By Gary Prant, D.P.M., Podiatrist
UPDATE: October 5, 2011
Q-Clear is NOW APPROVED by the FDA to treat fungal nails.
After 20 years using and reviewing medical lasers and a year carefully evaluating the laser market for fungus toenail treatment, I have purchased what I consider to be the premier laser – the Q-Clear laser. It offers several significant benefits compared to the competing lasers.
First, the Q-Clear laser is more effective for some podiatric complaints because it uses two wavelengths of light. It’s more comfortable for patients because it pulses at very high power over a short duration. It has a long track record for medical use and is already FDA-approved for 17 medical conditions including tattoos, spider veins and warts.
Patients will also find this laser offers more affordable treatment. The equipment is reasonably priced and the company does not charge a fee every time the machine is used. Insurance typically does not cover cosmetic procedures, so by containing our costs, we greatly benefit our patients.
The PinPointe FootLaser™ currently is the only laser FDA-approved for treating fungus toenails, or onychomycosis, and holds the largest portion of the market for this treatment. The PinPointe is not only more expensive to purchase, but the company charges a sizable fee every time the machine is used. I believe this artificially inflates the costs of the laser treatment. Also, the FDA approved this laser only for the “temporary” increase of clear nails.
I have more than 20 years experience using the carbon dioxide laser for ingrown toenails and warts. Using my experience serving on Seton Hospital’s Laser Committee, I evaluated the laser market and knew that waiting until the market matured a little would allow me to purchase a superior laser with quality results. In former blogs, I discounted the value of laser treatment for toenail fungus because results for permanent results with the PinPointe FootLaser was mixed, and studies of other medical lasers were limited.
Now, I am excited about adding the Q-Clear Laser with its two wavelengths to treat a variety of podiatric conditions. See what the laser has done for other patients here. Increasing this laser’s versatility, the manufacturer has applied for FDA approval for use on toenail fungus. Though this approval has not been given, off-label use is common in all medicine, and often creates expanded and improved treatment options for patients.
My judgment on the laser market was recently confirmed by David Zuckerman, D.P.M., in a letter on Podiatry Management Online this week. After owning several lasers, Dr. Zuckerman concludes, “my last laser and the best for podiatry and the public is the Q-Clear. It’s fast, works well and good outcomes. (sic) This laser is FDA approved for 17 indications, e.g. tattoos, spider veins, warts, and can be used for fungus toenails.”
We look forward to being able to better serve your foot health needs with superior laser technology!