Medical devices for the treatment of onychomycosis


  • Funding sources: none.
  • Conflict of interest: The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.
  • Statement on prior presentation: This review article has not been presented previously.
  • Reprint request line: No reprints available.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Aditya K. Gupta, MD, PhD, FAAD, FRCP(C), Director, Mediprobe Research Inc., 645 Windermere Road, London, Canada ON N5X 2P1, or email:


Device-based therapies are the most rapidly expanding area of onychomycosis treatment. Traditional pharmacotherapy of onychomycosis has a low to moderate efficacy and is associated with adverse reactions and drug interactions that limit its use in many patients. These new therapies include laser systems, photodynamic therapy, iontophoresis, and ultrasound. Device-based therapies are procedures conducted in the clinic by a trained professional, which mitigates the requirement for long-term patient compliance. In addition, the drug component of these therapies is topical, preventing the adverse events associated with systemic antifungal administration, and potentially allowing for the treatment of individuals who were previously excluded due to drug interactions. Device-based therapy is a nascent field, so clinical data is still in an emergent stage; however, preliminary clinical trials of laser, photodynamic therapy, and iontophoresis suggest that some devices may have a degree of efficacy. More studies are required to better determine their ability to treat onychomycosis.