One of the most unpleasant diseases that appears suddenly and causes many problems is onychomycosis. Some treat for years, others - just a few months. Why is that? This is because there is an important rule: if nail fungus symptoms are detected at an early stage, the treatment time will be noticeably reduced.
Unfortunately, not everyone is able to recognize it immediately after infection. Fungal spores "populate" the territory of human skin gradually, so attention should be paid to the smallest suspicious changes in the skin and nails, so as not to miss the first signs of this disease.
Causes and signs of fungal infection of the feet
Few examine their feet with meticulous care every day. Often, not everyone can recognize toenail fungus, as different types of spores can live on the surface of the skin for a long time, although they are not manifested at all. For example, fungi of the genus Candida are normally present on everyone's feet. We are talking about conditionally pathogenic flora, which, in certain unfavorable conditions, causes the development of the disease. What can serve as an impetus for the appearance of a fungus?
- Immunodeficiency states (oncological diseases, congenital pathologies, autoimmune diseases, AIDS, hepatitis and others).
- Diabetes. The so-called diabetic foot is very often affected by fungi and bacteria due to the decrease in blood flow, as well as the formation of ulcers and wounds that do not heal.
- Hyperhidrosis or excessive skin sweating. Since nail fungus feels good in a humid and warm environment, it is not difficult to recognize it on the skin of a person suffering from excessive sweating.
- Endocrine diseases.
Onychomycosis is very easy to be infected, 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 in the first manifestations, as the result of the treatment depends directly on it. Conventionally, onychomycosis can be divided into several stages, each of which has several signs.
- Initial stage: the skin on the legs itches and peels a little, the external manifestations of the fungus, as we are used to seeing in the photo, usually do not happen. You can feel your skin strangely dry, nothing more.
- The next stage is characterized by the appearance of red spots or whitish plaque on the skin of the foot and between the toes. It all depends on the type of fungus that has affected 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, bubbles begin to form with liquid in the legs, spread unevenly on the skin surface and burst over time. At the blister site, an ulcer forms that does not heal for a long time.
- It is possible to determine the fungus on the toenails in one of the last stages, as changes in the nail plate often begin after the appearance of itchy skin and ulcers. The nail thickens visibly. You can see how much it peels and the free edge disintegrates. The color of the nail plate also changes: greenish yellow, brown or even black. It separates from the nail bed, exposing it.
Onychomycosis detected: what to do?
If you notice the above manifestations on the feet, you should immediately consult a dermatologist, a mycologist - specialist in the study of mushrooms or a podiatrist (doctor specializing in foot and nail problems). Without fail, an analysis for nail fungus will be prescribed in order to discover its type and degree of infection. Most of the time, onychomycosis appears when the foot is affected by fungi:
- Spores of the genus Candida.
If the initial stage of the nail fungus is characterized by only a few minor signs and is located only on one foot, as you can see in the photo, then you are in luck.
Most likely, the doctor will prescribe a standard treatment regimen with antimycotic drugs that effectively kill the fungus.
For therapy, it is recommended to use special nail polishes, creams, sprays and varnishes.
Unfortunately, sometimes a person notices the appearance of fungus on the toenails when the initial stage has passed.
From the photo, you can easily determine that the disease is working: the marigold is deformed, it peels off the nail bed and has changed color, deep and painful cracks have formed between the toes, both feet have been affected by the fungus. In such a situation, antibiotic therapy will help, as well as treatment with immunostimulating and antiallergic drugs and the intake of vitamins. You can complement the complex therapy with traditional medicine recipes: baths with herbal decoctions, sea salt and soda, treatment with vinegar solution, applications with garlic, lard and other ingredients.
In the most extreme case, the marigold affected by onychomycosis is surgically removed or cut in the office of a pedicure (podiatrist) using a special cutter.
Now you know how the fungus on your feet manifests itself, the causes of its occurrence and how to deal with it. We hope this information has been helpful to you.