Fungus on the big toe: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, prevention.

girl with nail fungus

Currently, about 25% of the world's inhabitants suffer from mycoses. Often the disease is expressed in the legs. Nail fungus on the big toe gives a lot of unpleasant moments and deprives a person of a normal and calm life. Also, it can spread to neighboring areas. How to cure a fungus on the big toe? What medications are most effective? The answers to these questions are in our article.

Reasons for the appearance

A fungus on the skin of the big toe can be caught in public places (baths, saunas, swimming pools, water parks and other institutions where people walk without shoes). It should be noted that fungal spores often get on people's skin, but not everyone gets infected. For infection to occur, the microorganism needs to enter the skin cells, settle there, and start multiplying. This is facilitated by wounds and microcracks. We may not see them, but for the fungus they are wide open doors.

healthy toenails after fungus treatment

It is also possible to become infected if one of the family members is already sick with mycosis. This is observed if people do not follow the rules of personal hygiene, use a common towel, sleep in the same bed, have common shoes and socks.

The threat of infection with a fungus in public places is reduced if a person has a strong immune system.

Mycosis on the thumbnail can also appear after trying on shoes in stores or on the market, if you do it barefoot.

Other factors that contribute to fungal infection:

  • Lack of foot hygiene.
  • Excessive sweating (sweat is an excellent breeding ground for fungi).
  • Flatfoot.
  • Wear tight shoes.
  • Old age (over the years, blood circulation is disturbed in people, immunity is weakened).
  • Perform a pedicure with instruments that have not been disinfected.

Most often, the fungus first appears on the skin of the thumb, since it is easier for it to develop in the soft layers of the dermis. If the disease is not treated, it goes to the nails. However, in some cases, onychomycosis is the primary disease, and already from the affected nail plate, microorganisms spread to the skin.


Microorganisms that infect the nail plate secrete enzymes that contribute to its destruction. Thus, the fungus prepares space for its own reproduction and colony growth. Symptoms depend on the stage of the disease.

Mycosis of the skin manifests itself in severe itching. This is the first sign. Then a bubble appears, filled with light exudate. The bubble bursts and a deep crack forms in its place. It is extremely painful, it even hurts a person to walk in shoes. Also, the wound keeps itching. Dry, scaly skin forms around it. The crack may heal, but it will soon reappear.

fungal infection of the toenails

At first, the disease does not manifest itself on the nail plate. It is possible to suspect from separate whitish spots and streaks that there is a nail fungus on the big toe. The photo above shows what the affected area looks like.

In the second stage, the nail fades (sometimes turns yellow), significantly thickens and curves. It can often grow on the skin, causing pain when walking and local swelling.

In the third stage of onychomycosis, the nail becomes loose, it hurts to cut it. In some patients, it can peel off the skin. At this stage, the patient poses a significant threat to others, since the nail plate becomes a receptacle for fungal spores, which are easily dispersed over surfaces.


Onychomycosis has three stages:

  • The first is that there is no change in the texture, the tone modifications are not visible enough: streaks, specks may appear.
  • The second - the plate turns yellowish, ceases to shine, an unpleasant smell comes from the feet.
  • Third - the plate loses its own texture, loosens, exfoliates from the nail bed.

By the color of the nail, you can find out what fungus has occupied it:

  • Yellowish spots indicate a dermatophyte lesion, while changes are limited to areas in the center of the plaque and along the edges.
  • The location of changes along the edges and scaling indicate damage by fungi of the yeast family.
  • The darkening of the plate indicates the lack of blood circulation in the finger and the fixation of mold fungi.


The success of toenail fungus treatment depends entirely on how soon it is started. In the initial stages, local remedies can help cure mycosis, and only surgical therapy can help in the later stages and an ingrown nail.

application of ointment for the treatment of nail fungus


Fungus on the thumbnail is treated with special varnishes, ointments and drugs that are taken orally. In the initial stages, the disease can be cured in 1-2 months, in the later stages it can take six months or even a year.


The action of therapeutic varnishes is associated with a softening of the plaque and a disinfecting result. The varnish penetrates the nail plate and destroys the fungus.

Ointments, creams and sprays

Such drugs are used for dermatomycosis and onychomycosis. They are quite effective and adverse reactions are extremely rare. It is recommended to apply these funds once or twice a day.

oral preparations

Tablets for the treatment of fungus of the big toe are used in the later stages. With mycoses, only complex treatment can help. Oral preparations include tablets and capsules.

How to remove a nail

With a fungus on the big toe, removal of the nail plate can give an effective result. To do this, use means that help soften the nail: patches, ointments, creams.

hardware pedicure

This is not a cosmetic procedure, but a medical one. Perform it in medical institutions. Hardware pedicure is performed using a special nozzle with a polish coating. With the help of this procedure, you can get rid of the fungus on the big toe. The photo shows the implementation of a hardware pedicure.

therapeutic manicure for fungus on the big toe

How is it the procedure:

  • The affected area is disinfected.
  • Soften with special drugs.
  • Remove the outer layer with nozzles.

The procedure is carried out very carefully, gradually removing the layers. If the healthy part of the nail is affected, this can lead to further spread of the fungus.

Advantages of this method include:

  • Quick removal of the affected parts of the nail.
  • Absence of pain.
  • Obtaining a good permeability for medicinal ointments and varnishes.

But this type of pedicure has disadvantages:

  • Allergic reactions may occur.
  • There is risk of infection.

To be

Laser technologies hold much more promise than other fungal removal methods. The beam is punctually heated and destroys harmful microorganisms without touching healthy tissue.

Laser nail plate removal lasts several minutes. If there is more than one infected finger, the laser procedure will take longer. To remove a nail with fungus, several sessions may be needed, depending on the degree of damage. Healthy nails will grow back only after six months.


With this type of procedure, the diseased nail is completely removed. Use this method only in cases where other methods cannot help eliminate the disease. Removal of the nail of the big toe can destroy the fungus only if, after the operation, the patient undergoes a complex treatment prescribed by the doctor.

The operation is contraindicated:

  • People with poor blood clotting.
  • Have infectious and other diseases in the acute stage.
  • Intolerant to anesthesia.
  • suffer from diabetes
  • Those with immune diseases.
  • With dilated veins and permeable capillaries.

how is the operation done

The procedure itself is painless for the patient, since it is performed under anesthesia. The nail and the skin around it are treated with iodine. The doctor inserts a special tool under the surface of the nail and isolates it from the skin. If a small area of the nail is affected, only that part is removed.

After the procedure, an antibiotic medication is applied to the wound and it is dressed. The healing process takes several weeks. Requires ligation. The process of growing a new nail can take several months.

Possible consequences:

  • Cut, pain after the procedure.
  • Infection.
  • Irregular nail growth.
salt for the treatment of fungus in the big toe


The doctor usually provides personalized advice on wound care. However, there are some general tips:

  1. Bed rest after surgery for at least 1 month.
  2. An open wound should be treated regularly, new sterile dressings applied and medications (ointments, creams) used.
  3. After the procedure, the doctor prescribes medications (anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antifungal).


To reduce the risk of onychomycosis infection, the following recommendations should be followed:

  • Fungi can be infected in the beauty salon. This happens in case of insufficient sterilization of manicure and pedicure instruments. You should visit salons that have a good reputation and a large number of positive reviews.
  • Accessories for a pedicure performed at home, it is advisable to have your own, and not to use strangers.
  • If your feet sweat a lot, you should sprinkle them with powder or powder, and also dry them after bathing or showering.
  • It is recommended to take vitamins that increase immunity.
  • Frequent pedicure operations thin the nail plate, break its structure, which contributes to fungal infection.
  • Acetone nail polish remover can also damage the nail surface.
  • Wearing someone else's shoes is prohibited.
  • The drying towel must be personal.
  • Cracks in the feet are a risk condition for the appearance of fungal infections, so they must be treated promptly.

Home remedies

Those who are interested in how to treat a fungus on the big toe should remember that there are methods of traditional medicine that also give good results.

Most often use such recipes:

  1. Table vinegar-based lotions. Take half a glass of water, glycerin and vinegar, mix. In the resulting liquid, a gauze napkin is moistened and applied to the nails affected by the fungus for 25 minutes. The procedure should be played 2 times a day.
  2. coffee bath. Prepare the coffee (preferably natural) in such a way that the drink comes out strong, then wait until it cools down a bit. Legs must be lowered into the mixture for 25 minutes. The operation is required to be carried out daily for 5 days.
  3. Iodine. It is a cheap drug, but is considered a strong antiseptic. They lubricate the affected areas with a cotton swab. It is necessary to carry out the procedure for a week, then make an interval of 7 days and start the course again.
  4. Baths with sea salt. Add a tablespoon of salt to a bowl of warm water and soak your feet for 20 minutes.
  5. Horseradish dressing. It is necessary to take fresh roots of horseradish, grate them on a fine grater. For a compress, a teaspoon of grated dough is enough. It is necessary to apply a bandage at night.
  6. Compress and bathe with potatoes. You need potato skins. They need to be washed and boiled, crushed. The broth in which the cleanings were cooked should be used for the bath. After that, the prepared mash is applied to the affected nails. Bandage. When the product has cooled, rub the inner butter on the nails.

Folk remedies have an effect only in the initial stages of the disease. They can be used as prophylaxis and in complex therapy.


People who suffer from foot fungus write that ointments, varnishes, sprays and any other external agents only help with ringworm at the initial stage. They are not suitable for the treatment of onychomycosis, since they are not capable of killing all the spores of the fungus. Therefore, during treatment, after visible improvement, relapses are sure to occur.

Patients are advised not to remove shoes, socks, stockings and throw them away during or after therapy.

In addition, patients who have contracted the fungus are recommended to walk at home in socks all the time. Otherwise, the spores of the fungus will spread throughout the apartment.

According to those who are trying to get rid of nail fungus, this disease is very difficult to treat. The course of therapy should be long. The most effective means for oral use, but all of them have many adverse reactions and contraindications.

All patients are unanimous that it is better to follow preventive measures than to treat the disease.