Onychomycosis is a common pathology in which pathogenic microorganisms multiply in the depths of the nails and adjacent tissues. As a result, the nail plate is gradually deformed. The early stages of nail fungus can be treated effectively.
What is the initial phase like?
Symptoms in the early stages of the disease look the same on the arms and legs. First, the nail plate changes shade. From pink, it becomes yellowish and dull, sometimes changing to a grayish color. It is possible to change the structure of the plate - tubercles or other bulges appear on it.
Longitudinal stripes, yellow spots or spots are noticeable on the nails in the future. The plate begins to expand and thicken, at the same time becoming brittle. The skin next to the nail also suffers from fungi, becomes inflamed and reddens. Most often, spore infection occurs on the legs, initially onychomycosis develops on the big toe (but there are exceptions).
In the early stages of the disease, the fungus affects only one side of the nail plate. There are the following types of lesions:
- distal form - the upper part of the nail is affected;
- side view - the mushroom is located on the sides of the plate;
- superficial lesion - the surface of the plate suffers;
- proximal form - the periungual role is affected.
In the photo you can see the appearance of the nails at the initial stage of onychomycosis.
How is the treatment
If you suspect onychomycosis, you should seek advice from a dermatologist. The doctor will examine the nails, if necessary, make a scraping for the presence of mycelial fungi. After diagnosis, the doctor will tell you how to treat the disease.
Local therapy is aimed at eliminating inflammation and restoring blood supply to the diseased nail. Preparations can be in the form of varnishes, sprays, lotions. They are applied to the affected nail plates and to the skin around them.
The best-known antifungals:
- paints. They are applied several times a week. Active ingredients penetrate deep into the nail. They are among the strongest antifungals;
- Cream. Developed for the treatment of skin and periungual ridges. They are treated with healthy nails to protect them from invading the fungus;
- Drops. The drugs are applied to diseased nails. 1 - 2 drops;
- Lotion kills fungi on the surface layers of the nail.
Sprays are used as a convenient prophylactic against onychomycosis. They work on the soles of the feet, fingers and shoes.
In addition to local treatment, doctors conduct systemic therapy. The patient takes antifungal tablets or capsules. They kill the infection and help to quickly cope with the pathology. Duration and dosage are prescribed by the treating dermatologist.
- Laser therapy - the effect of laser beams on microorganisms. In the initial stages of the disease, it is enough for the patient to undergo only three to four procedures. The method not only kills pathogenic fungi, but also improves blood circulation.
- Ozone therapy - an ozone injection is injected into the skin near the affected nail plates. Cells are saturated with ozone, resist infection. Immunity in the body increases. However, this procedure is effective only in the initial stages of the disease.
Both methods complement traditional treatment only at the initial stage. They are prescribed along with pills and topical treatments.
How traditional medicine can help
To cure the fungus in the early stages, the advice of traditional healers will help. Your advantage is that natural products without chemical additives are used.
The main treatment methods include:
- Apple cider vinegar - dilute in equal parts with warm water. Take a bath, hold it for 15 minutes. Do the procedure every day until all symptoms disappear. But apple cider vinegar is only good for treating athlete's foot.
- In the first stages of onychomycosis, ordinary hydrogen peroxide actively suppresses the fungus. Soak your fingers in water with added soda (one tablespoon to two liters of hot water). Soak cotton pads in peroxide, place on the affected nails and fix with a plaster. Wear the compress for at least 40 minutes.
- Tea tree essential oil helps in the treatment. This antiseptic is used as an additional remedy for all degrees of disease. Rub a few drops of the extract into the affected nail plates, do not wash off the oil. Carry out therapy from 2 weeks until complete healing. But this method is not suitable for children and women in an interesting position.
- Soda baths will help in the fight against fungus. Dilute a tablespoon of soda and a few drops of liquid soap (or grated laundry soap) in two liters of hot water. Dip your hands or feet in the solution. Leave them on for 15-20 minutes. Then treat your nails with medication or antiseptics.
- Regular treatment of nail plates with iodine will help get rid of onychomycosis. Lubricate the nail with an iodine solution every day. You can make antiseptic baths - add a bottle of iodine to three liters of water and hold your feet or hands in it for 10 minutes.
After baths and other folk remedies, nails, fingers and the skin between the fingers should be thoroughly dried. Then put your socks on.
What complications are there
If the problem is ignored, the fungus will not go away on its own, microorganisms will constantly multiply.
This has consequences:
- complete deformation of the nail plate;
- the disease becomes chronic;
- the infection spreads to healthy nail plates;
- the immune system will decrease, a favorable environment will be created for the development of other viral or bacterial infections.
Treatment of onychomycosis is lengthy and requires financial investment. Preventive measures will help protect yourself from the fungus, although they cannot be called a panacea against the disease.
- Don't wear other people's things or shoes. Treat them with antifungals as a last resort;
- use only personal hygiene products - towels, scissors, nail file;
- walk in public places (saunas, baths or swimming pools) only in rubber shoes;
- Don't try on new shoes barefoot in a store or market, wear socks.
Relapses are a common occurrence. It is observed in 6 - 8% of cases from the number of recovered.
Fungal diseases affect people, regardless of age and gender. Not everyone knows what the fungus looks like at the initial stage and does not care about changes on the nails. Treatment in the early stages of the disease is simple, new and healthy nails grow in place of the affected nails.
Therapy is prescribed by a dermatologist, in addition to local methods, comprehensive treatment with antifungal drugs is carried out. In the initial stages of onychomycosis, in addition to traditional medicines, folk recipes can also be used.