Ted, 57, explains. “I love the weather here. You can’t beat it. Plus, I’m getting the chance to build some pretty cool homes, so I’m really enjoying it here.”

Ted’s experiences in Florida haven’t all been enjoyable. A couple of years ago, while on holiday, he spent a lot more time walking on the beach than he typically does and developed a condition called runner’s toenail.

Caused by the repeated pounding and stress that comes with running, jogging or sometimes even walking, the condition results in blood from broken blood vessels collecting underneath the nail, which then becomes dark and discolored.

Both of Ted’s big toenails eventually fell off from the condition. As they grew back, a dark streak developed along the right side of Ted’s right big toenail. Thinking it might be toenail fungus, he called Dawn Chiu, DPM, AACFAS, at Sarasota Foot and Ankle Center.

“I wanted to nip the problem in the bud right away, and sure enough, just as I thought, Dr. Chiu diagnosed it as toenail fungus,” Ted says. “When I told her I really didn’t want to do any oral treatments for it, she recommended a laser treatment.”

The laser treatment Dr. Chiu recommended is PinPointe FootLaser® therapy. Dr. Chiu calls it her “weapon of choice” against toenail fungus because it kills the underlying fungus without side effects and does not require patients to take a blood test prior to treatment.

“It’s an in-office treatment that lasts only a few minutes,” Dr. Chiu explains. “During that time, I pass the laser over the nail in a crisscross pattern to ensure full coverage. Patients usually feel warmth on their toe during the treatment, but there’s no pain.”

Once the treatment is completed, patients can resume normal activities. When combined with topical ointments, the laser treatment has an 80 percent success rate, according to Dr. Chiu, who counts Ted among her success stories.

“Dr. Chiu said I caught the fungus early, and because of that, she only had to do one treatment with the laser,” Ted remarks. “By the time I went back for my follow-up visit, the fungus was already going away. Now my nails are back, and they look normal again.

“It was a very simple, painless treatment, and I was really impressed with Dr. Chiu and her staff. Everyone there is very friendly and helpful, and I had a good experience. If I ever have this problem again, I know exactly where to go for help. I’ll go to Dr. Chiu.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photo by Jordan Pysz. Before and after images courtesy of Sarasota Foot and Ankle Center. js


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