Nail fungus, or fungal disease of the nails and tissues of the hands and feet, is a common infectious disease. It is caused by yeast, which destroys the nail plates and causes skin inflammation. In medicine, these diseases are referred to as onychomycosis or paronychia. The common misconception is that only people who don't keep their hands and feet clean can contract a fungus. Most often, nail fungus affects those who, due to their job or other circumstances, have to stay in shoes for a long time.
The classification of the disease depends on the type of infection and the location of its spread.
- Normotrophic onychomycosis is manifested by small changes in the structure of the nail plate in the form of yellowish spots and stripes along the nail. It is the least noticeable and often does not cause any discomfort. The main concern is the appearance of the nail, which at the initial stage people try to hide with the help of cosmetics.
- Hypertrophic onychomycosis causes the horny plate of the nail to increase in volume. With this disease, a person may experience pain when pressing a finger. This creates inconveniences when walking in shoes.
- Superficial white fungus is characterized by roughness on the surface of the nail plates and unpleasant whitish spots.
A mycologist specializing in fungal diseases can determine the cause of the disease and prescribe the right treatment.
types of mushrooms
The symptoms of infection with a fungal infection are similar, but the doctor selects treatment depending on the type of fungus that caused the disease.
- Dermatophyte is the most common fungus that causes injury to the nail plates and surrounding tissues. Usually chooses the thumb, pinky, and skin between the fingers. Easily cured with early diagnosis
- Candida begins its action in the skin between the fingers and moves to the nail.
- Fusarium and Alternaria molds are rare and mostly found in immunocompromised people
Reasons for appearing
The main cause of infection is a violation of sanitary standards. But even a person who is careful about the cleanliness of hands, feet and things can get infected in public places.
- Contact with the bearer of the mushroom and his belongings. This can be a visit to the bath or sauna, the use of individual third-party accessories or poorly made manicure items.
- Excessive sweating of the feet creates a favorable environment for the spread of the fungus.
- The use of tight and poorly ventilated shoes made of artificial materials contributes to the creation of high humidity and helps the development of the disease.
- A weakened immune system is unable to fight infection.
- Treatment with antibiotics leads to a weakening of the immune system and the breakdown of the body's own microflora.
- A long intake of antibacterial agents that destroy beneficial bacteria along with disease-causing ones
- Diseases of the vessels of the extremities reduce resistance and allow the fungus to disrupt the integrity of the skin for the development of the disease.
- Manifestations of diabetes mellitus in the form of skin diseases are a good environment for the development of fungal colonies.
- Wounds on the skin and cracks in the nails help the fungus to establish itself and start its work.
- Visiting nail salons can provoke the appearance of fungal infections if the sanitary standard of processing tools is not observed.
Fungal infections are less common in childhood. This is due to the characteristics of the organism. As you know, children's legs do not sweat excessively. However, visiting swimming pools and gyms can lead to infection in children. Immunity weakened by colds also contributes to this. In old age and during puberty, when rapid hormonal changes occur in the child's body, there is also a risk of contracting a fungal infection. To protect against infection, it is necessary to monitor the cleanliness of shoes and timely wash them with antiseptic agents.
One of the causes of infection with a fungus in children can be a lack of vitamins in the body. It is desirable to fill the deficiency with the help of proper nutrition and complex vitamin therapy. A doctor's consultation will help you choose the high-quality composition of vitamin preparations for your child.
Favorable conditions are necessary for the development of a fungal infection. Wet shoes from sweat and a neutral or slightly acidic environment create comfort for the fungus to multiply.
Unpleasant appearance of the nails, itching and pain around the nail indicate the beginning of an infection. If you do not engage in treatment, after a while the fungus completely destroys the nail plate and gets to the soft tissues of the fingers and feet. At an advanced stage of the development of the disease, there may be qualitative changes in the form of bubbles filled with a cloudy liquid with a strong unpleasant odor.
A disease common to the outer surface of the nail plate should not cause discomfort. In some cases, this condition can last for years. The carrier of the fungus does not become ill themselves, but can transmit the infection to others.
The consequences of a fungal infection primarily affect the nails and the tissues around them, but in the future they can have negative consequences for the health of the whole body.
The growth of fungal colonies causes pain in the legs and leads to difficulty wearing shoes. Nails change shape and can grow into the tissues of the fingers, causing excruciating pain when walking.
The deterioration of the immune system, caused by toxins released by the fungus during its life, leads to the frequent occurrence of colds and inflammatory processes in the body.
Allergic reactions caused by the products of mushroom work lead to a number of side diseases of the respiratory tract and diseases of the liver and kidneys.
An infection that has settled in the body can cause conjunctivitis, rhinitis of various etiologies. Itching on the skin, red spots and irritation can affect not only the places of initial localization of fungal colonies, but also affect the skin of the body and head. This also affects the condition of the hair and skin on the face. Can be part of the cause of dandruff.
Constant itching and discomfort caused by the disease is a fairly common reason for visiting a neurologist and psychotherapist.
The advanced form of the disease can lead to loss of the nail and deformation of the bones and joints.
In order to avoid contagion, it is necessary to carefully observe hygiene standards not only when visiting public, but also private places.
It is forbidden:
- Use common hygiene items. Each family member should have their own nail scissors, foot towel, soap and more.
- You cannot use someone else's shoes. Sharing slippers in the family can easily spread the infection.
- Wash the sick person's things with everyone else. It must be remembered that not all detergents and detergents can destroy the fungus. This infection is very persistent. Clothes of a sick person should be treated with special solutions. This is especially true for shoes. It needs to be thoroughly rinsed inside and the insoles changed often.