Onychomycosis is caused by onychomycosis in 50% of the cases of contact with a dermatologist. This is a fungal infection of the nail plate on the hands or feet. Treatment of advanced fungi requires almost complete removal of the nail plate. The sooner you start treatment, the more opportunities you need to keep your nails healthy and beautiful.
The first sign of onychomycosis
The penetration of mycobacteria into the nail plate is asymptomatic. A person does not feel anything, and may not pay attention to the condition of the keratinocytes of the limbs for a long time. Usually, they come to the doctor because their nails are overgrown and thick, which affects the roots of the teeth.
You may get onychomycosis in public places with high humidity, such as in saunas, swimming pools, on the beach or even in beauty salons. Fungi are especially common among older people (according to statistics, 5% to 30% of people over 45 years old suffer from this problem). In this case, microorganisms may stick to the nails of healthy family members and wear the same shoes. If you walk barefoot, you may get fungus in shared bathrooms and the entire house. The source of fungal infection can be the person himself. If he suffers from dermatophytosis, there is a high probability that the pathological process will transition to the nail plate.
In order not to waste time and start treatment in time, it is necessary to perform a thorough "manicure" once a week. First signs of fungal infection:
- Blunt nails-A healthy plate has a soft luster, if not, it indicates mechanical or infectious damage to the surface layer;
- Shape change-If the previously flat nails start to grow sideways, grow into the rollers, and rise like a springboard, there is reason to suspect that it is fungus;
- Surface changes-The normal steel plate is smooth, and the appearance of ribs or nodules indicates fungal disease;
- Uneven color-The initial form of onychomycosis is a subtle change in nail color: the translucent plate becomes cloudy, whitish or yellow;
- Unusual spots-Spots, streaks, white, grayish yellow or brown stains may appear on the surface of the stratum corneum.
The development of nail disease may indicate fungal disease. If a person suddenly finds that there is no reason to perform another pedicure before cutting their nails every 1-2 weeks, then they need to check their condition carefully.
Sometimes onychomycosis is affected by the discomfort of the nail base in the roller area. Sudden dryness, burrs, burning or itching should alert you.
The reason for the development of late onychomycosis is the understatement of the condition of the nail and the understatement of the risk of the disease. This is not a cosmetic, but a medical problem, full of complete loss of plates and invasive fungal damage to the epidermis.
You should perform a pedicure on time and give up the stabilizing paint for your nails and instead use a decorative varnish, the coating of which must be changed once a week. In summer, due to the splay of shoes, increased foot sweating and barefoot walking, onychomycosis usually occurs from the outside. However, the cool season also provides favorable conditions for the development of nail fungal disease. Warm shoes, sweating, and lack of hygienic procedures are the main factors for onychomycosis in winter.
What to do if symptoms occur
After determining the initial symptoms of nail fungus, you should contact the clinic. When suffering from skin ringworm and onychomycosis, they see a dermatologist. Usually, just a consultation is enough, but sometimes he can refer him to a mycologist. The doctor will check the plate and skin condition of the limbs. Objectively assess the signs of fungal lesions. The expert will determine the severity of the infection-how many nails are involved in the pathology and what is the area of the plate that has changed.
In order to find out the nature of the pathogen, the expert will prescribe a microscope to check the nail plate scraping. This will enable you to choose an effective fungicide. The patient will pass routine and biochemical blood tests. Laboratory examinations can reflect the general condition of the human body, accompanied by diseases. Based on the biochemical results, the doctor will determine whether there are contraindications to the use of systemic antifungal drugs. Liver and kidney damage may be a limitation of the use of certain fungicides.
If the nail plate is slightly damaged, there is no need to see a doctor. You can self-administer the medicine, but its effectiveness cannot be guaranteed. If the medication is not used properly, it will aggravate the risk of problems, further damage the nails, develop microbial resistance, and cause serious cosmetic defects.
How to treat the initial stage of onychomycosis
Today, there are many OTC antifungal drugs on the pharmaceutical market. The bactericidal and antifungal substances are produced in the following formulations:
- Solution (using a dropper, pipette or sprayer);
- Lotion (usually a dietary supplement, liquid or gel substance);
- Paste (high concentration of active substance);
- Varnish (specially used to treat onychomycosis).
Not all antifungal drugs can be used to treat nail fungus. Standard topical preparations (ointments, creams, gels, sprays) are used to treat dermatophytosis. When applied to nails, the active substance only remains on the surface of the board, is quickly washed off with water, and is removed when it comes in contact with clothes or shoes. The use of such drugs will lead to further spread of the fungus and aggravation of onychomycosis.
Concentrated product (paste)
Most pharmacists recommend using pastes to treat nail fungus. The composition of the fund contains broad-spectrum antifungal agents. The second component of the paste-urea-is used to soften damaged nail plates. The initial removal of the affected area of the nail increases the chance of a complete cure for onychomycosis. This drug is used even in advanced cases.
In the early stages of nail fungus, paste is not suitable. First of all, the area and depth of the lesion are very small, and there is nothing to remove. Secondly, excessive scratching of healthy nails is an undesirable injury, which may cause pain when moving, which is an additional beauty defect. After 7 days of pasting treatment, it must be supplemented with a special cream in the same production line. The course of treatment will be 6-7 weeks.
Liquid products (solutions and emulsions) are suitable for the treatment of early fungi. They are reasonably priced, economical, easy to use and effective. If you start treatment when you replace the first board, the cure will come soon. The solution is to treat damaged (and adjacent) nails twice a day.
It is necessary to drop the product under the free edge of the nail and slide it to the bottom. Should be treated regularly. By reducing the concentration of active substances in the nails, and increasing the risk of harmful organisms spreading in the stratum corneum structure of the epidermis. It is necessary to use the solution when cutting the damaged part of the board. After the elimination, it is best to extend the treatment for another month. Another advantage of this solution is that it can be used on the skin. Funds can be used for preventive purposes by family members of patients.
The antifungal varnish is different in quality from other drugs used to treat onychomycosis. They provide rapid penetration and accumulation of active substances in the nail plate. Resistant to water and soap, the paint maintains a sterilization concentration for 7-10 days. You need to update the product layer 1-2 times a week, which is very convenient. You can use decorative paint (instead of gel polish or spikes) to decorate the antifungal varnish. One of the disadvantages is the high price. Varnish should be applied regularly until the damaged board has fully grown back and removed.
The included varnish includes a file, alcohol wipes and a spatula for applying the product. Before processing, the nail plate must be thinned and degreasing with alcohol before using the agent. Before renewing the layer, the varnish should be removed with any cosmetics.
Fungal gel preparation
The antifungal agent in the form of a gel contains substances that enhance and accelerate the growth of the nail plate. Due to the use of special organosilicon compounds, they form a protective film on the surface of the nails, thereby creating conditions that are not suitable for the survival and reproduction of fungi.
You need to use the medicine twice a day until the affected nails have fully grown back. After application, the product was dried for 3 minutes to cover the second layer. After it is completely dry, you can start your business. In the process of using the preparation, no decorative paint should be applied to the nails.
Folk methods are not effective for advanced onychomycosis, but in the early stage, they are indeed useful. The most famous and effective nail "home remedy":
- vinegar.It is recommended to apply cider or wine vinegar on a cotton swab and tie it to the damaged nail for 3-5 hours twice a day. If it is well tolerated, the product can be left overnight.
- iodine.Iodine can be used to lubricate damaged nails twice a day. For this, use a cotton swab. During processing, care must be taken that the solution will not stick to the skin and nail rollers. A significant disadvantage is that the nail plate is dyed brown.
- garlic.The gruel made of grated garlic is spread thinly on the nail plate, covered with cotton wool and cellophane, and then sealed with plaster. Let the agent take action overnight. The procedure is completed every day.
- Propolis.A mixture of propolis and honey is used for compression on nails. The exposure time is 12 hours. The frequency of application is daily.
- Onions and aloe.Use a mixture of aloe vera juice and onion juice to treat your nails 3 times a day.
- Tea mushrooms.Tie the kombucha pieces to the affected nail overnight. Repeat this process every day until you fully recover.
You can also use a foot bath. Soda salt solution, oak bark, celandine, and juniper soup are considered effective. If you need to soften and remove damaged nails, soda and salt baths will really help the treatment. The antifungal effects of salt and herbs are too weak to ensure the elimination of fungi from the nail structure.
Systemic treatment of fungi
Sometimes antifungal drugs are prescribed to treat onychomycosis. The reasons for using them are the rupture of all nail plates, the deep penetration of fungi, the obvious hyperkeratosis of the horny plate area, the combination of dermatophytes and onychomycosis. The doctor should prescribe a systemic antiseptic. These drugs have a series of contraindications (from the individual's sensitivity to liver and blood diseases) and may have many side effects. In order to reduce the possibility of accidental operation, the doctor will check the patient in advance. Fungus tablets and capsules are taken in a special way. The choice of treatment strategy depends on the type of pathogen, the stage of onychomycosis and the general health status. Unauthorized use can seriously damage your health and cannot restore your health. Fungi can respond to wrong treatments that are resistant (drug resistant). If pathogens are adapted to fungicidal substances, it will be difficult to remove them from the body.
Systemic treatment options vary from person to person.
Useful treatment techniques
The treatment of nail fungus is a long and laborious process. Treatment of mild infections may take several months. If the treatment process is controlled by a doctor, the chances of removing the fungus will be greatly increased. In this process, multiple rules must be followed.
Tip 1: Prepare carefully
Before using the antifungal agent for the first treatment, prepare your nails. Take a shower, exfoliate the keratinized skin, and cut the dishes as short as possible. If a mild form of fungus is used, the nails cannot be cut off. However, this greatly facilitates the penetration of the drug into the nail.
Minor cosmetic defects (thinning, unevenness in a certain area) will be the identification signal of the patient. As they grow together, the progress of treatment will become apparent. If spots, streaks, spots are formed on the board, they must also be completely removed in the first stage of preparation for treatment.
Secret Two: Take care of your belongings
To prevent reinfection and increase the likelihood of a complete cure, patients must treat their shoes (all shoes are treated with antifungal solution or spray internally) or put on new shoes. It is best to buy more pairs of high-quality cotton socks and discard the old ones. They need to be cleaned daily, and ironed with iron after drying. If a family member suffers from onychomycosis, he must have his own manicure accessories. You cannot use them to care for healthy nails. After each pedicure, the equipment should be disinfected with a disinfectant.
Secret Three: Don't spread fungus
The spread of microorganisms happens unknowingly and requires home manipulation and touch. In order to prevent the fungus from spreading throughout the house, treatment must be started in time, try to walk with only clean socks, and avoid using other people's slippers (even for one minute). In the kitchen, bathroom, and toilet, you can only wear your own shoes, because the fungus multiplies very fast here.
After starting to use fungicides, the risk of infecting loved ones is minimized, but it is best to stick to preventive measures until the cure is complete.
In order not to be infected by nail fungus, you must avoid walking barefoot (especially on the beach, baths, saunas, swimming pools). It is very important to have your own shoes in all public places (it is better not to trust the "disposable" and rubber slippers provided). In the store, shoes must be measured with socks (you should bring them with you). Every time you visit a potentially infected site, you should treat your feet with antifungal agents. For prevention, antifungal treatment can be given once a week.