The nail plate is not affected by any disease, and the surface is smooth and shiny. When nail fungus appears, the initial stage is characterized by a gradual discoloration of the plate, flaking and itching of the skin on the fingers and feet.
Changes in nail color and structure are far from the only symptoms of the fungus.
In the initial stage, the nail plate may remain intact while the infection has already occurred.
Indicates that the main symptoms of the disease appear on the skin near the nails. The obvious signs of the fungus's early stages are peeling, burning, and itching. The skin in the interdigital folds is much softer than on the feet, so these areas are more prone to disease.
If you don't pay attention to the first signs of nail fungus, the disease will begin to develop. The infection can affect adjacent areas, and blisters and ulcers can appear. Symptoms do not go away without treatment, and if proper treatment is not started right away, the fungus can cover a larger area over time.
Signs of the fungus appearing are as follows:
- change the structure of the nail,
- epidermal thickening,
- burning sensation,
- The skin between the fingers cracked,
- Fragile nails.
Everyone who comes into contact with an infection is at risk of contracting the fungus. Nail fungus spores enter the skin through open wounds, but infections can enter the body through microcracks in the feet even without visible damage. On the surface, the skin may appear perfectly healthy, but at the same time there is minor damage. This cracking occurs as a result of wearing uncomfortable shoes that are tighter than necessary. In addition, the microcracks may be caused by the entry of sand between the fingers.
Fungal infections often affect people with the following problems:
- excess weight,
- increased sweating,
- Chronic diseases that reduce immunity.
Anything that affects susceptibility to disease affects the likelihood of infection. In order not to contract the fungus or to cure it faster, you should quit smoking and drinking, and diagnose the internal organs, eliminating the possibility of an inflammatory process.
Treatment and Diagnosis
First, nail fungus affects the skin of the fingers and feet, which are much more fragile than the nail plate. The infection spreads quickly and covers adjacent areas through microcracks in the fingers. With incipient nail fungus, itching and discomfort are characteristic. In the first few days after infection, there may be no external changes in the skin and nails, and the pathological process will only be visible to the naked eye if it is not diagnosed and treated in time.
Nail fungus is a highly contagious disease. Microorganisms live in moist environments, and infections often occur in public places. Once a carrier is in a bathtub or sauna, all subsequent visitors are at risk of infection. The disease is contagious even in its earliest stages, when the carriers themselves don't even know they're sick. If one of the family members develops suspicious symptoms, extreme care should be taken not only in bathing and in the sauna, but also at home. Shared towels, slippers, manicure supplies, and even a poorly washed bathtub can lead to infection.
Itching, poorly healing cracks in the feet, and peeling skin are signs of a fungal infection. In the initial stages, fungal disease is treated much faster than after more severe symptoms.
Under no circumstances should you self-medicate, as poorly chosen therapy can lead to the progression of fungal growth, which may then lead to secondary infections and allergic manifestations.
To get a proper diagnosis, a specialist will examine the nail and, if fungus is suspected, scratch it. The resulting material was sent for microscopic examination. This is usually sufficient to make a correct diagnosis, but culture testing may be required in some cases. This allows you to get the most accurate understanding of the disease, determine the type of bacteria and choose the right medicine. In the initial stage, the reserved treatments are used: special antifungal varnishes and ointments for the skin.