The opinion that fungal nail infection is not dangerous to human health is quite widespread among people. Onychomycosis (fungal nail infection) accompanies many for a significant part of their lives, often remaining invisible due to the absence of acute symptoms. But treatment for this is no less important for these patients. Also, everyone should imagine what the fungus-affected nail plates look like for an independent primary diagnosis of pathology.
Infection by fungal microorganisms.
Fungal infection can occur in situations that are completely familiar to humans. In most cases, everyone does not even realize that they are at risk of infection. Causes of toenail infections include the following:
- Wearing someone else's shoes, especially on feet without socks or stockings.
- Visit saunas, baths and swimming pools without individual slippers (slates).
- Request the services of a pedicure teacher in salons questionable due to the quality of the work.
- Using other people's files and scissors to process nail plates.
- Using someone else's washcloths or towels.
In addition to the direct causes of onychomycosis, there are factors that contribute to facilitating infection:
- Constant use of old socks, stockings and tights.
- Wear closed shoes during the hot season, which predisposes the feet to sweating (and this favors the growth of fungal microorganisms).
- Neglecting constant washing of feet with soap, especially in summer after wearing open shoes.
- Purchase shoes made of artificial materials.
- Burrs around toenails, cracks and calluses on the sole.
What fungal toenails look like
Nail changes develop slowly, progress steadily without antifungal treatment, and can lead to complete detachment of the nail plate, which is known to be irreversible. At different stages in the progression of onychomycosis, all clinical manifestations of it have varying degrees of severity. Nail changes are also individual, but in general, several common signs can be distinguished:
- Changing the color of the nails to brown, yellow, white, greenish and their shades, combinations with each other.
- The appearance of brittle nails, their separation.
- The edge of the nail plate crumbles further.
- The appearance of burrs, cracks and flaking on the skin near the nail, in the interdigital spaces.
- An increase or decrease in the thickness of the nail (however, in some cases, the thickness remains unchanged).
Nail fungus treatment
All therapeutic measures aimed at eliminating onychomycosis on the leg are recommended to begin with determining the first suspicious signs of the disease.
What to treat, what drugs and how they will be used, determines the stage of development of the disease and the amount of damage to the nails.
In general, there are two options for taking antifungal medications: local (topical) and general (systemic). Local remedies are gels, ointments, creams, solutions, and sprays to apply to the skin and nails. Systemic therapy is the intravenous infusion of drugs and their intake (orally, ie "through the mouth") in the form of tablets or capsules.
These options can be applied not only in isolation, but also in combination with each other. In addition, there is a mechanical removal of infected tissues, but only in the case of a powerful fungal infection.
Topical antifungal drugs
- Solutions for external use. They should be applied twice a day to the affected area with a brush. It is recommended to wash the areas with soapy water and dry before applying. After applying the solution, cover the area with an aseptic dressing. "
- Antifungal creams and ointments are applied in a thin layer to the lesion once or twice a day.
Most patients believe that if they do this type of treatment, their nail will definitely be removed completely. Fortunately, only in the advanced stages of the disease (the fungus has affected most of the tissues) do they resort to exactly this. In other cases, pedicure instruments can be used to remove part of the tissue, that is, those that are affected by microorganisms.
An operation has long been performed to remove the nail plate under local anesthesia. In it, the entire nail is removed at once, and first they separate it from its bed with scissors, and then they "remove" it with a pair of tweezers. But such an operation damages the matrix of the nail, that is, the basis of its regeneration, which leads to the abnormal growth of new tissues, their frequent growth into soft tissues.
Now there is an option to cure the fungus by laser removing the infected nail plate. The laser does not touch healthy tissue, it destroys only fungal cells located even in the deep layers of the nail, thus preventing deformations of the plate.
In addition, the hardware extraction method is distinguished, in which a layer-by-layer extraction of the nail is performed with devices with different sizes of cutters. The procedure is done once a week or every two weeks. Repeat until the affected nail layers have been completely removed.
Prevention of onychomycosis.
Preventing human pathogenic fungal infection is not that difficult for any patient. You just have to be more attentive to your lifestyle and remember a disease like onychomycosis. Here is a list of the main measures to prevent foot fungus:
- Don't wear, much less wear someone else's shoes.
- Wear only your socks and stockings, remembering to wash them regularly.
- Have a personal pedicure kit.
- Use the services of a pedicure master only at proven, "quality" service locations.
- Remember to bring and wear flip flops or slippers in public bathroom areas.
Everyone should remember that onychomycosis is far from a harmless disease that can even deprive you of the nail plate or be complicated by a serious condition called fungal sepsis (blood poisoning).
To date, all effective treatment regimens for toenail fungus have been developed, you just need to contact a dermatologist in time and identify the presence of pathogenic microorganisms.