Fungal diseases of the skin and nails are among the infectious diseases in humans caused by pathogenic fungi. Fungal infections (mycoses) are different. There are very serious forms of infection with a high mortality rate. However, not many people suffer from it. Mycosis of the nails is not one of them and it is impossible to die from it directly. But a fungal infection of the skin and nails is one of the most common fungal diseases. It is a contagious disease that is transmitted from person to person.
What does nail fungus look like?
Many people do not pay attention to changes in the nail plates and often view these changes as a result of trauma or age features. Fungal nail diseases come in many different forms. However, nail changes with a fungal disease, as a rule, have three main manifestations: changes in the color of the nail plate, its thickening, crumbling or destruction.
Mushroom or no mushroom?
So you can notice some changes in the skin or the nail plates. It remains to be decided whether or not it is a mushroom.
There are many non-fungal diseases of the skin and nails - several hundred names. However, according to statistics, every second nail disease is a fungus. That is, if your nails are altered, the chance of nail fungus is 50% regardless of all its manifestations and factors. But what about diseases of the skin of the feet? They obey the same laws of probability. That is, most of the lesions on the skin of the feet are fungi. Remember that untreated fungus on the skin of the feet will sooner or later turn into nail fungus. And it is not that easy to get rid of the nail fungus. Do not be fooled. If you suspect a skin or nail disease, contact your mycologist!
Despite the fact that most of the nail changes turn out to be fungus, another type of these changes should be considered. The chronic nail trauma should be emphasized here. Changes in the nails can occur with some common skin diseases, internal infectious diseases, lesions of the nervous, hormonal, cardiovascular systems, various types of intoxication, as well as dystrophy. Finally, nail changes can be congenital. These nail changes look similar to fungal infections, but they are not. Treatment with antifungal drugs for non-fungal nail diseases, of course, will not be successful. This is another reason to see a mycologist and not try to heal yourself for nail changes.
Can you spot a nail fungus yourself?
No do not go! And not a single professional doctor, no matter how experienced, will treat fungal disease without confirming the diagnosis in the laboratory, even with the most typical signs of fungus on the legs. A laboratory confirmation is a prerequisite for any fungal disease. Simply put, if the lab finds a fungus in a flake of skin or a piece of nail removed for analysis, it is fungal.
Dilemma: treat a fungus or not?
Some people have doubts whether nail fungus treatment is even worthwhile. Many argue as follows: Does treatment for a fungal disease take money? Requires. How long will the treatment take? Maybe for a long time. Then why should one really seek treatment for mycoses? Doesn't matter that the nails are changed because they can finally be hidden. . .
Is this game worth the candle? Why do you need mycosis treatment? Let's try to understand this problem. . . Once the fungal infection starts, it won't go anywhere until the fungus is destroyed. Fungi are very stubborn and can survive for months in the flakes of skin that have fallen off. So what can you expect from the fungus lurking in your nails? First, the cells of the fungus penetrate the skin, are fixed, multiply and spread on it, and then, under favorable conditions, are introduced into the nail. Over time, the fungus affects all parts of the nail and spreads to other nails or skin. Nail fungus is a breeding ground and source of infection for other parts of the body. Even if all the fungal foci on the skin of the feet or trunk have healed, the remaining foci of infection in the nails will cause a new infection.
Fungal nail diseases affect the quality of life. Research by the National Academy of Mycology has shown that the presence of nail fungus, or mycosis of the feet, significantly reduces the quality of life - a number of indicators that characterize a person's emotional, mental, and social well-being. It was found that the quality of life with a fungal nail disease drops on average to 50–55% of the full value typical for a healthy person. At the same time, patients not only noticed physical discomfort associated with the thickening or destruction of nails, but also experienced various experiences, fears and negative emotions. It has been found that nail fungus severely restricts a person's activity and affects their rest, exercise and communication with other people. In addition, sometimes discomfort and shame for the condition of their nails prevented them from seeing a doctor in a timely manner. The longer the disease lasted, the worse the nail fungus became and the worse the quality of life became.
In addition to reducing the quality of life, the fungus leads to certain health problems. The first and foremost health problem caused by the presence of nail mycosis is the fungus itself - a chronic infectious disease that constantly destroys the nails and threatens to spread to people around them, especially members of the patient's family. By the way, the presence of a relative with a fungus is noted by at least 1/3 of patients with nail damage. According to medical statistics and epidemiological studies, nail fungus disease is to be expected in almost every fifth adult in Russia. At the same time, the incidence has increased 2. 5 times in the last 10 years. A further increase in the incidence is expected. At the same time, the likelihood of the presence of a fungus increases with age: about 2 times per 10 years of life.
Untreated mycosis of the nails and mycosis of the feet are the gateway for other infectious diseases - for example bacterial - erysipelas. A fungal nail infection makes the course of diabetes mellitus considerably more difficult and can lead to serious complications.
Allergization of the human body with a fungal infection is possible - the formation of hypersensitivity to the fungus as an allergen, that is, fungal allergy. The development or worsening of the course of the disease, such as bronchial asthma, allergic dermatitis, various skin rashes and reactions are possible.
In very rare cases, untreated nail fungus, usually against the background of immunodeficiency, led to the development of deep mycosis - the germination or penetration of the fungus with blood into the internal organs, which led to death. Fortunately, most modern day nail fungus sufferers don't have such results. But even if you completely exclude its possibility, the fungal disease of the nails can not leave you without treatment. It is impossible not to treat scabies, head lice, and other infectious diseases. If you suspect nail fungus, we recommend that you consult a doctor as soon as possible.
While we argued this way, the fungus in a nail may have moved a few fractions of a millimeter forward. That's his job, a small company so to speak. The fungus does this all the time, day in and day out. Days add up to weeks, weeks to months, months to years. Over the years, the disease worsens if the fungus is left untreated. One of the latest studies showed that the severity of onychomycosis increases by several points on a special scale every 5 years. This means that new nails are infected with the fungus, and in each of them the affected area and degree of thickening grow. This means that the negative effects of mycoses on health and quality of life are increasing. This is a proven fact. But that's not all. The more severe the fungal infection of the nails, the more difficult it is to treat. If antifungal varnish or nail solution can help in the early stages of the infection, then after a few years it is impossible to do without antifungal pills. The longer the disease lasts, the longer they need to be taken (and more bought). And after ten to twenty years, as a rule, only removing the nail plate plus these funds will help.
See your doctor as early as possible. Every year, you give the fungus a delay, increase the required time of treatment and observation, add large doses of drugs and carry out the necessary processing of the nails. Don't make a big mistake - don't take systemic drugs alone! If fungal diseases of the nails did not cause the changes mentioned above, then treating the fungus would really only be a question of how you look. Then we would put healthy nails on the same list along with white teeth, clear skin, and no bad smell. And the question of the cost of mycosis treatment would sound like this: Are you willing to spend money to get your uneaten, unthickened, and unwanted nails back? However, the question is not the only one. Ready to Pay to Protect Your Family From Athlete's Foot? Would you like to regain your previous quality of life? Can You Stop The Infection From Spreading Today?