It's a gross topic, but at least half of all Americans will have this problem at some point in their life - toenail fungus.
He says it's common, simply because we all wear shoes. Most of the year, they're closed-toe and fungus likes that warm, moist, dark environment.
"The reason why fungus is so hard to treat is because it gets underneath the nail, so all those topical and stuff like that - they may help to a degree, but they're not actually penetrating through the nail to actually treat the underlying cause," Dr. Shay explains.
What does is the PinPointe FootLaser. Dr. Shay's Nurse is certified to use it and uses a small laser to fight the fungus toe by toe by toe.
"We want to make sure we kill every cell of fungus that's underneath the nail bed," says Dr. Shay.
The clinically-proven procedure is about 75-80% effective with no real side effects, but it does take about 30 minutes and Dr. Shay recommends at least three treatments.
"I tell people that come to see me - kind of joking but true - if I could solve your nail fungus in a day, the line would be from here to California and I wouldn't work very long," he laughs. "It's just a pain in the butt to treat."
However, with a treatment like the PinPointe FootLaser, Dr. Shay says they can take what was once discolored and disfigured and grow nails that are clear and clean or at least improve them.
"I'm not here to take your money, give you three [treatments], and if it doesn't it work - we're done," he says. "I want it to work as much as you want it to work."
The one downside of the PinPointe FootLaser is that it's not covered by insurance. Dr. Shay says there are three other options, though: topicals (about 15% or less effective), oral medication (60-65% effective), or actually removing the nail. He says to prevent that, make sure you keep an eye on what your nails look like.
"It's a little white or yellow discoloration usually near the cuticle - right near where the nail starts to grow, then it starts to grow out," explains Dr. Shay. "It looks like it may [grow out], but then you'll notice the line is streaking back and so it doesn't grow out perfectly if you don't treat it."
For more information on the PinPointe FootLaser offered at ORA Orthopedics, click here.