The problem of fungal nail infection is quite common today. Very advanced reproduction of fungi in the thickness of the nail plates and soft tissues surrounding the nail is fraught with complete loss of the nail without the possibility of even partial recovery. That is why, if you suddenly find changes in their structure or color that are not characteristic of the usual type of nails, be sure to contact specialists for treatment. They will help determine the presence of a fungal infection and, if necessary, distinguish it from bruises of the nail, the manifestation of systemic diseases of the body.
Causes of toenail fungus
Compliance with the usual rules of hygiene and attention to infections is the basis for the prevention of fungal infections. Failure to comply with these vital aspects leads to disease. Most often, the fungus gets on the skin and nails themselves when you wear someone else's shoes, do bath procedures in public places such as baths, pools, saunas, rarely or do not wash your feet at all, do not fight overgrown nails and cracks on the rough skin of the soles.
If the condition and disinfection of pedicure tools are poor, it is also possible to get the fungus, although this is fraught with more dangerous infections and infections, such as hepatitis B and C.
All these reasons lead to the fact that it is easier for fungal microorganisms to populate previously healthy tissues, for this the most favorable conditions are created, which only aggravate.
What do nail fungus look like?
The signs of toenail fungus do not appear at the same time. Before a clear change of the nail plates on the affected toes in the region of the periungual soft tissue structures, skin cracks of various sizes and depths can be observed in the interdigital zones. Join this feeling of itching, tingling in the affected areas. The skin may begin to peel, redden in varying degrees of severity of these symptoms. The key signs of a fungal infection are changes in the nail plate. It can thicken or thin, and a change in the usual color of the nail is also characteristic: white, light yellow, dark yellow, brown, light green, combinations of colors. The edge of the nail ceases to be smooth, in advanced cases the nail gradually loses its structure, breaks, crumbles. Eventually, delamination of the entire plate can occur.
By watching your friends closely, especially those who are already mature and elderly, you are likely to be able to identify nail fungus symptoms easily.
How to distinguish a bruised nail from a fungus?
First of all, toenail bruising is directly related to having a recent toe injury. External manifestations of a bruise do not occur immediately, but after 2-3 hours. Before that, the finger swells, it can turn red. Also, the blood that has accumulated under the nail plate (and this is due to its outflow from the damaged vessels of the nail bed) becomes visible to the naked eye. Its cluster initially acquires a scarlet-pink color, over time it changes to dark red, dark purple and even black. In parallel, the hematoma decreases in size and by the end of the healing process it can look like a stitch. The soft tissues of the finger keep the swelling, and even a bruise can form on them. The severity of the symptoms depends on the force that caused the injury to the finger and nail plate.
Therefore, the symptomatology and actions of the patient preceding its appearance, characteristic of the image of a bruised nail, are fundamentally different from the clinic of a fungal nail infection. The difference is also noticeable in the mechanism of development of these diseases: they become infected with a fungus, further damage to the nail is associated precisely with the activity of microorganisms, a bruise is the result of an injury, and a hematoma is formed due to for damage the vessels of the finger, no microorganisms are involved in the pathogenesis. Also, nail fungus is treated by a dermatovenereologist or dermatologist, while a bruise is closer to the activities of traumatologists and surgeons.
Method for controlling fungal infection with potassium permanganate
Such a simple and quick recipe for diagnosing a fungus can be used at home. The main substance for the determination is potassium permanganate (potassium permanganate), which must be diluted in pure water to obtain its faint purple color. Next, you have to put your feet in the colored water and soak them for a few minutes. If your nails really have fungus, potassium permanganate will not stain the affected areas (they will be white). The healthy part of the nails will turn brown. Then you can easily diagnose the disease.
After you finish this experiment, do not forget to treat your nails with hydrogen peroxide for disinfection. And be sure to contact a specialist if you find a positive diagnostic result. Now you know how to recognize nail fungus at home without much effort.
Diagnosing nail fungus in the hospital certainly includes other more accurate laboratory methods to get to the bottom of the problem.
We treat nail fungus with medications
As you know, many people prefer attempts at folk treatment of any disease to modern drug treatment by doctors. It is possible that in some cases nail fungus can be treated with folk methods, but there is no evidence for this. That is why the main recommendation if you have a fungal nail infection is to comply with medical prescriptions, adhere to treatment with pharmacological preparations.
Depending on how far the disease has gone, forms of medications are selected. Basically, they are divided into local (local) and general means of action. These drugs contain antifungal agents - a special group of pharmacological substances.
In the early stages of the fungal infection, the use of local remedies (ointments, creams, gels) is preferable. If the fungus has already managed to enter the general circulation, which is the most serious outcome, or the nail plate is significantly affected, the treatment is supplemented with general preparations (tablets or infusions of solutions).
The list of antifungal drugs intended for the treatment of toenail fungal infections includes: levorin, nystatin, fluconazole, ketoconazole, miconazole, amphotericin B, griseofulvin, itraconazole, terbinafine. These are the names of the active ingredients that form the basis of the treatment. Such funds can be part of various drugs. That is, the latest drugs are just the trade names of those substances listed first. In order not to get confused with the remedy, the form of its use and dosages, be sure to consult with specialists and follow their recommendations for treatment.
The most common treatment methods include:
- soda baths
- iodine treatment
- therapy with vinegar or vinegar essence
- treatment of the fungus with laundry soap
Folk methods are effective only in the early stages, together with medications.
Prevention of nail fungus infection
To protect yourself from fungal microorganisms it is not necessary to follow any particular rules, they are all simple if you introduce them into your daily routine. To begin with, refuse to wear someone else's shoes, even in the most harmless in your opinion cases. Also be sure to use individual slippers and chalkboards in bathrooms, saunas, pools.
Constantly take care of your feet, remove germs well with soap, dry the skin. Try to avoid shoes that make your feet sweat. Pay attention to the appearance of cracks on the skin of the feet, especially near the nails and in the spaces between the toes. Change your socks every day and when they get dirty. And if sweating feet is your not very pleasant routine, then we advise you to take an interest in special baths, they can really help you.
Fungal infection is now a common disease among the population of the country. Many do not even notice its presence, referring, perhaps, to the symptoms of a bruised nail or banal everyday pollution. But, as you have already seen, the fungus causes quite characteristic clinical manifestations. Just take a closer look at their feet and seek medical help for treatment in time, but it is better to get to grips with the prevention of infection.