Only by accurately determining the type of pathogen can the toenail fungus be effectively treated. For this reason, when characteristic symptoms appear, you must contact a specialist. A large number of pathogenic microorganisms can cause infections, independent choice of drugs may be wrong, and self-administration of drugs can aggravate the pathological process.
What is toenail fungus
Fungal infection of toenails is a form of onychomycosis, in which pathological microorganisms that multiply in the intercellular spaces of tissues, plates, and nail beds begin to eat keratin (the base of the nail). Due to their active lives, the infection process gradually spreads to adjacent fingers, and then to the skin between the fingers, feet and heels, and gradually destroys the affected plates.
Type of pathogen
Only by accurately determining the type of pathogen can the disease be adequately treated, because only in this case can the drug be taken with the correct active ingredient. Onychomycosis on the legs is mainly caused by the following types of fungi:
- Dermatophytes (the most common pathogen is Trichophyton rubrum);
- Yeast, Candida (Candida albicans);
- Molds (Fusarium, Aspergillus niger, S short handle)
- Fungi of the genus Microsporum and Epiderm (rare)
In most clinical situations, when the pathogen of onychomycosis is detected on the leg, the following pathogenic microorganisms are isolated from dermatophytes and yeast-like fungi:
- Trichophyton red (Trichophyton). The infection affects the skin and nails of the hands and feet, and may develop as atrophy or hypertrophy. The specific symptoms are white or yellowish spots or streaks on the surface of the tablet.
- Trichophyton violaceum (Trichophyton violaceum). Distributed in the Far East and Asia, almost never happened in other regions. Causes ringworm on the scalp, which appears as dark nodules on the nail plate.
- Flaky epidermal plants (Epidermophyton floccosum). The infection initially causes peeling of the skin of the fingers. The macula appears on the surface of the board, and a "bird's beak"-shaped deformation gradually appears.
- Trichophyton fungal spores (more active in warm weather) infect the cracks in the skin between the fingers, and then spread from the cracks to the nails, forming the macula and causing hypertrophic keratosis.
- Candida parapsilosis. It infects the distal part of the nail plate, where black microscopic spots appear and gradually increase in size. It causes the plates to shrink and break away.
- Candida albicans (Candida albicans). It starts at the proximal end of the plate-epidermal purulent. As a result, the nails are cloudy, and the plates turn gray and bend at the edges.
Causes of nail plate damage
The infection can be picked up by contact (from the infected person), using the personal supplies of the infected carrier or in public places without shoes (beach, swimming pool, sauna). The attractive factors for microbes to start active growth and reproduction are the following health conditions:
- Decreased immunity (after illness, malnutrition, etc. );
- Malfunctions of internal systems and diseases, resulting in impaired blood circulation in the blood vessels of the legs (for example, diabetes);
- Vascular pathology;
- Skin damage (cuts, calluses) on the feet caused by direct injury or uncomfortable wearing of tight-fitting shoes;
- Ignore excessive sweating on the skin of the feet;
- Failure to comply with foot hygiene regulations and safety measures (for example, wearing other people's shoes).
For any type of toenail fungus, the infection will spread gradually, slowly affecting the healthy cells of the plate. The disease has gone through three main stages with characteristic clinical symptoms:
- Early or normal nutrition.This stage is characterized by a latent process: the color of the plate fades, the appearance of microcracks, the formation of spots, surface nodules, and accompanied by itching and burns.
- Hypertrophy.The nail plate was dark, thickened, deformed, and began to collapse.
- Launched or shrinking.The plate becomes thinner and deteriorates. The process is accompanied by redness or bluish discoloration of the adjacent skin, and an unpleasant odor appears.
Various nail fungi
The types of toenail fungi are not only classified according to the type of pathogen and the development stage of the infection, but also according to the location and depth of the lesion. On this basis, distinguish the following types of onychomycosis:
- remoteFungi can affect the free end of the edge of the plate. The color gradually changes from yellow to brown, and the affected area grows, stratifies, and fragments.
- side.It develops in the same way starting from the side of the nail.
- Near end.The stratum corneum becomes inflamed, and white spots gradually appear near the skin volume. The nail plate became cloudy and chipped.
- The surface is white.Destroying the upper layer of the plate, small white spots flaked off, and gradually, the nails were completely destroyed.
- All of it.The entire nail surface will be affected.
According to the thickening of the diseased plate, the following types of lesions of the leg can be distinguished: orthotrophic, hypertrophic and atrophic (or osteolytic). In the first view, only the infected focus (different color) indicates that it is infected, and the rest of the board has not changed. When hypertrophy, it thickens, deforms and collapses, causing discomfort when walking. For strongly soluble nails, the nail will shrink completely and tear away from the bed.
Symptoms of toenail fungus
In most cases, toenail fungus starts in the thumb or little finger and gradually affects the rest of the plate. For different types of infections, have the following symptoms:
- Muddy plate
- Changes in color, gloss and thickness;
- Mold formed on its surface;
- Peeling of adjacent skin.