Nail fungus is a disease that causes many problems for people. Intense itching, burning and aesthetic problems associated with the unsightly appearance of the claws are not the complete list of problems caused by this disease. The more you ignore the problem, the more advanced the disease will be and the uglier the appearance of your nails will become. In addition, little by little the entire body will be poisoned by the waste products of the fungal microflora. But how can we not overlook the initial phase of nail fungus, which is much easier and cheaper to treat than the advanced phases? It is necessary to carefully monitor the condition of not only the nails, but also the skin of the hands and feet. In this article we will talk about how not to start the disease and what to do at first so that your beautiful pink nails do not turn into Baba Yaga's crooked claws over time.
Why does the initial stage of nail fungus occur?
Older people and people with weakened immune systems are usually the most affected by the infection. At the same time, no one is immune from fungal diseases: even a child can "catch" an unpleasant disease.
Fungal spores are ubiquitous in the modern world, they are extremely tenacious and survive on the soil surface even at low temperatures. But above all they "love" heat and humidity, where they reproduce extremely quickly. Warm public places, where there is a lot of foot traffic, are the fungus' favorite habitat. Baths, saunas, swimming pools, gyms - as soon as a person with a fungus visits these places, small flakes of skin infected with the infection appear on almost any surface. Imagine how often you visit these institutions and consider yourself very lucky if you read this article because of the general development, and not because of the need to treat mycosis at the initial stage.
Sometimes it is enough to walk barefoot through the bathhouse, or put on someone else's flip-flops, and an appointment with a dermatologist or mycologist can be made. Of course, you shouldn't worry beforehand: the infection takes root in the body if a person has a weakened immune system or if there are cracks, calluses or wounds on the skin. By the way, public transport, which we use several times a day for a long time, is also a dangerous habitat for fungal spores.
The disease can be "caught" in a nail salon and both customers and employees are exposed to this danger. The use of poorly sterilized instruments often causes fungal infections.
Many chronic diseases can also cause unpleasant illnesses.
Wearing uncomfortable, tight, airtight shoes made from unnatural materials also often leads to an unpleasant infection. In such shoes, the foot sweats and a very favorable environment for fungal spores appears.
Signs of fungus on the nail plate.
The initial stage of the onychomycosis fungus is often not obvious, so people who do not pay attention to themselves may notice nail problems when the nails are already severely destroyed and the treatment will cost a considerable sum.
So, what symptoms of fingernail and toenail fungus can be detected almost immediately? At the initial stage of a fungal disease, the nail retains its usual pink color, the nail plate is smooth and shiny. Gradually, the structure of the nail partially thickens, laminations and small destructions appear. There are several types of fungi, each of which can have specific symptoms, but there are common signs of a fungal disease.
How does toenail and toenail fungus start? The symptoms are approximately the same: when the nail plate is still smooth and pink, the initial stage of the fungal infection can be recognized by intense itching. The affected areas itch, making it very difficult to perform normal daily activities. Itching and burning can be felt both directly on the nails and on the skin. A pungent, unpleasant odor often appears.
The skin between the fingers becomes red and irritated. Gradually, the natural shine disappears from the nail plate, it becomes cloudy and it is difficult to see the nail bed through it. The nail becomes uneven, rough or wavy, which can be clearly seen both by touch and visually. A gap appears between the nail and the bed, which is easy to notice. Some areas of the nail become yellowish or even brown.
The initial stage of nail plate mycosis can sometimes be detected by peeling and brittle nails. Of course, peeling nails don't always mean they are "sick, " but this is often a harbinger of a fungal infection. In addition, we have already said that infection spores penetrate through damaged skin.
What does toenail fungus look like: the initial stage? Photos will be no less informative:
Nail fungus - the initial stage looks like this: the nail also becomes uneven and dull, and whitish spots also appear. Most often, this type of disease is found in women of the "active" arm. The right hands of right-handed people are especially susceptible to this unpleasant disease, as they spend more time in an aggressive environment, which causes the nails to thin and quickly destroy.
A change in the thickness of the plaque at the initial stage of a fungal infection is typical for nails, hands and feet. Depending on the type of fungus and the causes of the disease, the plaques can thicken or, conversely, thin.
No less impressive are the photos of nail fungus in the initial stage:
Treatment of nail fungus in the initial stage
Like other diseases, nail fungus responds best to treatment in the initial stage. In this case, you can get by with products for external use, which, by the way, are not cheap. There are many local remedies available to correct the problem. The sooner procedures are started, the less likely the infection will develop further.
The medications are applied directly to the nail or nearby skin. Varnishes against nail fungus are effective remedies, which act quickly and are very easy to use. These preparations penetrate deeply into the nail and, due to their texture, remain there for a long time. Medicines are selected depending on the type of fungus.
Antifungal drops also penetrate deep into the nail tissue and also have a great selection of products. They disinfect the nail plates, kill bacteria and prevent fungal spores from multiplying. The drops will help cure the initial stage of nail fungus.
Lotions are less common but can also be effective from the start. They act on the surface of the nail plate.
Creams for nail fungus have become widespread. Primarily designed to treat the skin around damaged plaques. With its help, infections are prevented from spreading to undamaged areas, including new nails.
A special spray is used to prevent the disease and as part of therapy. Or feet and shoes are treated.
The initial stage of mycosis is mainly treated with local medications; If the disease progresses, doctors prescribe medications that are taken orally. These medications are effective if the infection affects a small part of the nail plate.
Modern medicine offers a wide range of means to eliminate the disease. An expensive but effective method at the initial stage is laser therapy. Devices with laser radiation are directed to damaged areas.
The initial stage of nail fungus may require only 4 of these procedures. But this method must be used in combination with the drugs described above.
Ozone therapy involves saturating tissues with ozone. Special injections are given into the skin near the affected nail. This procedure helps delay the development of the fungus and prevents its spores from multiplying.
Of course, we should not forget about home remedies to treat nail fungus in the initial stage. There are many of them. Traditional methods are good because they are easy to use and inexpensive. For example, treatment of fungus with salt and soda is quite effective at the initial stage of the disease.
Fungus is very difficult to cure: it requires a lot of time, effort and money, and treatment sometimes lasts for many years. Therefore, it is necessary to take precautions so as not to "catch" an unpleasant disease.
It is extremely important to maintain personal hygiene: never wear other people's shoes. When you go to a shoe store, try on only your own socks, do not use those offered by sellers. Of course, you can't try on shoes barefoot.
It is necessary to wash your hands thoroughly with soap after traveling on public transport. It is best to wash your nails with tar soap. Use preventative measures, there are many. Treat your shoes regularly with antifungal sprays.
When going to a nail salon, it is best to always take your own set of tools with you, which also need to be periodically disinfected.
It is important to wash socks and tights daily, remembering to iron them well afterwards. Bedding should be washed frequently at high temperatures.
If the fungus still affects the nails, it is necessary to protect your loved ones from the same fate. The fungus is not spread by close contact between a sick person and a healthy person, but it can easily spread through shared objects and surfaces. Periodically treat the bathroom with disinfectants: the bathtub itself, carpets and floors.