Can Red Light Therapy Treat Toenail Fungus?

Laser therapy is a popular treatment for onychomycosis, a fungal infection of the toenails. The laser light is passed through the toenail, vaporizing the fungus while leaving the skin and surrounding tissue unharmed. In simpler terms, the laser device projects a light onto the toenail, penetrating down into and through the nail to reach the fungus. This process is known as “vaporizing the mushroom” and it also leaves the skin and tissue around the fungus alone.

Studies have shown that red light has a linear dose-response relationship when it comes to killing yeast. If you're looking for a natural, safe, and side-effect-free treatment, you may want to consider red light therapy for fungal infections. A 2004 study of nine patients with interdigital mycosis, an infection between the toes caused by dermatophytes, yeasts or bacteria, revealed that topical administration of 5-aminolevulinic acid combined with red light led to recovery in six of nine patients after one to four treatments.

Red and infrared light

have been studied for their potential use in wound healing in other areas of the body, so it makes sense that they could be beneficial for brain damage as well.

The available data suggests that red light used properly produces anti-inflammatory effects. Patients were excluded from the study if they were pregnant, had taken oral Lamisil (terbinafine hydrochloride) within one year prior to study treatment, had been treated or had taken Penlac (ciclopirox), Sporanox (itraconazole), or over-the-counter (OTC) remedies for toenail infection inside the 4 weeks prior to study treatment, or if they were unable to comply with the study or at the investigator's professional discretion. Red light therapy stimulates fibroblasts, which are connective tissue cells that produce collagen and other fibers. Phototherapy acts on mitochondria, penetrating deeper than far infrared and potentially increasing its own energy production and reducing inflammation.

The light intensity of this specific product uses a COB type LED chip, which means that there is a lot of light intensity coming out of a small area. Infrared light (810-850 nm) has been studied for traumatic brain injury. To get the best benefits from red light therapy, keep your foreskin in its normal position. You want mainly red or near-infrared visible light, and not just a broad-spectrum infrared bulb (which will contain all kinds of medium and far infrared heat wavelengths that are related to photoaging).

The advantage of laser therapy is that infrared wavelengths lack the teratogenic hazard presented by ultraviolet light and the side effects of oral antifungal drugs. Secondly, there have been baseline studies on methylene blue and light therapy but not much is known about safety when applying it topically, dilutions, dosages, or anything like that.