Scripps podiatrist uses lasers on toenail fungus

Scripps Memorial Hospital podiatrist Dr. Jay Berenter treats a patient. Photo: Courtesy

Now there’s a better way to repair unsightly toenails.

And Scripps Memorial Hospital podiatrist Dr. Jay Berenter has the answer: laser nail treatment, which he performs in his office.

“Toenail fungs is the most common problem I see in my practice and in the past we didn’t have many effective treatment options,” noted Berenter, a foot and ankle surgeon whose office is in Scripps Memorial Ximed Medical Building, 9850 Genessee Ave., Suite 360. “Laser is a huge breakthrough: There’s no side effects, it doesn’t hurt, and it kills the fungus 88 percent of the time.”

Toenail fungus is not only painful but extremely unsightly, particularly for people who need to wear sandals or other open-toed shoes.

Previously, patients with toenail fungus problems were given an oral medication that had side effects, or were administered a topical treatment that was “not very effective,” according to Berenter, who noted his office procedure doesn’t require anesthetic and takes just a couple of minutes per nail.

Berenter said his procedure is also unique in San Diego in that he uses a cool touch laser. “It gets warm but the laser has a built-in temperature sensor and cryogenic cooling spray with an automatic coolant,” he said. “We’re the only laser outfit in town that has it.”

Cost of the anti-fungal nail procedure is $295 per nail up, then $100 per nail after that to $795 for all 10. The procedure, he said, is not covered by insurance as it is elective and cosmetic.

Berenter said some people have a genetic predisposition to contracting foot fungus, which is all around.

“You can’t pick it up at the gym or in the shower, though you’re more susceptible if you’ve had trauma to the nail,” he said.

Berenter couples laser nail surgery with a topical anti-fungul used once or twice a week “to make sure it doesn’t come back.”

For more information about Berenter or his medical practice call his office at (858) 450-9218 or visit

— Light Staff

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Posted by Halie Johnson on Aug 5, 2010. Filed under Health & Science, La Jolla, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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