We determine the fungus of the nails on the hands and feet according to the main features

Nail fungus cannot be confused with anything at its advanced stage, when it is almost impossible to cure it. But if you know the earlier symptoms of nail fungus, then it will not be too late to start fighting the infection, and nail loss may well be avoided. But in different cases, the fungus looks different, so first you have to understand a little about the nature and course of the disease.

itching with nail fungus

General signs of the disease

Regardless of the type of fungus, variety, course of the disease, and even the stage, these symptoms will remain unchanged and will definitely indicate a developing or already running onychomycosis.

  • A change in the color of the nail plate is a key sign from which the disease will begin its development. Shades can range from whitish to black, but the most common color of a fungal nail is brownish yellow.
  • An unpleasant odor always accompanies onychomycosis, although it may not be very noticeable in the initial stages. True, you will hardly sniff at your feet, and a specific smell will become noticeable already at the stage of development of the disease.
  • Stratification, crumbling and peeling of the nail plate do not begin immediately, but it is these signs of nail fungus that make most people sound the alarm. If these symptoms are moderately expressed and appear locally, then there is still a chance to return a healthy look to the nail.
  • Painful sensations rarely appear at the initial stage and stage of development, but as the disease progresses, discomfort and pain cannot be avoided: in any case, it will appear either due to deformation, or due to a destroyed nail plate, or due to the onset of inflammation with pus.
  • Burning and itching of the skin should also not be ignored. Moreover, at the initial stage, it is these symptoms that can help to recognize the disease, because in some cases it passes to the nail plate from the skin on the lateral or posterior ridges or cuticles.

By the way

Onychomycosis is much more likely to occur on the toenails, while the fungus gets on the hands much less often, most often after contact with the affected toenails.

yellow toenails with fungus

Symptoms of foot fungus

It seems that you already know how to identify nail fungus, but this information is quite general, although it will help to accurately diagnose onychomycosis. The fact is that there are more than 50 species of fungi that can cause it, and about 10 of the course of the disease. It is better to know what awaits you in each of the possible scenarios in advance.

More than 90% of all cases of infection with onychomycosis on the legs are due to dermatomycetes, a little less than 10% - to yeast-like fungi, and only a small proportion - to mold fungi.

Different types of nail fungus provide different symptoms.

  • With a normotrophic fungus, the nail plate itself is not deformed, and the most noticeable manifestation of the disease is a change in the color of the plate on the sides to yellowish-brown. At the same time, its thickness does not change, it does not crumble, and the natural gloss does not disappear. If you do not deal with the treatment of normotrophic fungus, it will affect an increasing area, the plate will begin to flake off and may completely come off.
  • Hypertrophic fungus provokes a thickening of the nail plate, leading to the formation of growths that look like claws. In the advanced stage, such a fungus causes discomfort and often pain when walking, and, of course, nail damage is accompanied by a change in color to grayish or yellow. Such nails lose their natural gloss and begin to crumble and exfoliate.
  • If you are faced with an atrophic fungus, then the risk of losing the plate without proper treatment is extremely high. Such a fungus gradually destroys the nail plate, making it loose and exfoliating, as a result of which its atrophy occurs. At the initial stages, it is difficult to distinguish an atrophic course, since it is accompanied only by a loss of luster and a change in the color of the plate to yellow, brown or gray.

Less typical are lateral-distal mold with blackening of the nail plate, pain, suppuration and atrophy of the nail plate in the advanced stage; a proximal fungus with white spots in the area of the growth zone and damage to the nail plate from the side of the cuticle, as well as a white superficial fungus, which manifests itself in the form of small white spots on the nail, gradually growing and occupying an increasing area.

By the way

The older the person, the more susceptible to fungal nail diseases. Also, the occurrence of the fungus can be influenced by climate, hygiene and gender.

fungal infection of the nail plate

Symptoms of a fungus on the hands

On the hands, the main 3 variants of the course of the disease do not differ from those encountered on the legs, only the distribution of the causes of occurrence is somewhat different: approximately 30% and 45% are due to dermatomycetes and yeast-like fungi, respectively, slightly less than 15% are molds, andalso a small number of infections are caused by other mycotic organisms.

The main symptoms are also the same for the plates on the arms and legs, and the affected areas look similar. The only difficult point may be the question of how to recognize nail fungus in less frequent cases, such as infection with rubromycosis or trichophytons, but this is more of a task for qualified doctors.

fungus on the nails of the hands and feet

Progression of the fungus

If at the initial stage the disease does not look frightening and thoughts of serious treatment are rarely visited, increasingly being replaced by folk methods, then at an advanced stage it will not be possible to do without long-term medical treatment. And even it will not be able to guarantee that the nail will remain with you.

  • It would be ideal to start treating the disease at an early stage, but it is almost impossible to determine it outside the laboratory: all symptoms have a barely noticeable manifestation. Although a couple of signs can still be seen. If you notice something wrong with the skin, for example, cracks, blisters or burning may appear, this is a clear harbinger of onychomycosis on the nails. If you see that the color of the nail plate has begun to change along the edges or from one edge, this is also a cause for concern.
  • Usually, the fungus becomes noticeable at the stage of development, and in order to notice it as early as possible, you need to regularly do at least a simple pedicure and monitor the condition of the nails and skin of the feet. During this period, the nail plate looks unhealthy, loses its luster, a significant change in color begins, and closer to the onset of the advanced stage, the nail begins to deform, peel off and crumble.
  • At an advanced stage, the nail will definitely actively collapse: delaminate, break off, loosen up to the total destruction of the nail plate and even damage to the nail bed. In order for the disease to reach its advanced form, it must be ignored for quite a long time, enduring itching, discomfort, a disgusting appearance and an unpleasant smell, which people still do not often do. Therefore, this stage is typical for the rapid development of the fungus in old age or in the presence of certain diseases.

It is important to remember that untreated nail fungus can turn into foot fungus, and this disease is even more unpleasant and difficult to treat.

It is not so difficult to determine the presence of a fungus on the nails at least at the stage of development, but it is better to entrust qualified professionals to determine the cause and type of the course. Do not neglect the help of doctors and contact them at the first suspicion of a disease.