How does nail fungus develop?

Athlete's foot is a skin disease manifested by active multiplication in the epidermis of certain species of fungi. Today, both elderly people with a weakened immune system and children are susceptible to this disease. Signs of a fungus on the legs depend on the type of causative agent of the infectious process and the volume of the affected foot and nail plate, and at different stages have certain differences that indicate the progression of the infection. You should know how to identify a fungus on your feet, so you can start treatment in time and stop its further development.

Walking in socks with toenail fungus

symptoms of the disease

The main place for the development of the fungus on the legs most often becomes the area between the toes. This pathology is accompanied by symptoms such as burning, severe itching and reddening of the epidermis. In addition, a person can observe cracking and scaly skin, as well as the formation of blisters on the legs and increased dryness of the dermis.

The same symptoms of a fungus on the legs can appear on the soles of the feet and are accompanied by excessive keratinization of the skin. The insidiousness of such a disease lies in the fact that during its course the formation of a difficult-to-treat fungus on the legs is possible, and the wounds themselves are in a state of superinfection.

How to recognize the fungus on the legs and what symptoms can indicate the beginning of the development of the disease? The first signs of the disease are the appearance of small scales, that is, of various types of peeling, ranging from small pityriasis to large lamellae. There are several types of fungi that provoke the development of the disease, but they are all characterized by the same signs:

athlete's foot symptoms
  1. At the initial stage of its development, the pathology proceeds without the appearance of pronounced symptoms. The interdigital folds are affected first, and most commonly between the third and fourth fingers.
  2. As the fungal disease progresses, the sides of the feet are affected, gradually spreading to the ankle.
  3. With a fungal infection of the feet, the skin noticeably thickens, cracks and begins to shine.
  4. The skin becomes too dry and starts to itch badly. In addition, the epidermis becomes very red and the affected areas become inflamed.
  5. Patients complain of pain and burning in their feet.
  6. With the transition of the disease to a neglected form, blisters appear on the skin. When opened, the affected areas of the skin become very wet and soften.

There are several forms of athlete's foot, and each of them is accompanied by the development of certain symptoms.

forms of pathology

Experts identify the following types of fungi that can affect the skin on the legs:

  • interdigital;
  • hyperkeratotic (moccasin);
  • dyshidrotic.

The most common form of interdigital fungus on the feet is interdigital, which is characterized by the appearance of certain signs:

  • Most often, the area of \u200b\u200bthe fourth and fifth toes becomes the place of localization of this form of fungus.
  • as the disease progresses, the skin takes on a characteristic scaly appearance and can be severely cracked;
  • between 3, 4 and 5 a weeping crack or funnel forms, surrounded by scales of dried skin of white or green color.
cracked skin with fungus

Skin lesions from interdigital fungi can be either dry or moist. In the event that a wet interdigital fungus is discovered, the skin will look swollen. With a dry lesion of the epidermis, its peeling and peeling is noted.

The first sign of moccasin-like athlete's foot is pain, the manifestation of which is observed in the foot. With the progression of the pathology, a gradual thickening of the skin on the sole is observed, which leads to the formation of cracks.

This form of fungal disease of the legs is considered the most difficult and neglected, but it is easy to recognize. A fungal disease can manifest itself in the defeat of the nail plates, in this case they acquire a characteristic thickening, tend to crumble and can even fall out altogether.

The vesicular form of the fungus is characterized by the formation of bubbles in which there is a clear liquid. Gradually, such bubbles mature, become cloudy and open, which leads to the formation of erosions of different sizes. The main localization of the blisters will be the area closer to the toes on the sole, but it is possible that they knock out the whole moccasin.

The vesicular form of fungal disease is considered quite rare, but it is much easier to treat. This is due to the fact that vesicles become the place of localization of the pathogen, that is, it does not penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin. When a viral or fungal infection is associated with a vesicular fungal disease, serious skin lesions are observed and treatment becomes difficult.

Specialists distinguish an erased form of the fungus on the legs, in which all the symptoms are blurred. Diagnosing such a pathology is quite problematic, since the affected skin looks like a simple untidy leg. In a patient with such athlete's foot, the symptoms are yellowing of the nails and peeling of the feet, but they are so mild that the patient pays no attention to them.

The erased form of the fungus proceeds in waves, that is, in the hot season it worsens, and in winter it almost completely disappears. With each weakening of the immune system, a sharp exacerbation of the disease is observed, which leads to difficulties in treating athlete's foot.

How do you recognize onychomycosis?

Signs of nail fungus can vary significantly at different stages and indicate the progression of the infection. How does nail fungus develop and what signs should I look out for?

Signs of toenail fungus
  1. In the first stage, there are no characteristic symptoms of the lesion, and barely noticeable stripes and spots appear on the nail. In the event that you ignore the first signs of the disease and start the fungus, accumulation of pus in the area of \u200b\u200bthe periungual plates is possible. The result of such a pathological process is gangrene or amputation of the lower extremities.
  2. With the second degree of fungal disease, the natural shine of the nails disappears. Gradually, the nail changes color and white and brown stripes form. Deformation of the top part of the nail and its side parts is possible. The advanced stage of bacterial nail damage is characterized by its increased brittleness, delamination and inflammation of the cuticle. The pathology continues its progression, spreading to other nails and feet.
  3. In the third stage of onychomycosis, the nail turns yellow or dirty brown. Also, it becomes too loose, thickens and lags behind the nail bed. When wearing shoes, severe pain often occurs, and the itching of the skin becomes simply unbearable.

There are different types of toenail fungal infections, each of which causes certain symptoms to appear.

  1. Hypertrophic onychomycosis is accompanied by thickening of the nail and its yellowing. The nail crumbles well, and a thickened epidermis is visible under it.
  2. Atrophic onychomycosis causes thinning of the nail and its destruction, and callused skin is visible under it.
  3. Onychomycosis, when attacked by mold, often develops not as an independent disease, but against the background of other pathologies.

The nail can be colored yellow, brown, green or black. Often a complication develops in the form of inflammation of the periungual bed with the release of pus.

Prevention of pathology

Foot treatment against nail fungus

When the immune system is functioning normally, nail fungus is unlikely to develop after an infection, as the body can deal with it on its own. However, if feet and nails are infected with fungus, effective treatment is necessary. The earlier the fight against such a pathology begins, the higher the patient's chances of a full recovery.

The fight against athlete's foot is considered a rather laborious process, so it is easier to prevent the development of the disease. The following preventive measures must be observed for this:

  • keep feet dry;
  • do not wear other people's shoes;
  • Choose cotton socks;
  • Don't walk barefoot on the beach.

When the first signs of a fungus appear on the legs, you should contact a specialist. It is important to identify the pathology at the very beginning of its development and to prevent further progression, which will help avoid many complications. To understand how to determine the fungus on the legs, you need to consult a dermatologist.