Many people are familiar with the problem of fungal infections of the nail plates of the legs. According to medical statistics, this disease afflicts about 20% of the world's population. In our country alone, more than 15 million people suffer from this fungus. Therefore, the question of how to treat toenail fungus is very important today. This condition is also known as onychomycosis in a medical setting. The disease is more common in stronger sex. This is because they are more likely to wear closed shoes. This, in turn, blocks the flow of air to the feet, which helps create a favorable environment for the rapid proliferation of pathogenic microbes.
The information in this section should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. In cases of exacerbation of pain or other medical conditions, diagnostic tests should only be performed by the attending physician. For diagnosis and appropriate treatment, you should contact a specialist.
There are about 50 different types of fungi that can infect the human body. Therefore, in order to determine how to treat toenail fungus, you need to know the exact type of infection. Symptoms of the disease also vary depending on the pathogen that causes the disease. When a patient is infected with a normal vegetative fungus:
- Nail color changes;
- Spotted and streaked on it;
- Oncolysis was observed.
With atrophic disease, the patient notices that his nails are slowly being destroyed. The damage occurs at the outer end and moves toward the nail fold. In the beginning, only a change in the color of the plate indicated disease. she becomes:
In the future, the nail will fall off completely. For hypertrophic fungi, a thickening of the plates was observed. This occurs due to increased flaking of the skin. As a result, the nail may thicken by two millimeters and become severely deformed. The following symptoms indicate the appearance of the disease:
- Changes in the shape of the nail (the side part is destroyed);
- The glossiness of the layout is reduced;
- Nails turn yellow.
Treatment of toenail fungus should begin immediately when signs of lateral and distal lesions appear. These two diseases often co-occur. The disease will manifest itself by:
- Appearance of transverse grooves on the nails;
- plate color change (from blue-green to black);
- The roughness of the affected area.
The disease ends with complete loss of the nail and inflammation of the nail folds. Regardless of the type of lesion, there are some symptoms that plague every fungal patient:
- itching in the affected area;
- plate layering;
- Chipping and peeling of nails.
Fungal development is due to tissue damage caused by mold. In almost 90% of cases, the disease is caused by dermatophytes. In rarer cases, fungal and mold microorganisms of the genus Candida become the causative agents. Pathogens can penetrate deep into the nail:
- through the back of the nail;
- from below the distal edge;
- through the proximal folds.
In the first case, the fungus penetrates deep into the nail. This route of infection is characteristic of dermatophytes. In the second case, the lesion occurs directly under the plate. This complicates the treatment of toenail fungus because it is difficult to apply medication directly to the site of infection due to inaccessibility. Infection rarely penetrates through the proximal roller. In order for the fungus to enter the nail, specific conditions are required. Increased risk of infection:
- mechanical damage to the nail area;
- wearing narrow and uncomfortable shoes;
- frequent contact with water;
- increased sweating;
- Exposure of feet to chemicals;
- Failure to observe personal hygiene rules.
You can get the fungus from a sick person. The pathogen of the disease is well preserved in humid and warm rooms, so infection occurs most often in showers, swimming pools, water parks and public baths. The fungus can also be spread when sharing such items:
What doctor treats?
When the first symptoms appear, indicating the development of the disease, it is advisable to seek immediate medical help. Self-medication is possible, but in trying to cope with the illness on your own, you risk infecting all your loved ones and triggering complications. Therefore, it is best to trust the professionals. Treatment and diagnosis of nail fungus is carried out by: dermatologists, cosmetologists, podiatrists.
At the first appointment, the patient will be examined. The doctor needs to study the condition of the nail plate, determine the nature and prevalence of the disease. The patient needs to tell as much as possible about all complaints, indicating his hypothesis about the cause of the onset of the disease. To decide how to treat toenail fungus, it's important for your doctor to investigate. The specialist will ask the patient:
- Had a similar problem before?
- Have other health problems?
- Have you been to a sauna, hammam or swimming pool lately?
- Does a relative suffer from onychomycosis?
- Do you have any chronic diseases?
- How did you try to solve the problem yourself?
It's important for your doctor to know the type of fungus affecting your nails. Diagnostic tests can help find out. The patient will have a scrape from the affected area and will be sent for laboratory studies. The research will identify the type of pathogen and study its susceptibility to drugs.
Effective Treatment for Toenail Fungus
If you strictly follow all the recommendations of experts, you can cope with this disease quickly enough. The doctor will formulate an individualized treatment plan for the patient, select the drug and indicate the maximum allowable dose. For the treatment of nail fungus, the drug is used in the following forms:
They need to be applied regularly. It is important not to mix multiple products as their effectiveness will be reduced. It is impossible to obtain and use such drugs independently, since they have many contraindications. In this case, only doctors know how to treat toenail fungus:
- pregnancy period;
- presence of liver disease;
- in childhood.
It is very important to follow the rules for using these medicines. For example, before covering the board with a special antifungal varnish, you must:
- removing the affected part of the nail with a nail file;
- steamed out legs;
- Removes oil from nail surface.
The drug is applied in one layer. Remove it weekly with a simple nail polish remover. Then apply it again. Some types of these products can have regular nail polish over them. The duration of treatment depends on the type of pathogen, the prevalence of the disease and individual characteristics of the patient's body.
What is the best treatment?
The sooner a person sees a doctor, the easier and faster he will get rid of this problem. However, not everyone goes to the hospital right away at the first signs of fungus. Many people try to cope with the disease on their own, which leads to the advanced stages of the disease. In this case, there will be no quick cure. The patient will require long-term and serious treatment, during which he will have to:
- taking antifungal tablets;
- use funds for topical application;
- Wear the patch all the time.
In the advanced stage, doctors will decide how to treat toenail fungus according to the degree of lesions. If the board is affected at all, it is prescribed to remove it. Surgical methods can be used for this purpose. However, nails can often be removed with the help of special preparations. They are used as follows:
- Spread a thick layer on the steamed legs.
- Viewed from above, the nails are set in plaster.
- Remove after 4 days and scrape off the affected nail with a manicure tool.
This will completely remove the mold. Over time, a completely healthy new nail grows to replace the affected nail. If the treatment is carried out correctly to the end, then you can be completely free of the disease and do not have to worry about recurrence.
Even after defeating the disease, it is still possible to experience the problem again if certain rules are not followed. In this case, treatment for toenail fungus will have to start over. Strict adherence to the following precautions can prevent reinfection:
- Keep your feet dry and don't walk in wet shoes.
- Don't wear other people's shoes.
- Use enclosed disposable slippers in saunas and baths.
- Do not walk barefoot on the sand.
- Only wear socks made of natural fabrics.
It is important to forego shoes that are uncomfortable and too narrow, as the feet will sweat a lot. In addition, disease prevention involves strengthening the immune system. If the body's defenses are functioning adequately, even if the fungus penetrates the nail plate, they will take care of themselves. Therefore, it is very important to:
- eating a proper and nutritious diet;
- Avoid hypothermia;
- do excercise;
- Follow the rules of work and rest;
- Timely treatment of various diseases.
Remember that only a qualified physician can make an accurate diagnosis, determine the cause and nature of the disease, and prescribe effective treatment.