Each of us can catch a mushroom. It is an infectious disease that ranges from a sick person to a healthy person and usually affects the nails and skin. If the nail plate has changed, started to crumble, changed color, it means that an infection has occurred and onychomycosis has developed. It affects 20% of the world's adult population.
Causes of Occurrence
Most people have no idea what onichomycosis is and how dangerous it is. It is altered by pathogenic microorganisms that penetrate the structure of the nail. In addition to the aesthetic problem, fungi are able to poison the whole body with toxins. This leads to allergic reactions, decreased body protective functions and disease of the internal organs.
Nail fungus can only be infected under favorable conditions. Normally, the skin has an acidic environment that prevents the penetration of various infections. If its pH has changed to an alkaline direction for some reason, the growth and growth of pathogenic organisms will increase dramatically.
A humid environment also promotes infection. A person can become infected if personal hygiene or simple rules of conduct in public places are not followed. Dead scales on a patient's skin or nails are a source of infection.The causes of nail fungus can be:
- There is a risk of infection when visiting beaches, saunas, baths, water parks, showers, swimming pools, fitness centers. Walking barefoot on a wet surface, there are cracks or sores on the legs, it is very likely that you will "pick up" the fungus on the legs.
- Improperly fitted, tight shoes, synthetic socks, tights increase foot sweating, leading to a change in the skin’s acid-base balance. Its protective functions are reduced, which can lead to the appearance and spread of the fungus.
- Weakened immunity, prolonged antibiotics, corticosteroids, antibacterial therapy contribute to onychomycosis infection.
- Diabetes in the elderly is a common cause of the disease.
- Contact with mushroom-infected shoes, socks, towels, dishcloths, manicure sets, and other personal accessories for the patient occurs in 90% of cases.
The infection first occurs in a small area of the nail, usually at the edge. The inflammatory process then intensifies and spreads to other zones or penetrates deeper into the nail plate. The sooner you find nail fungus, the easier it can be cured. Therefore, at the first sign, treatment should be started immediately.
How the disease manifests itself
Not only a professional but also the patient himself can diagnose onychomycosis in one person. The main signs of nail fungus are:
- the color of the nail plate changes from pale yellow to black. The color depends on the type of fungus that infected the nails;
- the shape and contour of the nail plate is transformed;
- the nail disintegrates, peels, thickens, natural light disappears;
- Bad smell, unpleasant, painful feelings in the fingertips near the nail plate.
It is important to identify the disease in time to avoid further spread to other parts of the legs and fingers. Your doctor will be able to correctly assess the extent of your fungal infection and prescribe appropriate treatment.
The mushroom has 3 stages:
- There are no obvious signs such as deformation, thickening of the corneum layer, cracking. During this period, it is very difficult to diagnose the disease. But the appearance of barely noticeable spots on the surface of the nail plate, a slight change in the shadow of the stratum corneum may warn.
- There are clear signs of nail fungus. The surface of the nail changes color from pink to yellow or brown, the natural light and smoothness disappear. The side edges of the nails thicken, collapse, deform.
- It is considered a neglected form in which the infection covers the entire surface of the cornea. It thickens, the number of keratinocytes increases, the fragility increases. Cutting off such a nail is very problematic, its edges are bent inwards and grow into the skin of the fingers, causing pain to the patient while walking.
Post-stage 3 complications are characterized by exfoliation of keratinocytes from the growth bed. This condition is accompanied by severe pain and an unpleasant odor. The incubation period of the nail fungus is 3 weeks, after which it is possible to diagnose the disease and start antifungal treatment.
Types of Nail Fungus
In onychomycosis, several types of fungi are diagnosed.
- Dermatophytes usually appear as a platinum cloud of the nail. Yellow spots form on the edges or in the middle. Over time, the yellowed rim moves away from the corneum layer. Longitudinal streaks are sometimes observed along the damaged area.
- Yeast changes the structure of the nail, deforming it. The nail plate will be uneven, waves, furrows will appear, after a while the color of the nail will turn yellowish and may lag. However, the nail rollers may bulge and thicken.
- During long-term medication, mold is detected in patients whose immunity is weakened. It manifests itself by changing the color palette of the nail. At first it is yellow and then the hue changes and can be like greenish, bluish and even black. In this case, the treatment is the shortest and lasts 1 to 1. 5 months, as the mold does not penetrate deep into the nail plate, but only remains on the surface.
Effective infection control techniques
How to get rid of nail fungus quickly and permanently worries many patients. Treatment for onychomycosis in the early stages does not take long. Can be treated with local antifungal agents. They spread deep in the stratum corneum and inhibit the growth and reproduction of pathogenic fungi. Such a treatment will be effective if a small area of the nail plate is affected, up to 1/3.
Nail polish varnishes have positive healing properties. They are liquid in texture, easy to apply and penetrate small cracks in the nail. When applied, the varnish is immediately absorbed and dries to form a durable film. It prevents oxygen from entering the nail, thereby stopping the fungus from growing and multiplying.
Use once a day. It is problematic to remove varnish from the surface of the nail plate, which allows the infection to be effectively influenced.
Antifungal drugs, creams and ointments can also be used. They are more effective than varnishes and are used to detect stage 2 disease. You must remove the damaged surface of the nail plate before applying the cream.
Apply cream or ointment twice a day and cover the affected area with a small amount. After applying the cream, the infected area should be plastered to achieve maximum effect.
Methods of treating onychomycosis depend on the degree of neglect and the form identified. It only takes place under the supervision of a doctor, as drugs for fungal infections are very toxic. The specialist examines the patient and takes a small piece of nail to determine the type of fungus for laboratory research. In the event that the disease has caught all the nail platinum and the fungus has progressed for more than a year, a complex treatment is prescribed that includes topical and internal use of the drugs.
Oral systemic antibiotics have been shown to be useful in the treatment of fungal infections. Such drugs, in combination with ointments, deprive the fungus of the ability to grow deep into the nail and stop the growth of colonies. This type of treatment is long lasting and lasts for about a year.
Medicine does not stop there, and effective methods are constantly being developed and applied to fight fungal diseases. In 2010, new methods for treating onychomycosis emerged. Photodynamic treatment of fungal-infected nail plates as well as laser treatment of special "nail" lasers in combination with antimicrobial agents results in a tangible positive effect and shortens the healing time.
The peculiarity of laser therapy is that the fungus is exposed to a temperature of 70 degrees at which the spores of the fungus are killed and the main source of the spread of the disease is the mycelium.
Laser treatment does not affect the healthy skin around the nail, it only affects fungal organisms that are killed within a few sessions.
Traditional medicine for mushroom treatment
You can try to cope with the disease at home. The treatment should be started with soap and soda baths that soften the nail plate. It should be cleaned from the stratum corneum with a manicure file. Such bathing and cleaning should be done once a week for 6 months. The affected area should be treated with tea tree oil. To enhance the therapeutic effect, the infected nail plate can be glued with glue after applying a swab soaked in equal proportions with lavender and tea oils.
Traditional methods of treating nail fungus are varied and most often produce positive and rapid results, provided the disease is in its early stages.The most effective are:
- Treatment of affected areas with hydrogen peroxide. Well-steamed nails should be moistened 2-3 times a day with a cotton swab moistened with hydrogen peroxide. After a few days, the nail plate becomes much softer and can be cut with nail scissors.
- The use of celandine in folk medicine has proven its effectiveness in the treatment of skin diseases as well as fungal infections of various etiologies. Iodinol is added to dry, crushed celandine (purchased at the pharmacy). These two components are carefully soaked and the resulting mixture is applied to the affected area. The nail is wrapped in plastic wrap and left overnight. To heal stages 1-2 of the fungus, it is sufficient to perform 3-5 such procedures.
- Propolis is an effective antifungal agent. The 20% propolis tincture purchased at the pharmacy is applied to the affected area in the form of a compress. A medicated cotton swab is applied to the nail plate and sealed with plaster. Over time, the affected nail displaces the healthy one.
- The golden mustache is a wonderful plant that helps to treat various diseases. When treating the fungus, strengthen the softened leaf of the plant to a steamed nail and leave it under a film overnight. In the morning, you should cut the soft part as far as possible, all the way to the root. To avoid burns, the golden mustache should only be applied to the area of the nail plate without touching the skin around it. Soon your nails will recover, become healthy and strong.
- If the nail fungus has infected your hand, you can get rid of it with tar soap. Wash your hands thoroughly with it, paying special attention to the affected areas. You should then dip your nails in a highly concentrated saline solution and tie it overnight. The positive effect occurs after a week.
Treating nail fungus is a long process. Regardless of which therapy you choose, you need to be patient and use the medications prescribed by your doctor regularly. Preventive measures to prevent re-infection should not be forgotten either.
Only one doctor will decide on the treatment of nail fungus after a thorough examination of the patient and the results of laboratory tests. Medicines should be used for prophylactic purposes to avoid re-infection of the fungus. Monitor the condition of your nails and skin, if you notice the first signs of the disease, consult a specialist immediately.Remember that in the early stages, the fungus heals quickly and efficiently.