Fungus on the big toe: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, prevention

girl with toenail fungus

Currently, about 25% of the world's inhabitants suffer from fungal diseases. The disease usually manifests in the legs. Nail fungus on the big toe can bring many unpleasant moments and deprive a person of a normal, quiet life. Also, it can spread to adjacent areas. How to treat fungus on the big toe? What medicine is most effective? The answers to these questions are in our article.

Reason for appearing

Fungus can be picked up on the skin of the big toe in public places (baths, saunas, swimming pools, water parks, and other establishments where people walk without shoes). It should be noted that fungal spores often attach to a person's skin, but not everyone gets infected. In order for an infection to occur, microbes need to enter the skin cells, where they can gain a foothold and start multiplying. Wounds and microcracks facilitate this. We may not see them, but for fungi, they are an open door.

Healthy Toenails After Fungal Treatment

If one of the family members already has the fungal disease, it is also possible to get it. This happens when people don't follow personal hygiene rules, use ordinary towels, sleep in the same bed, and wear ordinary shoes and socks.

If a person has a strong immune system, the threat of getting a fungal infection in public places is reduced.

The fungal disease on the thumbnail can also appear if you try shoes on bare feet after trying on shoes at a store or market.

Other factors that cause fungal infections:

  • Lack of foot hygiene.
  • Excessive sweating (sweat is an excellent breeding ground for fungi).
  • flatfoot.
  • Wear tight shoes.
  • Old age (for many years, a person's blood circulation is disturbed and immunity weakens).
  • Use unsterile instruments for pedicures.

More commonly, the fungus first appears on the skin of the thumb because it is more likely to develop in the soft layer of the dermis. If the disease is not treated, it can spread to the nails. However, in some cases, onychomycosis is a primary disease and from the affected nail plate, the microbes have spread to the skin.


Microbes that infect the nail plate secrete enzymes that help destroy the nail plate. Thus, the fungus prepares space for its own reproduction and colony growth. Symptoms depend on the stage of the disease.

Dermatomycosis manifests as severe itching. This is the first sign. Then a bubble appeared, filled with a slight exudate. The bubble burst, forming a deep crack in its place. It was very painful, it even hurt to walk in shoes. In addition, the wound continued to itch. Dry, flaky skin forms around. The crack may heal, but it will reappear soon.

fungal toenail infection

At first, the disease does not manifest on the nail plate. Nail fungus on the big toe can be suspected from isolated white spots and streaks. The photo above shows what the affected area looks like.

In the second stage, the nails fade (sometimes yellow), thicken significantly, and bend. It usually grows into the skin, causing pain and local inflammation when walking.

In the third stage of onychomycosis, the nail becomes loose and it can be painful to cut it off. In some patients, it may peel from the skin. At this stage, the patient poses a significant threat to others because his nail plate becomes a container for fungal spores, which are easily spread on surfaces.


Onychomycosis is divided into three stages:

  • The first is that there is no change in texture, and the modification of tone is not obvious enough: streaks, spots may appear.
  • The second - the plate turned yellow, no longer glowed, the feet smelled bad.
  • Third - the board loses its texture, becomes loose and falls off the nail bed.

By the color of the nail, you can determine which fungus is occupying it:

  • Yellow spots indicate dermatophyte lesions, while changes are limited to areas in the center and edges of the plate.
  • Changes along the edges and location of exfoliation indicate damage by fungi of the yeast family.
  • The darkening of the plate indicates a lack of blood circulation in the fingers and the attachment of mold fungi.


The success of toenail fungus treatment depends entirely on when it starts. In the initial stages, topical treatments can help heal the fungal disease, and only surgical treatment can help in the subsequent stages and ingrown nails.

Apply ointment to treat nail fungus


Fungus on thumb nails is treated with special varnishes, ointments and oral medications. It can be cured in 1-2 months in the initial stage, and it may take 6 months or even a year in the later stage.


The action of the therapeutic varnish is related to the softening and disinfection results of the board. Varnish penetrates the nail plate and destroys the fungus.

Ointments, Creams and Sprays

Such drugs are used for dermatomycosis and onychomycosis. They are very effective and adverse effects are extremely rare. It is recommended to use these funds once or twice a day.

Oral preparation

Tablets for treating big toe fungus are used later. For fungal diseases, only complex treatments can help. Oral formulations include tablets and capsules.

how to remove nails

There is fungus on the big toe and removing the nail plate can have an effective effect. To do this, use methods that help soften the nails: patches, ointments, creams.

hardware pedicure

This is not cosmetic surgery, but medical surgery. performed in medical institutions. Hardware pedicures are done using special nozzles with an abrasive coating. With this procedure, you can get rid of fungus on your big toe. The photo shows the implementation of a hardware pedicure.

Treatment of big toe fungus manicure

What is the procedure like:

  • Disinfect the affected area.
  • Soften with special medicine.
  • Remove the outer layer with a nozzle.

The process is performed very carefully, gradually removing layers. If the healthy part of the nail is affected, this can trigger further spread of the fungus.

Advantages of this approach include:

  • Quickly removes the affected part of the nail.
  • Painless.
  • Good penetration for medicinal ointments and varnishes.

But this pedicure also has disadvantages:

  • Allergic reaction may occur.
  • There is a risk of infection.


Laser technology is more promising than other fungal removal methods. The beam heats up spot by spot and destroys harmful microorganisms without touching healthy tissue.

Remove the nail plate with a laser for a few minutes. Laser surgery will take longer if more than one finger is infected. To remove nails with fungus, it may take several sessions, depending on the level of damage. Healthy nails only regrow after six months.


With this procedure, the diseased nail is completely removed. Use this method only if other methods cannot help get rid of the disease. Removal of the nail on the big toe destroys the fungus only if the patient undergoes complex treatment prescribed by the doctor after surgery.

Contraindications to this operation:

  • People with poor blood clotting.
  • Infectious diseases and other diseases in the acute phase.
  • Intolerance to anesthesia.
  • have diabetes.
  • people with immune disorders.
  • Has dilated veins and permeable capillaries.

how the operation works

The procedure itself is painless for the patient as it is performed under anesthesia. Treat your nails and the skin around them with iodine. The doctor inserts a special tool under the nail plate and isolates it from the skin. If a small part of the nail is affected, remove only that part.

After surgery, antibiotic medication is applied to the wound and bandaged. The healing process takes several weeks. ligation is required. The process of growing new nails can take several months.

Possible consequences:

  • Cut, pain after surgery.
  • Infect.
  • Irregular growth of nails.
Salt for big toe fungus


Often, a doctor will provide individualized advice on wound care. However, there are some general tips:

  1. Bed rest for at least 1 month after surgery.
  2. Open wounds must be treated regularly with new sterile dressings and medications (ointments, creams).
  3. After surgery, your doctor will prescribe medication (anti-inflammatory, pain reliever, antifungal).


To reduce the risk of contracting onychomycosis, the following recommendations should be followed:

  • Fungi can be infected in beauty salons. This happens when manicure and pedicure instruments are not adequately sterilized. You should visit a salon with a good reputation and lots of positive reviews.
  • Accessories for a pedicure at home, preferably your own, do not use strangers.
  • If your feet are sweating a lot, you should sprinkle on talcum powder or talcum powder and dry them after bathing or showering.
  • Immune-boosting vitamins are recommended.
  • Frequent pedicures can thin the nails and destroy their structure, which can lead to fungal infections.
  • Acetone nail polish remover can also damage nail plates.
  • It is forbidden to wear other people's shoes.
  • Dry towels must be personal.
  • Cracks in the feet are a risk condition for the appearance of mycosis and therefore must be treated promptly.

folk remedies

Those interested in how to treat big toe fungus should keep in mind that some traditional medical methods have also shown good results.

Recipes like this are used more often:

  1. Vinegar based lotion. Take half a cup of water, glycerin, and vinegar and mix. In the resulting liquid, wet a gauze napkin and apply to the fungal-infested nail for 25 minutes. The program should be played 2 times a day.
  2. coffee bath. Brew coffee (preferably natural) to make the drink strong, then wait until it cools down slightly. Legs must be placed in the mixture for 25 minutes. The surgery needs to be done every day for 5 days.
  3. iodine. It is an inexpensive drug but is considered a powerful antiseptic. They lubricate the affected area with a cotton swab. A one-week program is required, then classes are restarted at 7-day intervals.
  4. Sea salt bath. Add a tablespoon of salt to a bowl of warm water and soak your feet in it for 20 minutes.
  5. Horseradish Bandage. It is necessary to take fresh horseradish root and grate it on a fine grater. For compressing, one teaspoon of the ground substance is sufficient. It is necessary to use a bandage at night.
  6. Compress and bathe with potatoes. You need potato skins. They need to be washed, boiled, and mashed. A broth that has been boiled with detergent should be used when bathing. After that, apply the prepared puree to the affected nails. bandage. When the product has cooled, rub the inner lard into the nails.

Folk remedies are only effective in the initial stages of the disease. They can be used as prophylactic and complex treatments.


People with fungus on their feet write that ointments, varnishes, sprays, and any other topical treatments will only help ringworm initially. They are not suitable for treating onychomycosis because they cannot kill all the spores of the fungus. Therefore, during treatment, after a marked improvement, relapse is certain to occur.

Advise patients not to spare shoes, socks, tights and to throw them away during or after treatment.

In addition, patients are advised to walk at home with socks on all the time for those with fungal infections. Otherwise, the spores of the fungus will spread all over the apartment.

According to those trying to get rid of nail fungus, the disease is difficult to treat. The course of treatment should be longer. Oral use is the most effective means, but they all have many adverse reactions and contraindications.

All patients agreed that prevention is better than cure.