Nail Fungus - Treatment and Prevention

manicured nails without fungi

The sun, the sea, the wonderful beach. . . In the summer it rests well and its skin is covered with a magnificent tan. But what are those nasty cracks in the leg between the toes and why did the nail turn yellow? Take a closer look. Perhaps this is not just a cosmetic defect?

The first signs of a fungus

A parasitic fungus that has settled on the skin is capable of poisoning anyone's life. And especially many problems and sadness are caused by the fungus that has settled on the skin of the foot and nails. Women who have become victims of this fungus are mainly concerned with the external side of the problem - cracks, scaly skin, yellowed and ragged nails - but, according to doctors, the aesthetic problem is far from the main one.

This is a serious condition that requires long-term treatment. The disease first occurs in the skin of the feet, most often in the interdigital folds. The peeling appears between the fingers, accompanied by burning and itching. Then bubbles appear, which burst, forming ulcers and cracks. If you don't start treatment immediately, the fungus will spread to your nails. Once on the nail plate, it continues to grow and multiply. Despite its slowness, the fungus gradually exfoliates the nail, gradually fills it and enters the nail bed. Over time, the affected area captures the nails not only on the feet, but also on the hands. There is even a defeat of internal organs, fortunately, very rarely.

Manifestationsnail fungusdepend on the type of infection, as well as the degree and depth of the fungus. Dermatophytes, having moved to the nail plate, usually present with yellow spots or longitudinal stripes on the sides of the nail. In some cases, the disease can be guessed by the appearance of bright yellow streaks or spots in the center of the nail plate. On the hands, the nails are also "decorated" with similar, but lighter stripes - whitish or grayish.

Yeast fungi taper the nail plate laterally, while it lies behind the nail bed and becomes yellowish. Often, the disease begins with the folds of the nails, usually on the hands. The rollers thicken, swell and turn red, silver scales appear along the edge, the nail skin gradually disappears. A bacterial infection can join the process, in which case even suppuration is possible. The nutrition of the tissue in the area of the roller is disturbed, resulting in the appearance of transverse grooves. . . . . . .

Mold fungi can cause onychomycosis only in the context of an existing nail nutritional disorder, which has arisen due to other diseases. In this case, the color of the nail plate also changes, it can be yellow, green, blue, brown and even black, but the nail lesion remains superficial. However, you should not diagnose yourself, especially as nails can be caused by several fungi at the same time. In addition, the fungus is common, but not the only cause of serious nail problems.

See a doctor immediately!

If you notice signs of a fungus, don't expect everything to go away on its own. The longer the fungus lives on your nails, the more difficult the treatment is and the worse for the entire body. Prolonged onychomycosis can cause an allergic reaction, weaken the immune system and lead to exacerbation of chronic diseases. Therefore, the most correct thing at the first suspicion is to consult a mycologist or dermatologist. The doctor will not only perform an examination, assess the thickness and structure of the nail, but will also scrape tissue for analysis. Only then will he be able to determine the presence of the fungus, its type and prescribe the appropriate treatment.

At the same time, the doctor will take into account the prevalence of the process, the shape of the lesion, the presence of concomitant diseases, the rate of growth of the nails, etc. In our time, there are highly effective drugs for general use and local action for treatment. In the initial forms of the disease, when the area of the nail lesion is insignificant, it can be limited to local treatment - apply to the nail bed twice a day an antifungal (antimycotic) with a wide spectrum of action in the form of an ointment, cream or solution.

Before applying the medicine, a special preparation of the nails is carried out. First, a soap and soda bath: the basin is half filled with hot water (40-50 degrees C), in which 1 tablespoon is dissolved. me. soda and 50 g of washing powder. Feet or fingers that need treatment are immersed in the solution for 10-15 minutes. After that, the softened corneal layers on the nails are treated with a nail clipper and filed with a file. Duration of treatment - until healthy, unaltered nails grow back.

Important! Do not use the same manicure accessories for sick and healthy nails.

Topical medications include clotrimazole-based medications. They are applied to the affected nails with a dispenser and left for a day under an impermeable plaster. One day after the soap-soda bath, the affected areas of the nail are removed with a file. The procedure is repeated until the affected areas of the plaque are completely removed and then the medicine is rubbed into the nail bed. Duration of treatment, as in the case of other medicines, until healthy nails grow back.

In the initial forms of the lesions, special antifungal varnishes can be used for local treatment, which are applied to the nails 1 to 2 times a week. The treatment takes about 6 to 8 months for nails and about a year for toenails. The manicure can also be applied over the antifungal varnish.

If local treatment no longer helps or nail plates are completely affected by the fungus, general antimycotics (also called systemic) are prescribed. These drugs are taken orally. They can be used in combination with antifungal varnishes. However, it is very important to make sure that you have no contraindications to general antimycotics. For example, kidney and liver disease. Systemic medications are usually contraindicated in children, in addition, they have serious limitations for their simultaneous use with some other medications. For example, some of them are not compatible with hormonal contraceptives. If you are breastfeeding your baby, you will have to wait for a while while using these medications.

Pregnancy also means banning systemic antimycotics. Therefore, women of childbearing age who receive them need to use contraceptive methods throughout the treatment. In some cases, you have to go for the nail plate removal, followed by treatment. After that, a new nail grows, although its surface may be uneven at first. Whichever treatment the doctor prescribes, for a while you become a disinfectant. The doctor will prescribe a prescription according to which the necessary solution will be prepared for you at the pharmacy.

Before starting the course, they will have to process all available shoes, all socks, gloves, etc. , and then, once a month, until healthy nails grow back, they need to process the clothes and shoes that had to be worn during treatment. This is not difficult: the inner surface of the shoe is cleaned with a cotton swab dipped in a solution, the same cotton swab is placed on gloves, socks, socks, etc. All of this is hidden in a dense plastic bag overnight, then it is very dry and ventilated for 2 to 3 days.

Thus, as a result of persistent treatment, the external manifestations of the disease have disappeared and finally healthy nails will grow. But that is not all, now the control tests are arriving at the end of the treatment, after 2 weeks and after 2 months. Is the fungus gone? So, everything is in order, the only doubt is how not to get sick again.

Group of risk

In medical practice, fungal nail infection is designated by the term onychomycosis, where "onychosis" means a nail and "mycosis" is a fungal infection. The disease is not as rare as it may seem. Onychomycosis is common in all countries of the world and its participation among all nail diseases reaches 40%. The main causative agents of the disease are dermatophyte fungi (fungal parasites of the skin, hair and nails). But there are other culprits of the misfortune - various yeasts and molds. Men and women are equally successful victims of onychomycosis.

The risk of falling ill increases with age. For example, after 70 years, every second person suffers from onychomycosis. Fortunately, children suffer from onychomycosis much less often, as tissue regeneration and the replacement of old tissues with new ones occurs very quickly. Even a baby's nails grow much faster than an adult's, while the fungus, on the contrary, develops very slowly. However, it is impossible to completely exclude a child from the risk group. Children are usually infected by their parents and, oddly enough, through their shoes: walking around the apartment with the mother's shoes, the baby is at risk of catching the mother's fungus. An intact and healthy nail is practically invulnerable to fungal infections, but altered nails, for example, as a result of an injury, become easy prey for the fungus.

The state of the organism as a whole plays an important role. The risk of falling ill increases if the vascular tone of the legs is disturbed, for example, with heart failure or varicose veins. The same can be said about disorders of the endocrine system. Diabetes mellitus is a good reason to carefully monitor the condition of your nails, because in these cases, the defeat of the fungus can be especially severe.

Flat feet and very tight shoes contribute to skin and nail injuries. Socks and stockings made of synthetic fibers and poor ventilation in the shoes create a very moist microclimate on the skin of the feet. Frequent hand contact with household detergents and cleaning products can hurt your nails. All of this increases the risk of getting sick, but sometimes the danger is in the care of appearance: false nails can create favorable conditions for the development of onychomycosis in the hands.


To avoid problems, you must be careful. A visit to the swimming pool, spa, gym and even a sunny beach can turn into problems. The causative agents of onychomycosis are remarkably resistant to external factors. The fungus spores can resist drying, heating to 100 and freezing to minus 60 degrees C. They are able to survive the "attack" of disinfectants, which are generally used in public places, as a result, pose a constant threat to our health. On the beach sand, fungi remain viable for months. And, apparently, where else can you walk barefoot, if not on the beach?! This is exactly what you don't have to do - there are slippers for visiting beaches and swimming pools. But, in most cases (up to 65% of cases), the infection occurs in the family circle. After all, you can become infected by direct contact with a patient, by the shoes and clothes he wears, as well as by household items, be it a rug in the bathroom, a regular towel, nail scissors, etc. flakes infected with fungi. They stick easily to wet feet. Therefore, if one of the family members has this harmful "treasure", you need to be especially vigilant.

The bathtub must be thoroughly disinfected with any cleaning agent and rinsed with hot water, as loose pieces of nails or flakes of skin may remain on the surface.

A towel or sponge should be processed regularly in a 5% chloramine solution (soak for at least an hour). Used clothing should be boiled with washing powder for 20-30 minutes or kept for an hour in 5% chloramine solution, as it is sold without a prescription at the pharmacy.

Abrasions and abrasions associated with sweating or, on the contrary, dry skin, greatly facilitate the task of infection. To deal with excessive sweating and diaper rash from the feet it will help theboric acid and talc. . .

It is useful to treat the legs with drying solutions.

To avoid excessive dryness of the skin, you can use a special ointment, creams containing vitamins and other similar products. Use creams to prevent corns.

Following simple rules will save you from illness:

  1. walking on the beach wearing only slippers;
  2. when visiting the spa, sauna or swimming pool, use closed rubber slippers that protect against splashes;
  3. after washing, dry your feet, especially the interdigital folds and treat them with a prophylactic antifungal cream or special powder;
  4. do not wear someone else's shoes;
  5. change socks and socks daily.