Toenail fungus: first signs and treatment

Such an annoying disease as nail fungus (or onychomycosis) is considered one of the most common worldwide. According to statistics, every tenth inhabitant of our planet suffers from foot fungus! People of different races, both sexes and all ages are susceptible to the disease - from preschoolers to the elderly.

Many of us believe that foot fungus can only appear in people who neglect personal hygiene, forget to monitor the condition of the skin of their feet, etc.

toenail fungus symptoms

In fact, toenail fungus can appear even in a clean person, because the infection is very easy to "catch" in public places - on the beach, in the sauna, swimming pool, in the gym, etc. Toenail fungus is a disease, althoughNot fatal, but very insidious. At an early stage, it manifests itself in the form of harmless symptoms, but later it can lead to such serious consequences as the destruction and deformation of the nail, which will never take on its former shape. In addition, onychomycosis is very contagious, so a person who has found a fungus can easily infect all household members.

Toenail fungus: first signs

It is quite difficult to identify the pathology at the first stage, but it is possible if you carefully look at the condition of the nails and the skin around them.

The main signs by which fungus can be identified are:

  • thickening of the nail plate;
  • the appearance of furrows, stripes and spots on it;
  • loss of shine and elasticity of toenails;
  • nails cut into the skin of the legs, which was not previously observed;
  • the skin around the nail plate began to itch and cause discomfort to the person; sometimes itching begins between the fingers (these signs are characteristic of children and adolescents, since their skin is much thinner and more tender than that of adults).

Subsequently, with the development of the fungus, other signs and symptoms appear:

  • distortion of the structure of toenails - they become brittle, scaly, crumbly edges appear;
  • color change - instead of the usual, healthy transparent white color, the plate acquires unnatural shades, such as purple, yellow or even black;
  • the nail is deformed, becomes flat or convex, tubercles form on it.

But peeling nails are symptoms of an advanced stage of the disease. The nail separates from the skin, forming a so-called pocket in which pathogenic bacteria gather and actively multiply. Often this manifests itself after contact with warm water - when you take a shower, bath, swim in the pool, take a steam bath. After the legs dry, the plate can again adhere to the skin.

Sometimes similar symptoms can occur in a person who does not suffer from a fungus. The nail can turn black, peel off, and then completely fall off due to mechanical damage. The dying process begins a week or two after you have injured your toes or simply worn tight, ill-fitting shoes.

As a rule, after six months, a new, completely healthy nail plate grows. To determine whether it is a fungus or just the consequences of an injury, a qualified dermatologist or surgeon can.

These symptoms are also accompanied by an unpleasant odor, which is created by pathogenic bacteria. A person suffering from toenail fungus smells bad in socks and shoes, and the usual hygiene procedures cannot eliminate this symptom. In this situation, complex treatment is necessary, otherwise a person may lose the nail plate.

Treatment of onychomycosis

A person can recognize the first symptoms of the disease on their own. But even if you are sure that you have symptoms of nail fungus, you should seek the advice of a qualified doctor, otherwise the treatment may not bring the desired results. The specialist will help to recognize the disease, determine its stage and recommend the necessary treatment.

First of all, it is necessary to eliminate the causes due to which the disease begins:

  • humid and warm environment. Wear socks, tights and shoes only made from natural materials. After each visit to the street, dry your shoes, change socks, do not allow your feet to stay damp for a long time;
  • do not wear someone else's shoes, when visiting public places - a swimming pool, sauna, beach - use personal replacement shoes, which after each use are disinfected with chlorine or alcohol;
  • weak immunity. Often this disease occurs against the background of weak immunity, lack of useful nutrients in the body, frequent colds. After consulting with your doctor, you should take a complex of vitamins and minerals that will strengthen the immune system and, accordingly, help in the treatment.

Traditional treatment

Local treatment of onychomycosis at the initial stage consists in applying antifungal creams and ointments. These funds are usually sold together with a special waterproof patch.

Using a dispenser, the drug is applied to the affected nail plate, fixed with a plaster and left for 24 hours. The patch must not be removed during this period.

After a day, the patch should be removed, lower the legs into a warm soapy-soda solution and remove dead tissue with a pedicure nail file.

After the affected areas of the nail plate on the legs are removed, the product must be applied to the nail bed. The duration of such treatment is until the growth of a healthy plate.

At the first stage of the disease, only with the onset of the first symptoms, special antifungal varnishes can be used. Apply this varnish once or twice a week throughout the year.

However, if such therapy does not help and the fungus is already at a different stage, more effective drugs are needed. In this case, antimycotics of general action will be required. They can also be combined with antifungal varnishes. The course of treatment with systemic drugs is prescribed by the doctor individually, depending on what stage of onychomycosis the patient has.

Such funds have a number of limitations - kidney and liver diseases, pregnancy, the period of breastfeeding the baby. You can also not combine them with oral contraceptives.

Despite the fact that the fungus of the toenails is a disease that is not dangerous to human life, in the absence of the necessary therapy, it can lead to allergic reactions, reduced immunity and the occurrence of various skin diseases. That is why the treatment of this disease cannot be postponed until later, you must immediately seek help from a specialist.