I’d like to answer the question that keeps coming up in clinic when I talk to patients. What’s wrong with the Groupon? It’s cheaper and it is still a laser right? Well that is a good question. The answer is complicated. Let me ask a few questions and then let you know what I see as key differences in what we offer and what else is out there.
Question #1: Is the laser FDA approved for this indication and what is the track record? There are now lasers popping up all over the place and many are coming in from China. They are cheaper and makes it easier for other people like nail salons to offer the service at a lower price. Not all lasers are the same and not all lasers are FDA approved. Make sure the one they use on you is. Without a tested and proven track record many lasers may not work well and you may save a few dollars on the treatment but may have a complete failure to get rid of your problem. Is it worth the chance?
Question #2: Are you sure that you are a good candidate for the laser? Unless you have been evaluated by a licensed physician you may not have what you think you have. There are many things out there that can make a nail look “unusual” that may not respond to laser therapy. There are many nails that are infected so severely that the chance of success is very low.
Question #3: How much experience and what training do they have with the laser? There are varying levels of experience with fungal nails and varying levels of experience with a laser. After almost 3 years using our laser I can tell you that there are many tricks you learn after doing it a few hundred times. Who trained the laser technician? Another technician? Online phone training from China? A manual? They may be trained to cut nails but do they have years of experience with onychomycotic, fungal nails? The questions go on and on about what you get with a Groupon and laser nail treatment.
The final question is: Are you sure of what you are getting yourself into when you go to anyone other than a licensed physician with a FDA approved laser? My next blog will continue the discussion on what the differences may be when you see a licensed physician with a FDA approved laser.
Nathan Ivey, DPM