Mycosis or fungal infection of the foot is a pathology that occurs in 40% of people. The reasons for the development of an infection can be many: from violations of hygiene rules to the development of serious diseases of internal organs and systems. Toenail fungus can be cured with medications and folk methods, but only with prior diagnosis and consultation with a dermatologist.
How to identify foot fungus
With the development of foot mycosis, damage to the dermal tissue occurs. The first signs of the disease do not have a pronounced intensity, therefore they are often perceived as normal roughness and irritation of the skin of the legs.
Despite the prevalence of the pathology, not many people know how to recognize foot fungus. Mycosis of the feet appears between 3 and 5 days after infection. The further the fungus progresses, the more pronounced its symptoms will be.
Symptoms of fungal infection on the skin of the feet:
- at the earliest stage, the patient notices severe peeling of the skin, which, even after standard treatment of the feet and the use of creams, is not completely eliminated;
- the itching begins to bother you gradually, which intensifies every day and causes severe discomfort;
- Along with itching, a sour smell occurs, which occurs when a fungus develops on the skin, it is accompanied by a strong smell of sweat (due to dysfunction of the subcutaneous glands, sweating increases);
- There is also a change in the tone of the skin of the foot, the epithelium acquires an unnatural color at the site of the injury: bluish, greenish or even blackish-gray (in advanced cases).
With mycosis of the feet, onychomycosis (fungal infection of the nail plates) often occurs, so the patient's nails may begin to break, deteriorate and change color. In rare cases, general well-being worsens (the temperature rises, constant weakness and apathy bother you).
Important!It is impossible to independently determine the stage and type of fungus, so if you suffer from a dermatological disease, you should visit an experienced specialist.
Why are foot fungus dangerous?
Many people suffering from foot fungus do not take it seriously, believing that the disease will go away on its own or, until it causes unbearable pain, they do not make efforts to get rid of the infection.
Note!The peculiarity of mycosis of the feet is that the fungal infection is contagious, and since a person often walks without shoes, the patient exposes a large number of people to the risk of infection.
Mycosis of the foot does not cause life-threatening complications; However, if the disease is not treated, complications may arise:
- transition of the disease to a chronic form;
- weakened immunity;
- increased risk of developing other skin pathologies.
Dermatologic complications include:
- focal or regional spread of the rash;
- generalized skin lesions;
- formation of papules, erythema, eczema.
Complications occur in patients who neglect the treatment of foot fungus. If therapy is started on time, the disease is eliminated without consequences.
What causes foot fungus?
Mycosis of the feet occurs due to infection. Fungal spores have the ability to maintain vital activity even in the absence of contact with the skin.
Before answering the causes of foot fungus, it is worth noting that experts identify several groups of people susceptible to fungal infections.
- with weakened immunity;
- with vascular diseases;
- violating hygiene rules.
With foot fungus, the most common causes of infection are:
- diseases associated with immunodeficiency;
- rarely changes socks, wears low-quality shoes;
- visiting public bathing places (without observing personal hygiene);
- nail fungus;
- increased sweating of the feet.
One of the factors in the development of foot fungus is the psychosomatics of the disease. Experts confirm that a violation of the psycho-emotional state greatly affects the immune system, weakening it. A weak immune system cannot resist the fungus, therefore the risk of developing mycosis increases.
Are foot fungus contagious?
Specialists in the field of dermatological medicine have proven that mycosis of the feet is a disease that occurs after contact of the skin of the feet with fungal spores.
The peculiarity of this type of infection is the long-term survival of spores that fall on any surface. In addition, even on the skin of the foot, fungal spores can remain dormant for many years, and when favorable conditions arise, they can become active.
It is the ability to maintain infectious activity in the spore state for many years that represents the greatest danger. It is impossible to completely prevent infection. The fungus grows in a humid environment, so maintaining hygiene standards is the most effective way to prevent infection.
Important!Taking into account how foot fungus is transmitted, it is also worth thinking about the risks of infection for people who are in contact with the patient, especially those who live with them.
How is foot fungus transmitted?
The fungal infection is transmitted through household contact. The main method of infection is when the spores come into contact with the healthy skin of the feet.
How is foot fungus transmitted? There are two types of foot fungus infection.
- Direct: contact of the foot with an infected surface, contact with a patient's feet, contact with an animal whose fur contains spores.
- Indirect: contact with personal items of a patient with mycosis (socks, shoes, towel, etc. ), contact with care items of an infected animal.
In 60% of cases, infection occurs when visiting public places (saunas, baths, beaches, etc. ). There is also danger when performing a pedicure procedure if the items used in salons are not handled properly.
Types of foot fungus
Depending on how foot fungus is transmitted (where the spores attach), different forms of infection can develop.
Dermatologists identify the main forms of foot fungus, which differ in the location of the affected area.
- Interdigital. Mycosis affects the skin between the toes. In this form, two stages are distinguished: intertriginous and squamous. Most often, the infection becomes chronic, since the area between the fingers provides the most favorable conditions for the proliferation of fungal spores.
- Plant. The epithelial layers of the sole of the foot are affected by mycosis. A characteristic sign is severe keratinization, cracking and peeling of the tissue.
- Dyshidrotic. The most painful form of foot fungus, accompanied by the formation of vesicles and bubbles on the sole of the foot, which, when bursting, cause secondary infection.
- deep mycosis. In deep mycosis, a large area of the foot is affected and the infection penetrates deep into the skin.
- onychomycosis. This form can be the cause or consequence of a fungal disease of the skin of the legs. With onychomycosis, the nail plates of the feet become infected.
The most common form of pathology is interdigital. However, deep and Dyshidrotic mycoses, which are difficult to cure completely, are considered dangerous.
With interdigital fungus, symptoms appear after 2 to 3 days. Subsequently, signs of infection become more and more pronounced. It is almost impossible to identify foot fungus at the initial stage on your own. Signs of the disease are similar to insufficient hydration of the feet.
Note!In case of infectious lesions of the feet, interdigital fungus on the feet of children is diagnosed in 70% of cases. Children move a lot, often spend time outdoors, and are often without shoes or socks.
Considering that the signs of the disease in the first days are not characteristic, how do you know if there is a fungus? In folk medicine, there is a special method that helps identify the infection at the initial stage: soak your feet in a solution of potassium permanganate and wait 20 minutes.
If after the procedure the color of the entire skin has changed, but the areas between the fingers remain the same shade, most likely there are pathogenic microorganisms in the dermis.
Stages and their manifestations.
Interdigital mycosis progresses in three stages. Each one has manifestation characteristics. The more advanced the infection is, the more obvious the signs become. Gradually, the disease brings not only discomfort, but also painful torment.
At the initial stage, the patient begins to be bothered by peeling skin on the legs in the space between the fingers. The plantar area of tissue from the little finger to the third finger is most affected.
How does the squamous-hyperkeratotic stage manifest?
In the squamous-hyperkeratotic stage, the processes of keratinization and peeling of the affected epithelial particles begin on the surface of the foot. The skin around the localization sites turns red, the burning sensation and constant itching sensation intensify.
In the intertriginous stage, swelling is noted between the fingers, erosion occurs in the keratinized areas, and suppuration may begin. The symptoms of the previous stage intensify.
In the Dyshidrotic stage, blisters form, the lesion area increases and extends further along the foot. Fungal infection also affects the nails.
Interdigital fungus on the feet should not be allowed to develop; Treatment should be started at the first suspicion. In this way, serious complications that carry the risk of developing purulent infections can be avoided.
How to treat foot fungus
A dermatologist will answer how to eliminate foot fungus. Treatment of the disease can have many nuances, since there are many types of fungal infection. The specialist prescribes diagnoses and determines individually what the toenail fungus found in the patient is afraid of.
For foot fungal infections, two methods are used:
Drug therapy is the main one. Treatment at home with folk remedies is an additional effect on the pathological process, eliminating the symptoms.
Therapy for mycosis can last several months. Eliminating the disease in a couple of weeks will not be possible.
When choosing antifungal drugs, one should think not only about how to quickly cure foot fungus. Some drugs can only eliminate signs of the disease without destroying the spores located deep under the layers of the epithelium. Mycosis that is not completely treated can quickly cause a relapse.
You can treat nail fungus at home using topical products. Ointments are effective at the initial stage of the disease, in advanced forms they are used in combination with tablets.
Dermatologists recommend ointments containing disinfectant, anti-infective and regenerating substances for foot fungus.
The symptoms and treatment of fungal infection are interconnected, since the use of antifungal ointments is aimed at eliminating signs of pathology and jointly providing an antifungal effect.
Important!The effectiveness of the topical agent is observed in the first stage of treatment; However, in case of significant foot injuries, the use of ointments alone may not be enough.
Systemic antifungal drugs have a general effect. The dosage of the active substance in tablets is usually much higher than in ointments. The advantage of the tablet form of the drug is that the drug has a stronger effect and not only eliminates the infection, but also prevents relapses.
If you treat foot fungus at home, you can take pills, but the drugs have contraindications, so they are only allowed to be taken after consulting your doctor.
Important!The tablets are contraindicated in childhood, lactation and pregnancy.
Antifungal medications rarely cause side effects, have minimal contraindications and allow you to overcome mycosis in the shortest possible time.
Also, to treat fungus, ointments, solutions or sprays are used along with taking tablets.
Traditional method of treatment.
There are many methods to eliminate foot fungus using home remedies. Taking into account how foot fungus is transmitted, we can conclude that home therapy methods should be aimed at eliminating the infection from the surface of the foot. Home remedies also have an antisymptomatic effect.
Note!Treatment with home remedies is not a substitute for medications. Alternative medicine is recommended only as complementary therapy.
According to reviews, methods for eliminating foot fungus will help you get the most effectiveness.
Vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.
Vinegar and hydrogen peroxide: pharmacy hydrogen peroxide is mixed with alcohol and table vinegar. Everything is in equal proportion. A cotton swab is moistened in the resulting solution and the skin at the site of the foot injury is generously treated with it. The course of treatment lasts up to 1 month. The procedure should be done daily in the morning and evening.
Celandine juice - after preparatory procedures for cleansing the skin of the feet, prepare a solution for the bath. After that, they begin to use celandine juice. When freshly picked, the plant exudes juice from its stem, which eliminates skin infections. Celandine juice is used to treat all affected areas of the foot for a month. The product should be applied 2 times a day.
Foot baths with soda have a preventive and therapeutic effect. Place your feet in a container with two liters of water in which two tablespoons of baking soda are dissolved for a quarter of an hour. Afterwards, the feet are not washed, but simply dried with a towel. The baths are carried out for at least two weeks.
How to treat foot fungus with folk remedies or medications, of course, is decided by the patient himself, but it is better to prefer joint therapy, which will allow you to achieve quick and long-lasting results in the fight against mycosis.
Knowing how foot fungus is transmitted, the patient must understand that the treatment of the disease consists, above all, in prevention. If prevention is not followed, foot fungus may reappear. To prevent relapses, it is necessary to maintain hygiene, strengthen the immune system and follow the dermatologist's recommendations regarding treatment.