The opinion that the fungal infection of the nails is not dangerous for human health is quite widespread among people. Onychomycosis (fungal infection on the nails) accompanies many for a significant portion of their life, often remaining invisible due to the absence of acute symptoms. But the treatment for this becomes no less important for these patients. In addition, everyone should imagine what the nails affected by the fungus look like for an independent primary diagnosis of pathology.
Infection with fungal microorganisms
Fungal infection can occur in situations that are completely familiar to humans. In most cases, everyone doesn't even notice how they are putting themselves at risk for infection. Causes of toenail infections include the following:
- Wear someone else's shoes, especially on the feet without socks or tights.
- Visit saunas, baths and swimming pools without individual slippers (slates).
- Apply for the services of a pedicure master in questionable salons for the quality of work.
- Use other people's files and scissors for nail processing.
- Use someone else's washcloths, towels.
In addition to the direct causes of onychomycosis, there are factors that contribute to an easier infection:
- Constantly wear stale socks, stockings, pantyhose.
- Wearing closed shoes during hot weather, which predisposes the feet to sweating (and this is conducive to the growth of fungal microorganisms).
- Neglecting constant washing of the feet with soap, especially in the summer after wearing open shoes.
- Purchase of shoes made from artificial materials.
- Burrs around the toenails, cracks and calluses on the sole.
What toenails look like
Nail changes develop slowly, progress steadily without antifungal therapy, and can lead to complete detachment of the nail plate, which is known to be irreversible. At different stages of the progression of onychomycosis, all its clinical manifestations have varying degrees of severity. Changes on the nails are also individual, but in general a number of common signs can be distinguished:
- Change the color of the nails to brown, yellow, white, greenish and their shades, combinations with each other.
- The appearance of brittle nails, their separation.
- The edge of the nail plate crumbles more.
- The appearance of smudges, cracks and peeling on the skin near the nail, in the interdigital spaces.
- An increase or decrease in the thickness of the nail (however, in some cases, the thickness remains unchanged).
Nail fungus treatment
It is recommended to start all therapeutic measures aimed at eliminating onychomycosis on the leg when determining the first suspicious signs of the disease.
What to treat, what drugs and how they will be used determine the stage of development of the disease and the extent of nail damage.
Generally, there are two options for taking antifungal medications: local (topical) and general (systemic). Local remedies are gels, ointments, creams, solutions and sprays to be applied to the skin and nails. Systemic therapy is the intravenous infusion of drugs and their intake (orally, that is, "through the mouth") in the form of tablets or capsules.
These options can be applied not only in isolation, but also in combination with each other. In addition, there is a mechanical removal of infected tissues, but only in case of a far-reaching fungal infection.
Topical antifungal drugs
- Solutions for external use. They should be applied twice a day to the affected area with a brush. It is recommended to wash the areas with soapy water and dry before application. After applying the solution, cover the area with an aseptic dressing. "
- Antifungal ointments and creams are applied in a thin layer to the lesion once or twice a day.
Most patients believe that if it comes to this type of treatment, the nails will be permanently removed. Fortunately, only in the advanced stages of the disease (the fungus has affected most of the tissues) is this used. In other cases, pedicure tools can be used to remove part of the tissue, that is, those that are affected by microorganisms.
For a long time, an operation was performed to remove the nail plate under local anesthesia. In it, the entire nail is removed immediately and first they separate it from their bed with scissors, then "pull it out" with pliers. But such an operation damages the nail matrix, that is, the basis of its regeneration, which leads to abnormal growth of new tissues, their frequent growth in soft tissues.
There is now an option to cure the fungus by laser removal of the infected nail plate. The laser does not touch healthy tissues, it only destroys the fungal cells also located in the deep layers of the nail, thus avoiding deformation of the plaque.
In addition, the method of removing hardware is distinguished, in which a layer-by-layer removal of the nail is carried out with devices with different sizes of cutters. The procedure is done once a week or every two weeks. Repeat until the affected layers of the nail are completely removed.
Prevention of onychomycosis
Preventing human pathogenic fungal infection is not that difficult for any patient. Just be more attentive to your lifestyle and remember a disease like nail fungus. Here is a list of the main measures to prevent foot fungus:
- Don't wear, let alone wear someone else's shoes.
- Use only stockings and tights, remembering to wash them regularly.
- Have a personal pedicure kit.
- Use the services of a pedicure master only in proven and "quality" service places.
- Remember to bring and wear flip flops or slippers in public restrooms.
Everyone should remember that nail fungus is anything but a harmless disease that can even deprive you of the nail plate or be complicated by a serious condition called fungal sepsis (blood poisoning).
To date, all effective treatment regimens for the fungus on the toenails have been developed, it is enough to contact a dermatologist in time and identify the presence of pathogenic microorganisms.