The fungus between the toes is a very contagious disease. But it is not easy to get rid of it. This disease can last for several years and is usually caused by a bacterial infection. When the first symptoms appear, it is very important to consult a dermatologist instead of self-medication.
Why the fungus develops between the toes
The fungus between the toes is the most common type of fungal infection, infecting 70% of the world's population. This disease is especially common in people who are often in humid or hot environments, often sweating due to high-intensity exercise. These include bathroom attendants, swimmers, hot shop staff, etc. Children suffer from the disease much less frequently (no more than 4%), but the incidence of adolescence has risen sharply.
The disease is caused by various types of dermatophytes: Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton interdigital and certain types of epidermophyton. All these pathogens have a high survival rate in the environment. They can be kept on the floor of bathtubs and saunas, bathtub equipment, linens, shoes for a long time.
You can get the virus in the bathroom, sauna, swimming pool, and you have fewer chances of getting it on the beach. Therefore, it is very important to follow the hygiene rules: use only a towel, do not go barefoot in public places, and use separate shoes for this purpose.
After fungus enters the surface of the human body, it produces an enzyme (keratinase) that decomposes keratin, which is a protein in the surface layer of the skin. This allows the infection to enter the epidermis and multiply there. Fungal cell membranes contain substances (mannans) that can suppress local immunity. Cannabis also inhibits the proliferation of cells on the surface of the epidermis, destroying their peeling and cleansing, resulting in a long and long course of the disease.
Factors that contribute to the spread and introduction of fungi
These factors include:
- Footwear that squeezes the legs, disrupts blood circulation and does not allow air to pass through;
- Engage in sports and hard physical labor;
- Foot injury, skin damage;
- Immunity disorders, such as diabetes, long-term use of certain drugs (glucocorticoids), HIV infection, etc. ;
- Circulatory system diseases in the foot area under the background of atherosclerosis such as lower extremities and flat feet.
If a person has normal general and local immunity, the fungus will not be able to overcome the protective barrier of the skin and invade the skin. All factors that inhibit skin immunity will allow pathogenic fungi to freely penetrate into the epidermis, leading to pathological processes.
Symptoms of infection
When pathogenic fungi are introduced into the skin, the thin and fragile areas of the skin will be mainly affected-the space between the fingers. This is where the infection begins and can then spread to the entire foot. The first thing an infected person experiences is itching and burning between the toes.
The itching may be very severe, or it may be insignificant or even disappear completely, and it only appears on the background of sweaty feet or weakened immunity. The obvious itching, dry and painful cracks between the interdigital fingers can increase the development of bacterial infection and purulent processes.
Sometimes loose blisters filled with transparent liquid appear between the fingers. These blisters open quickly and form erosions. This disease can be complicated by adding bacterial infections.
The most typical feature is the potential course of fungus between the toes, which is characterized by repeated itching. Usually, such patients are unaware of the existence of the infection and spread it to other people.
How the disease progresses
Fungi can manifest in different ways. The following are several forms of the disease:
- Transboundary-the most common; manifested by itching and burning between the toes, dryness, accompanied by cracks released by ichor and subsequent maceration (loose skin under the action of liquid); inflammation usually spreads to the feet of the feetThe bottom surface, and hardly spread to the back. Bacterial infections often merge;
- Muscular dystrophy-relaxation between the toes, bubble bursting, erosion formation, introduction of bacterial pathogens and the development of pathological processes such as eczema, spreading to the entire foot, leg and even the trunk.
- Erasing-performed imperceptibly; occasionally there will be slight itching; between the toes (most commonly between 1 and 2 or between 4 and 5) there is a moderate degree of thin peeling, very small cracks, and the patient is veryPay less attention.
The fungus in the interdigital space can be performed as a manifestation of independent disease or general infection. With the development of onychomycosis, the fungus usually spreads to the nail plate. Sometimes combined lesions of the skin and skin of the feet appear in the large folds of the body and hands. In the latter case, the infection usually develops according to the principle of "two feet-one hand".
How to identify an infection
The diagnosis is made based on an examination by a dermatologist and confirmed by laboratory examinations:
- By microscopic examination-the skin components (scales) removed from the lesion are examined under a microscope; this is the most common method, which allows you to identify fungal infections, but cannot determine the type of fungus.
- Microbiology research-the biological materials sown from the lesions are mainly concentrated on the nutrient medium; mushrooms are easy to identify, but they do not always grow under laboratory conditions, so they can usually only be guided by microscopic examination methods.
Basic treatment principles
Antifungal drugs are used to treat fungi in the interdigital space. If the disease is short-lived and has not progressed, then external drugs can be used. For severe fungal infections that have a tendency to spread or develop into microbial eczema, antifungal drugs with general (systemic) effects can be used.
Antifungal agents for external use need to be prepared in advance. Remove pathologically changed skin elements from the surface of the skin: peeling, keratinized areas, and broken blisters. They try, if possible, to reduce inflammation and tissue edema.
Perform the following process:
- If there is obvious inflammation and tissue swelling, a lotion containing 2% boric acid and tannic acid, sulfuric acid and tar ointment solution should be used; if it does not help, corticosteroid ointment, such as methylprednisolone prednisolone, can be prescribed in the short term;
- In the case of scale and crusty, salicylic acid petrolatum is applied to the affected area twice a day, and then a 2% soda solution is used for a foot bath.
The main treatment is carried out only after cleaning. If you suspect a mixed fungal-bacterial infection, you can use a mixed ointment that includes antifungal, antibacterial, and antiallergic ingredients.
The most modern drugs used to treat such diseases are drugs, the active ingredient of which is terbinafine. Terbinafine is found in topical products sold by various pharmaceutical companies under their own brands. These are 1% creams, gels, sprays and topical solutions Terbinafine etc.
Terbinafine easily enters the epidermis. Approximately 4 hours after application to the affected area, its concentration is sufficient to inhibit the life activity of the infection. The concentration of terbinafine gradually accumulates in the skin, and the concentration after treatment is many times higher than the concentration that caused the death of the fungus. At the same time, terbinafine does not penetrate into the middle and deep layers of the skin, and has no systemic effect on the body. A feature of the antifungal agent is that it also has an antibacterial effect, inhibiting the life activities of most pathogenic bacteria. Therefore, additional antibiotic therapy is not always needed to treat fungal bacterial infections.
Apply terbinafine-based creams, sprays and gels to the pathological changes of the feet every day for 7 days. Usually, this is enough to completely eliminate all symptoms of the infection. If necessary, the dermatologist can extend the course of treatment.
The pathogens that cause foot mycosis are also sensitive to naftifine. The cream should be used daily for one month.
To treat fungal infections, a 1% clotrimazole cream with the same active ingredients was also prescribed. Apply it thinly on the previously cleansed and dry area 2-3 times a day on the affected skin. The course of treatment is 3-4 weeks.
Because external treatments are ineffective and common, and often recurring disease forms, regular antifungal drugs are required. The doctor can prescribe one of the following medicines to the patient:
- Take terbinafine orally after meals, 1 tablet of 250 mg each time for 3-4 weeks;
- Take 1 capsule of fluconazole 50 mg orally after meals, once a day for 3 weeks;
- Itraconazole was taken orally after meals at 200 mg per day for a week, then 100 mg per day for 7 to 14 days.
With the development of microbial eczema, a complex treatment has been prescribed, which includes antifungals, antibiotics and desensitizers to reduce allergic mood, inflammation and tissue edema. In severe allergies and inflammation, glucocorticoids should be included in complex treatments.
Folk remedy for interdigital fungus
Folk remedies may also be effective if used correctly. Traditional medicine recommends preparatory treatment to clean the pathologically altered area of the foot before starting antifungal treatment. The cleaning is the same as before the medication. After that, the main method was used to inhibit the important activities of fungi.
- Method 1. Twice a day for 2-3 weeks each time, inject celandine into the foot bath larger (one third of the chopped herbs per liter of boiling water), and then lubricate dry feet with 10% propolis tinsurface.
- Method 2. Pour 20 ml of ammonia into a glass of water, wet the bandage, wrap your fingers first, then put the whole foot (don’t tighten! ), and then let it dry; the treatment time is 14 days.
- Method 3. Wash your feet with vinegar (2 liters of water-100 ml of edible vinegar). They do it every day for 14 days before going to bed. After the procedure is complete, dry your feet, and then lightly sprinkle boric acid on your feet.
- Method 4. Infuse makhorka's foot bath (20 g makhorka per 1 liter of boiling water, put it in a thermos for 3-4 hours). Do it every day for four weeks before going to bed. After the operation, the feet should dry on their own. Wash your feet with water in the morning.
- Method 5. Wash your feet with laundry soap and rinse thoroughly between your toes. Dry your feet and lubricate the skin with celandine juice. Do it every day for 14 days.
- Method 6. Use 2% soda solution for foot bath every day. After the shower, dry your feet thoroughly with a towel and lubricate them with garlic oil. Wash with soap in the morning. Garlic oil: Mix a teaspoon of garlic paste with 100 grams of butter.
- Method 7. Take the same amount of apple cider vinegar and freshly squeezed carrot juice. Apply the resulting mixture to the affected area of the skin of the feet several times a day for one month.
How to prevent infection
To prevent this disease, you need to:
- Wear rubber slate in bathrooms, saunas, swimming pools, and beaches;
- Never wear other people’s shoes, don’t use other people’s towels and bathroom accessories;
- In the warm season, wear shoes or sandals. The shoes or sandals are made of lightweight natural materials, which are breathable and absorbent;
- Only single or disposable tools can be used for pedicure.
To prevent reinfection, you should:
- Treat the inner surface of shoes with a disinfectant (such as formalin solution or vinegar); but formalin has an unpleasant odor, which can last for a long time, and vinegar can change the color of shoes. To avoid this, you can use 1% terbinafine solution to treat the inside of the shoes; two days after the treatment, all infectious pathogens died.
Fungus between the toes is very suitable for treatment with modern antifungal agents and other methods. However, it is very important to make every effort to prevent reinfection, including through your own shoes and other personal items.