Toenail fungus - treatment and prevention

Well-groomed nails are free of fungus

Great sun, sea, beach. . . You are fully rested during the summer, and your skin is covered with a beautiful tanned skin. But what is this nasty crack in the foot between the toes and why does the nail turn yellow? Let's take a closer look. Maybe this isn't just a cosmetic defect?

The first sign of the fungus

A parasitic fungus has settled on the skin capable of poisoning anyone's life. And especially a lot of trouble and grief is due to the fungus residing on the skin of the feet and on the nails. Women who have become victims of such a fungus are mainly concerned with the outer side of the problem - chapped, flaky skin, yellow cracked nails - but according to doctors, the cosmetic problem is not. must be the main problem.

This is a serious illness that requires long-term treatment. The disease appears first on the skin of the feet, usually in the folds of the toes. Sloughing appears between the fingers, accompanied by burning pain and itching. Then bubbles appear, rupture, forming sores and cracks. If you don't start treatment right away, the fungus will spread to your nails. Once in the nail, it continues to grow and multiply. Although it is slow, the fungus gradually peels off the nail, fills and penetrates the nail layer, over time, the affected area will adhere to the nail not only on the feet but also on the hands. There is even a failure of the internal organs, thankfully, quite rare.

ExpressionToenail fungusdepends on the type of infection, as well as the extent and depth of the fungus. After migrating to the nail, ringworm often declares itself with yellow spots or vertical stripes on either side of the toenail. In some cases, the disease can be diagnosed by the appearance of bright yellow stripes or spots in the center of the nail plate. On the hands, nails are also "decorated" with similar, but lighter stripes - slightly white or grayish.

The yeast thinns the nail plate from both sides, while it is behind the nail bed and has a yellowish color. Usually, the disease begins with folds of the nail, usually on the hands. The rolling nails thicken, bulge and turn red, silver scales appear along the edges, and the nail skin gradually disappears. Bacterial infections can be involved in the process, in that case, even be destroyed. Nutrition of the tissue in the area of the roller is disturbed, as a result of which transverse grooves appear. . . . . . .

Mold can only cause onychomycosis on an inherent nutritional disorder that is caused by other diseases. In this case, the color of the nail also changes, be it yellow, green, blue, brown, and even black, but the nail damage remains superficial. However, you should not diagnose it yourself, especially since nail damage can be caused by multiple fungi at the same time. Additionally, fungus is a common, but not the only, cause of serious nail problems.

See a doctor immediately!

If you notice signs of the fungus, don't expect that everything will go away on its own. The longer the fungus lives on your nails, the harder it is to treat and adversely affect the entire body. Prolonged onychomycosis can cause an allergic reaction, weakening the immune system and leading to an exacerbation of chronic diseases. Therefore, it is best to first consult a dermatologist. The doctor not only examines and assesses the thickness and structure of the nail, but also scrapes the tissue for analysis. Only in this way will he be able to identify the presence of the fungus, the fungus, and prescribe the appropriate treatment.

At the same time, the doctor will take into account the prevalence of the process, the type of lesion, the presence of comorbid diseases, rate of nail growth, etc. v. . . In our time, there are generally highly effective drugs in general and locally. act for treatment. In early forms of the disease, when the area of the damage to the nail is insignificant, you can limit the local treatment yourself - apply antifungal (antimycotic) medication to the nail 2 times a day. in the form of an ointment, cream, or solution.

Before applying the drug, a special preparation of the nail is performed. First, a bath of soap and soda: a bath contains half of hot water (40-50 degrees C), in which 1 tablespoon is dissolved. l. soda and 50 g laundry soap. The treated foot or finger is soaked in the solution for 10-15 minutes. Then, the soft horn layers on the nail are treated with nail clippers and files. Duration of treatment - until the unchanged healthy nail grows again.

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

Topical medications include the generic clotrimazole. They are applied to the affected nails with a dispenser and left for a day under waterproof plaster. One day after a soap bath with soda, the affected nail areas are removed with a file. The procedure is repeated until the affected areas of the plaque are completely removed, after which the drug is rubbed into the nail. Duration of treatment, as with other drugs, until healthy nails regrow.

In the initial forms of lesions, a special antifungal varnish can be used for topical treatment, applied to the nail 1-2 times a week. Treatment takes about 6-8 months for the nails and about a year for the toenails. Nail polish can also be applied over top of the antifungal varnish.

If the topical treatment no longer works or the nail plaques are completely affected by the fungus, antipyretic drugs are generally prescribed (they are also called systemic). Such drugs are taken by mouth. They can be used in combination with antifungal varnishes. However, it is very important to make sure that you have no contraindications to antipyretics in general. Examples are kidney and liver diseases. Systemic drugs are often contraindicated in children, in addition, they have serious limitations in their concomitant use with a number of other drugs. For example, some of them are incompatible with hormonal contraception. If you are breastfeeding, you will have to wait a while while using these medications.

Pregnancy also means a ban on systemic antipyretics. Therefore, women of childbearing age when receiving the drug need to use contraception for the entire course of treatment. In some cases, you may have to remove the plaque, followed by treatment. Then, a new nail will grow, although the surface may not be flat at first. Whatever treatment your doctor prescribes, you will turn into an antiseptic for a while. The doctor will write a prescription under which the necessary solution will be prepared for you at the pharmacy.

Before starting the course, they will have to dispose of all available shoes, socks, gloves, etc. v. Then, once a month, until healthy nails grow again, they need to handle clothing and shoes that must be worn during that time. treatment. This is not difficult: the inner surface of the shoe is wiped with a cotton swab dipped in the solution, the same gauze pad is placed on the gloves, socks, socks, etc. v. All of these are hidden in a dense plastic bag overnight, then dried and ventilated for 2-3 days.

So as a result of persistent treatment, the outward manifestations of the disease disappear and eventually healthy nails will emerge. But that's not all, now the control tests are coming to an end, after 2 weeks and after 2 months. Are the mushrooms gone? So everything went into order, the only question was how not to get sick again.

Risk group

In medical practice, fungal infections of the nails are denoted by the term onychomycosis, where "onycho" means nails, and "mycosis" is a fungal infection. This disease is not as rare as we think. Onychomycosis is common in all countries of the world and its prevalence among all nail diseases is up to 40%. The main causative agent is the fungus dermatophyte (a fungus that parasites the skin, hair and nails). But there are other culprits of unhappiness - yeasts and molds. Both men and women become victims of onychomycosis with equal success.

The risk of the disease increases with age. For example, after 70 years, one person every second has onychomycosis. Fortunately, children are much less susceptible to onychomycosis, as tissue regeneration, replacement of old tissue with new tissue occurs very quickly. Even infant nails grow much faster than adults, while fungus, on the other hand, grows quite slowly. However, it is not possible to completely exclude a child from the risk group. Children are often infected from their parents and strangely through footwear: bragging around the apartment in mother's shoes, the baby is at risk of getting a fungal infection from the mother. An intact healthy nail is practically impossible to get fungal infections, but altered nails, such as from trauma, become easy prey for the fungus.

The state of the organism in general plays an important role. The risk of disease increases if the blood vessels in the leg become disturbed, such as heart failure or varicose veins. The same can be said of disorders in the endocrine system. Diabetes is a good reason to carefully monitor the condition of your nails, because in such cases, the destruction of fungus can be particularly severe.

Flat feet and tight shoes contribute to skin and nail injury. Synthetic fiber socks and socks, poor ventilation in the shoe creates a microclimate that is too humid on the skin of the feet. Frequent hand contact with household cleaners and cleaning products will injure nails. All of these increase your risk of disease, but sometimes the danger lies in your own care: artificial nails can facilitate the growth of onychomycosis on the nails.


To avoid trouble, you have to be careful. A visit to a swimming pool, bathhouse, gym and even a sun-drenched beach can turn into troubles. Onychomycosis is markedly resistant to external factors. Fungal spores can withstand drying, heating to 100 and freezing to minus 60 degrees Celsius. They can survive the "onslaught" of disinfectants, often used in public places. Therefore, they are always a threat. for our health. In the beach sand, mushrooms persist for months. And, it looks like, where else could you go barefoot, if not on the beach?! This is exactly the right thing to do - have slippers to visit beaches and swimming pools. But most often (in up to 65% of cases), infection occurs within families. After all, you can become infected through direct contact with the sick person, through shoes and clothes the person wears, as well as through household items, whether it's bathroom rugs, shared towels. , nail clippers, v. v. on the skin. scabs infected with fungus. They easily stick to wet feet. Therefore, if one of your family members has this dangerous "treasure", you need to be especially vigilant.

The tub must be thoroughly disinfected with any detergent and rinsed with a stream of hot water, as nail fragments or loose skin flakes may remain on the surface.

A towel or sponge should be routinely handled in a 5% chloramine solution (soaked for at least one hour). Used linen should be boiled with detergent for 20-30 minutes or incubated for one hour in a 5% chloramine solution, as it is sold in pharmacies without a prescription.

Scratches and scuffing associated with sweating or, conversely, with dry skin, greatly facilitate the task of infection. To deal with excessive sweating and diaper rash on the feet will help the dough come fromBoric acid and talc powder. . .

It is very helpful for treating feet with drying solutions.

To prevent excessively dry skin, you can use special ointments, vitamin creams and other similar products. Use anti-corn creams.

Following simple rules will help you get better:

  1. walk on the beach with just slippers;
  2. when going to a bathroom, sauna or swimming pool, use sealed rubber slippers to protect against splashing water;
  3. after washing, dry the feet, especially the interstitial folds, and treat with a special anti-fungal cream or powder;
  4. don't wear other people's shoes;
  5. change socks and socks daily.