Onychomycosis: symptoms and treatment

Onychomycosis is a fungal disease that affects the human nail plates. The disease often affects men aged 20-40 years. But women with this type of infection turn to the doctor more often. According to statistics, the disease is diagnosed in 20% of the population. The causative agent of this fungal disease is the mold or yeast fungus organism.



Etiology

Most often, infection of nail plates occurs in public places — baths, swimming pools, showers in sports complexes or dormitories. It is in such places for this fungal organism that the most favorable environment is uncolored benches, footstools, old rugs and mold in the shower. As a rule, this type of fungus most often affects not only the nails, but also the human foot.

In addition, it is necessary to distinguish such provoking factors:


  • frequent injuries to the nail plate
  • blood circulation disorders in the nail plates
  • consequence of severe diseases that disrupt the hormonal background and metabolism
  • long-term treatment with corticosteroids
  • weak immunity

It should be noted that fungal infection can be secondary. This course of the disease manifests itself if the infection was not initially cured to the end. Therefore, treatment should only be carried out by a specialist.

The disease can develop in the home. If it is not enough to handle the bathroom or shower after washing, do not change the mats or footstools in time, you can create a fungus-friendly environment.

Symptoms

Symptoms of this fungal disease depend on the form. Clinicians distinguish three clinical forms of onychomycosis:


  1. normotrophic
  2. hypertrophic
  3. Atrophic.

With the normotrophic form of the disease, the symptoms of a fungal disease are:


  • spots of yellow or light brown appear on the nail plate
  • The plate may begin to flake slightly.

In general, with this form of lesions, there are no strong structural changes. Shine and the normal thickness of the plate is preserved.

Hypertrophic form has a more pronounced symptomatology both on the nails and on the feet. As this form develops, you can observe such symptoms:


  1. the nail gets an unhealthy yellow color;
  2. At the sides, the plate begins to peel and crumble;
  3. the nail becomes dim, thickened
  4. the patient experiences minor pain when walking.

The last stage of onychomycosis manifests itself in the form of strong destruction of the nail, the foot can be covered with seals that resemble calluses. Begins rejection of the nail plate.

Diagnostics

Despite the fact that the symptoms of fungal disease are fairly pronounced, for an accurate diagnosis is necessary to conduct instrumental research. Thus, it is possible to establish the etiology of fungal infection, the type of fungus and to prescribe the correct course of treatment.

Onychomycosis is diagnosed using these methods:


  • Mycological research
  • Histological instrumental research
  • Microbiological

Even if there are pronounced symptoms, it is still worthwhile to see a dermatologist.




Treatment

With timely treatment, onychomycosis does not cause significant complications. But if you do not go through the treatment to the end, then a relapse of the disease in the future, and in a more complex form, is possible.

Treatment of mycosis of the nails and feet is ineffective if only the drugs of the outer spectrum of actions are used. This method can only eliminate visible symptoms, not infection completely.

The affected area of ​​the nail and foot is treated with:


  1. ointments
  2. Spray;
  3. solution;
  4. therapeutic varnish.

However, it is worth noting that in the case of a damaged nail, before you begin the treatment, you need to remove the infected area. Mechanical removal of the nail is carried out with the help of cutting or special cosmetic nippers. In the event that mechanically remove the nail is not possible, use special keratolytic patches. The same funds are used for stop. The patch allows you to soften the affected area and virtually painlessly remove it.

To clean the affected areas in the field of feet and nails apply ointment based on mycospores. The ointment is neatly applied to the affected area and sealed with a band-aid or wrapped with a bandage. In a day, the affected area is ready for cleaning. Such procedures should be performed until all the onychomycosis affected nails are removed.

In addition to preparations of the external spectrum of actions, it is mandatory to prescribe special medicines of an antifungal nature:


  • ketoconazole;
  • itraconazole
  • fluconazole.

Only a doctor should prescribe such medications. Buy them at your own discretion in the pharmacy and take it uncontrollably strongly is not recommended.

In addition to drug therapy, treatment of onychomycosis also implies compliance with other rules:


  1. during the period of taking antimycotic drugs, it is necessary to exclude other medications, if this does not pose a threat to life
  2. You should exclude narrow, uncomfortable shoes

Also, during the period of taking medications, you need to adhere to a special diet. At this time from the diet it is necessary to exclude or minimize the consumption of such products:


  • black bread
  • milk;
  • beans
  • cabbage.

Often, onychomycosis can trigger an allergic reaction. That’s why you should not treat the disease yourself and buy drugs at your discretion, without the advice of a doctor and proper examination. Even if it really is mycosis of the feet and the symptoms do not indicate a serious stage of the disease, do not self-medicate.

It is also important what shoes a man with a fungus wears. Narrow shoes disrupt blood circulation, which in the end can provoke the development of fungal infection. To wear the «right» shoes should be not only for the period of onychomycosis treatment, but also after full recovery. Complication can manifest as a distal subungual onychomycosis of the feet.

After the end of the course of treatment, it takes some time to observe the dermatologist. Initially, this should take place at least once a month. Further — no less than 2 times a year. The absence of symptoms on the nails and feet does not mean that the disease has completely receded.

Treatment with folk remedies

In folk medicine, there are many tools and drugs for the treatment of onychomycosis of feet and nails. But, initially, the onychomycosis treatment should be prescribed by the doctor, after the diagnosis.

Folk remedies for the treatment of foot fungus and nail plates are based on herbs. Such drugs can be manufactured on their own at home or bought at a pharmacy (sold as ointments, oils, herbal and other medications). The most common in folk medicine are such «home» drugs:


  1. a mixture of alcohol and propolis
  2. celandine baths
  3. tar soap
  4. trays of potassium permanganate
  5. apple cider vinegar

The effect of these folk remedies is aimed at making painless removal of the affected nail plate. After that, a healthy nail will begin to grow. But the infection can begin to develop at any time, as no necessary medication is taken. Therefore, folk remedies will bring a full recovery if used together with a basic, medical treatment course.

As practice shows, folk recipes for the treatment of onychomycosis give positive results already on day 5 after regular use. The main advantage of such drugs is that they are readily available and relatively cheap.

For the period of treatment by any means, it is not recommended to water the affected area.

Prevention

Prevention of onychomycosis is quite simple. For this, it is worth applying the following rules in practice:


  • Do not wear narrow, dirty shoes
  • change socks every day
  • Do not use other people’s hygiene items
  • in public places (swimming pools, showers) only walk in their shoes
  • periodically change the foot mat in the bathroom.




Immediately after the manifestation of symptoms, you should consult a dermatologist. The course of treatment must be completed. With the timely begun conservative treatment of the fungus can almost completely get rid of.