What does toenail fungus look like photo how to treat reviews

Foot fungus is an infectious disease that spreads from person to person. Foot fungus is the most common type of fungus in adults. Both women and men and even children are sick with it.

Mycosis (fungus) is a skin disease caused by parasitic fungi. It can be easily picked up from contact with an infected person or through objects and things that the patient has had contact with. Fungi are very fond of a warm and humid environment, so public places such as saunas, baths, water parks, beaches and swimming pools are considered potentially dangerous. English doctors call this disease "athlete's foot symptom", since athletes use closed, poorly breathing shoes, inside which moisture accumulates.

Mycoses are very insidious, despite the apparent simplicity of the disease, they are difficult to cure and tend to relapse.

Recognize as early as possible

Treatment of mycosis is a rather long and complex process, therefore it is important to determine as soon as possible the appearance of the fungus on the legs, the reasons for its appearance and start taking action. The fungus usually appears between the toes first. Then, if left untreated, the infection invades the nail plate, leading to nail destruction. If the cause is an infection in a pedicure salon, the disease begins with the nails.

Often, after the infection, the fungus makes itself felt quite early and you immediately know that "something" is wrong. But the manifestations of the fungus on the legs can have a different character: hidden or pronounced. That is why it is necessary to understand how the fungus on the legs starts, what it looks like and how to recognize it.

healthy feet after fungus treatment

What are the first symptoms of toe fungus?

After contact with the skin, the fungus on the legs goes through an incubation period (depending on the person's immunity, 3-14 days), at which time the disease does not manifest itself.

The first symptoms that should suggest a visit to the dermatologist can be:

  • The skin of the legs appears red or covered in spots, itching, burning. This causes terrible discomfort, you constantly want to scratch your legs. This sign of foot fungus is noted in 99% of cases of the disease.
  • Thickening or roughness of the skin on the feet. Often this sign of toe fungus is ignored as it looks like a callus or calluses.
  • Fluid blisters on the affected areas of the skin. If the patient combs them, an infection can get into them, and then the blisters burst, suppurate and erode, ulcers, abscesses appear on the skin.
  • Cracks appear between the toes. Most often, the defeat of the foot fungus begins in the gaps between the toes (between the first and second or fourth and fifth). Cracks can cause discomfort or even pain.
  • If timely treatment is not started, the skin on the legs becomes rough and takes on the appearance of scales, while excessively dry skin on the legs is observed - a sure sign that you have a fungus. Subsequently, the affected areas of the skin (fingers, heel, foot) appear softened, covered with a whitish coating.
  • Feet smell bad.
  • The skin of the legs appears pathologically shiny.
  • Edema appears. This suggests that you have chronic foot fungus.
toenail fungus

Interdigital infection

The onset of a toenail infection begins with the skin between the toes appearing too pale, soft, and wet, and may present with symptoms such as burning skin and faint foot odor. If the infection is not treated, a bacterial infection is added to the fungal infection. And this, in turn, leads to the appearance of bad foot odor.

Interdigital infection can also be complicated with treatment. Cracks and flaking develop until the skin becomes very dense and thick.

If no measures have been taken, the infection passes to the nails, which contributes to their rejection and falling out.

Vesicular infection

A less common type of fungal infection of the legs. It usually begins with the fact that areas filled with liquid contents, resembling blisters, suddenly appear under the skin of the legs. Most often, blisters develop on the ball of the foot, although they can also appear between the toes or in the heel area, as well as on the ball of the foot.

This type of disease can develop after primary infection. Also, a secondary infection can affect both the same areas as the primary one (on the skin of the legs), and other parts of the body. Integuments in such cases, as a rule, begin to shell.

moccasin-like mushroom

This fungus begins with the manifestation of pain in the foot. Then, during the course of the disease, the skin on the sole gradually thickens and then begins to crack.

Fungal diseases in this form often affect the nails, which subsequently thicken, begin to crumble or even fall out altogether.

fungal infection of the nail plate

Manifestation of symptoms and type of fungus

The manifestations of toenail fungus symptoms depend on the type, as well as the degree and depth of the fungal infection.

Symptoms of nail fungus include the following manifestations:

  • the nail appears cloudy, loses its shine;
  • nail color changes from yellow to black;
  • the surface appears rough and the nail itself begins to crumble;
  • the nail is pathologically thickened or, conversely, thinned to an extreme extent;
  • there is a painful curvature of the nail plate;
  • the cuticle around the diseased nail is unaffected by the fungus or appears slightly inflamed.

With fungal diseases it becomes very difficult, and sometimes impossible, to cut nails without prior preparation, as they are too thick. Pain can occur if the thickened nail presses against the underlying skin.

A fungal infection is a very complex disease, it is not easy to remove it, especially if the disease is ongoing. Therefore, if you notice that "something" is happening, you should immediately consult a doctor, because only the initial stages of this disease are easier and faster to treat.

Urgently to the doctor!

If you notice signs of foot fungus in yourself, do not expect it to go away on its own. The longer you have a fungus on your feet, the more difficult it is to cure and the worse it is for the whole body. Prolonged mycosis can cause weakened immunity, allergic reactions and exacerbation of chronic diseases. That is why at the first suspicions, contact a dermatologist or mycologist. The doctor will conduct an examination, determine the degree of the disease, the structure of the affected skin or nail, and make tissue scrapings for analysis. Thus, the doctor will determine the presence of a fungal infection on the legs, its type and prescribe the appropriate treatment, tablets, syrups or injections (in the most difficult cases).

So, if you have very sore soles of your feet, maybe an old fungus has come back, seek medical help right away. It is very important to start fungus treatment immediately in order to recover from an unpleasant disease and protect others.

The initial stage of nail fungus

Onychomycosis is a common pathology in which pathogenic microorganisms multiply in the depths of the nails and adjacent tissues. As a result, the nail plate is gradually deformed. The initial stage of nail fungus can be treated effectively.

Subject to recommendations, patients recover within a few months. Additional preventative measures will help keep your nails healthy.

How is the initial stage

Symptoms in the early stages of the disease look the same on both the arms and legs. At first, the nail plate changes its shade. From pink it becomes yellowish and dull, sometimes turning to a grayish color. It is possible to change the structure of the plate: tubercles or other swellings appear on it.

In the future, longitudinal stripes, yellow spots or blotches are noted on the nails. The plate begins to expand and thicken, at the same time it becomes brittle. The skin near the nail also suffers from fungus, becomes inflamed and reddened. Most often, spore infection occurs on the legs, first of all, onychomycosis develops on the big toe (but there are exceptions).

In the initial stage of the disease, the fungus affects only one side of the nail plate. There are the following types of injuries:

  • distal form - the top of the nail is affected;
  • side view - the mushroom is located on the sides of the plate;
  • superficial lesion - the surface of the plaque suffers;
  • proximal form: the nail roller is affected.

In the photo you can see how the nails look, at the initial stage of onychomycosis.

How is the treatment

If you suspect onychomycosis, you should seek help from a dermatologist. Your doctor will examine your nails, scraping them if necessary for the presence of mycelial fungi. After making a diagnosis, the doctor will tell you how to treat the disease.

Local therapy is aimed at eliminating inflammation, restoring blood supply to the diseased nail. Preparations can be in the form of varnishes, sprays, lotions. They are applied to the affected nails, the skin around them.

The most famous antifungal agents:

  • paints. They are applied several times a week. The active substances penetrate deep into the nail. They are among the most powerful antifungal agents;
  • cream. Designed for the treatment of skin and periungual ridges. They are cared for with healthy nails to protect them from the penetration of the fungus;
  • drops. The drugs are applied to the diseased nails. 1 - 2 drops;
  • lotion kills the fungi on the surface layers of the nail.

Sprays are used as a convenient prophylaxis against onychomycosis. They process the soles of the feet, fingers and shoes.

In addition to local treatment, doctors conduct systemic therapy. The patient is taking antifungal tablets or capsules. They kill the infection and help to quickly cope with the pathology.

Other treatments

  1. Laser therapy - the impact on microorganisms by laser beams. In the initial stages of the disease, it is enough for the patient to undergo only three or four procedures. The method not only kills pathogenic fungi, but also improves blood circulation.
  2. Ozone therapy: An injection of ozone is injected into the skin near the affected nails. The cells are saturated with ozone, they resist infection. Immunity increases in the body. But this procedure is effective only in the initial stages of the disease.

Both methods only complement traditional treatment in the initial stage. They are prescribed alongside pills and topical treatments.

How traditional medicine can help

To cure the fungus in the early stages will help the advice of traditional healers. Their advantage is that natural products are used, without chemical additives.

The main methods of treatment include:

  1. Apple cider vinegar: dilute it in equal proportions with warm water. Take a bath, take it for 15 minutes. Perform the procedure every day until all symptoms disappear. But apple cider vinegar is only suitable for treating foot fungus.
  2. In the early stages of onychomycosis, ordinary hydrogen peroxide actively suppresses the fungus. Dip your fingers in water with the addition of soda (one tablespoon per two liters of hot water). Dip the cotton pads in the peroxide, place them on the affected nails and fix them with a band-aid. Wear the compress for at least 40 minutes.
  3. Tea tree essential oil helps in the treatment. This antiseptic is used as an additional remedy for all degrees of the disease. Rub a few drops of the extract into the affected nails, do not wash off the oil. Carry out the therapy for 2 weeks until complete healing. But this method is not suitable for children and women in an interesting position.
  4. Soda baths help in the fight against fungi. Dilute a spoonful of soda and a few drops of liquid soap (or grated laundry soap) in two liters of warm water. Dip your hands or feet into the solution. Keep them on for 15-20 minutes. Then treat your nails with medicines or antiseptics.
  5. Regular treatment of nails with iodine helps get rid of onychomycosis. Every day, lubricate the nail with iodine solution. You can make antiseptic baths: add a bottle of iodine to three liters of water, keep your feet or hands in it for 10 minutes.

After baths and other folk remedies, nails, fingers and the skin between the fingers must be thoroughly dried. So put on your socks.

What are the complications

If the problem is ignored, the fungus will not disappear on its own, the microorganisms will constantly multiply.

This is fraught with consequences:

  • complete deformation of the nail plate;
  • the disease becomes chronic;
  • the infection will spread to healthy nails;
  • the immune system will decrease, a favorable environment will be created for the development of other viral or bacterial infections.

Prevention rules

Treatment of onychomycosis is long and requires financial investments. Preventive measures will help protect yourself from the fungus, although they cannot be called a panacea for the disease.

These include:

  • do not wear other people's things or shoes. As a last resort, treat them with antifungal medications;
  • use only personal hygiene products: towels, scissors, nail file;
  • in public places (saunas, baths or swimming pools) walk only with rubber shoes;
  • do not try on new shoes in a shop or market with bare feet, wear socks.

Relapse is a common occurrence. It is observed in 6-8% of cases by the number of people recovered.


Fungal diseases affect people, regardless of age and gender. Not everyone knows what the fungus looks like in the early stages and does not attach importance to changes in the nails. Treatment at the initial stage of the disease is easy, new healthy ones grow in place of the affected nails.

Therapy is prescribed by a dermatologist, in addition to local methods, a full course of treatment with antifungal drugs is performed. In the initial stages of onychomycosis, along with traditional medicines, folk recipes can also be used.