One of the most unpleasant diseases that comes on suddenly and causes a lot of trouble is onychomycosis. Some treat it for years, others - just a few months. Why so? This is because there is one important rule: if the symptoms of a nail fungus are detected early, your treatment time will be noticeably reduced.
Unfortunately, not everyone can detect it immediately after being infected. Fungal spores gradually "populate" the territory of the human skin, so you should pay attention to the slightest suspicious changes in the skin and nails, so as not to miss the first signs of this disease.
Causes and signs of a fungal infection of the feet
Few of them examine their feet with the utmost care every day. Often times, not everyone can recognize toenail fungus because different types of spores can live on the surface of the skin for a long time without showing themselves in any way. For example, fungi of the genus Candida are usually present on everyone's feet. We are talking about conditionally pathogenic flora, which, under certain adverse conditions, causes the development of the disease. What can serve as a trigger for the appearance of a fungus?
- Immunodeficiency states (oncological diseases, congenital pathologies, autoimmune diseases, AIDS, hepatitis and others).
- Diabetes mellitus. The so-called diabetic foot is very often affected by fungi and bacteria, which can be traced back to impaired blood circulation and the formation of ulcers and non-healing wounds.
- Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating of the skin. Because nail fungus feels great in a humid and warm environment, it's not difficult to spot it on the skin of a person who suffers from excessive sweating.
- Endocrine disorders.
Onychomycosis can get infected very easily, for example in a swimming pool, sauna, or gym. Fungal spores can settle on the skin where there are cracks, wounds, and damage. It is important to diagnose the disease at the first manifestations, since the result of treatment directly depends on it. Traditionally, onychomycosis can be divided into several stages, each of which has a number of signs.
- Initial stage: the skin on the legs itches and flakes a little, external manifestations of the fungus, as we are used to in the photo, usually do not appear. You may feel unusually dry, nothing else.
- The next stage is characterized by the appearance of red spots or whitish plaques on the skin of the foot and between the toes. It all depends on the type of fungus that has infected your feet. The spots come in a variety of sizes and are generally well defined with scaly edges. The white coating resembles powder or flour.
- In addition, fluid bubbles begin to form on the legs, which are distributed unevenly on the surface of the skin and burst over time. In the place of the burst blister, an ulcer forms that does not heal for a long time.
- It is possible to determine the fungus on the toenails at one of the last stages, since changes in the nail plate often begin after the appearance of itchy skin and ulcers. The nail thickens noticeably. You can see how much it is peeling and the free edge is crumbling. The color of the nail plate also changes: to yellow-green, brown, or even black. It separates from the nail bed and exposes it.
Onychomycosis Detected: What To Do?
In case you notice the above manifestations on the feet, you should immediately consult a dermatologist, mycologist - a specialist in the study of fungi or a podiatrist (a doctor who specializes in problems with the feet and nails). In any case, you will be prescribed an analysis for nail fungus to find out the type and degree of infection. Most often, onychomycosis occurs when the foot is infected with fungus:
- Spores of the genus Candida.
If the initial stage of nail fungus is marked by a few minor signs and is localized only on one of the feet, as you can see in the photo, you are in luck.
Most likely, the doctor will prescribe a standard treatment regimen with antifungal drugs that are effective in killing the fungus.
For therapy, it is recommended to use ointments, creams, sprays and special nail varnishes.
Unfortunately, sometimes a person notices the appearance of toenail fungus when the initial stage is long gone.
In the photo, you can easily see that the disease is running: the marigold is deformed, it peels off the bed of nails and changes color, deep and painful cracks have formed between the fingers, both feet are affected by the fungus. In such a situation, antibiotic therapy, as well as treatment with immunostimulating and antiallergic drugs, and taking vitamins will help. You can complement the complex therapy with traditional medicine recipes: baths with herbal boilings, sea salt and soda, treatment with a vinegar solution, applications with garlic, pork fat and other ingredients.
In the most extreme case, the marigold affected by onychomycosis is surgically removed or cut off with a special cutter in the office of a pedicure master (podiatrist).
Now you know how the fungus manifests itself on the feet, what causes it and how to deal with it. We hope this information has been useful to you.