In addition to onychomycosis, there are many other causes and diseases due to which the normal appearance of the nails can change.Thick, white nails can be the result of psoriasis or the unsuccessful use of harsh cosmetics. Detachment and delamination of the nail plate occur with both lesions and trophic disorders of the lower extremities with varicose veins or endocrine diseases. Onychomycosis usually starts not with changes in the nail plate itself, but with redness, itching, and peeling of the skin around the nail. If a person does not pay attention to these symptoms, the fungus starts to develop, penetrates into deeper tissues, incl. under the nail bed. Fungal damage to the nail plate usually starts at its free edge, which thickens, becomes yellowish-gray, breaks and disintegrates easily. But even in this case, it is possible to accurately determine the presence of a fungus only with the help of laboratory research - microscopy.
The fungus appears only in elderly and chronic patients.
In patients with chronic diseases (diabetes mellitus, peripheral vascular diseases, etc. ), nail fungus is actually more common, but just because all these diseases reduce the activity of general and local immunity, they negatively affect the skin's resistance to any infections . Old age alone cannot be the cause of fungal diseases, but the older a person gets, the more health problems he accumulates, which contributes to the development of fungal infections. At the same time, completely healthy young people are not protected from onychomycosis. Sports enthusiasts can suffer from nail fungus. calluses, microtraumas to the skin of the feet and sweating create the ideal conditions for the development of fungi. The fungus can occur in those who spend most of the day standing, in closed shoes that do not allow excess moisture to evaporate. Smoking, frequent stress, and excessive love of sweets increase your risk of developing yeast infections.
The fungus is usually caught in a swimming pool, sauna or beach.
In a sauna, swimming pool or beach, the risk of finding fungi is really very high, as in any other place with high air temperature and humidity, where the spores of onychomycosis pathogens remain viable for a long time. But this is far from being the only opportunity to get onychomycosis. The causative agents of fungal infections can enter the skin of a person going to a gym, beauty salon, shoe store, public transport, or simply wearing someone else's slippers. But contact with the fungus or its spores does not always lead to the development of infection, much depends on the condition of the skin and the body as a whole. And only if the fungus enters the ideal environment for development and finds a weak point in the human body's immune defense, can it damage the skin and nails. Risk factors for the development of onychomycosis are called calluses and cracks in the skin of the feet, increased sweating on the feet, use of tight and "non-breathable" shoes, in addition to synthetic socks.
Fungal spores are everywhere, there is no effective protection against them.
Fungal spores can, in fact, be found almost anywhere, even at home, so it is impossible to completely exclude contact with them. However, even a person at high risk of developing mycoses has the opportunity to protect themselves against the development of this infection. First, you must carefully follow the rules of personal hygiene: only use your own shoes, towels, etc. It is equally important to carefully monitor the condition of the skin on the feet and nails - remove dry calluses in time, treat cracks, abrasions and trim the nails correctly. It will not be superfluous to avoid excessive foot sweating, including the use of antiperspirant foot products. If the risk of onychomycosis is too high, you can prophylactically coat your nails (once a week) with a special antifungal nail polish. You can also, after consulting your doctor, start taking drugs that boost immunity - interferon inducers, plant adaptogen-based drugs, multivitamin complexes.
The fungus is forever. You cannot get rid of it completely.
Onychomycosis is a common infectious disease that ends as soon as its pathogen is removed from the body. This can only be avoided with incorrect treatment or mistakes made by the patient. The peculiarity of onychomycosis is that the fungus is located under the nail plate (in the nail bed). Not every LP can penetrate that deeply. Therefore, the use of special forms of external agents or systemic antifungal therapy for the treatment of onychomycosis is now recommended. Furthermore, treatment should be continued even if all symptoms of the fungal infection have disappeared. You can stop taking the medications only after 3 repeated examinations (microscopy) show that the fungus is no longer in the tissues. Furthermore, the use of antifungals must be combined with proper care of the nails and feet. this reduces the risk of further relapses.
It is useless to treat the fungus with external agents.
Modern forms of external preparations make it possible to create a high concentration of an antifungal agent in the affected area. At the same time, external agents are not absorbed into the systemic circulation, have a broader spectrum of action and have a low risk of developing resistance. Unfortunately, not all external drugs are able to penetrate the thickness of the nail, especially the tissue of the nail bed, where most pathogens are located. Therefore, local therapy is recommended to be combined with the removal of the nail plate or the use of keratolytic agents - urea preparations or salicylic acid. This is especially important if onychomycosis is accompanied by nail hyperkeratosis. Usually, monotherapy with external agents is used in cases where 1 to 2 finger nails or 1/3 of the surface of the nail plates are affected. In other cases, external agents are used in combination with systemic antifungals.
Antifungal pills are very dangerous and toxic.
Due to the long duration of antifungal treatment (in some cases up to 12 months), there is actually a risk of side effects and liver toxic effects. But today, methods have been developed that make it possible to reduce this danger to a minimum. So, for example, some antifungal medications are used in pulse therapy mode: that is, short courses of 5 to 7 to 10 days, with an interval of 21 days. There are systemic antifungals that can be taken only 1-2 times a week. There are antimycotics with a high safety profile that, when taken in therapeutic doses, do not have a negative effect on liver cells even with continuous and prolonged use. Therefore, the most important thing is not to take systemic antifungals without a doctor's consultation and supervision. Only a dermatologist should prescribe such funds.
If you choose the right medicine, the fungus can be cured within a week.
It is possible to stop the development of a fungal infection in a short time only if the infection has occurred recently and the agent causing the onychomycosis has not had time to penetrate deeply into the tissues around the nail. But unfortunately, few patients seek medical help at this stage, most often the treatment of onychomycosis starts at later stages, when the nail plate (or even several) is severely affected and the process of dystrophy or hyperkeratosis is ongoing in the surrounding tissues . In this situation, not a single medication will help to quickly resolve the fungus problem, even if the treatment is combined with the complete removal of the affected nail plate, as it will take about 3 months to restore the nail. In a relatively short time, about 4-6 weeks, you can only reduce the most noticeable symptoms of onychomycosis. But the causative agent of the infection, especially in the form of spores, still remains in the tissues. And only after completing the course of treatment prescribed by the doctor will you be able to get rid of this unpleasant disease.