Rain-soaked boots, tight and warm shoes, reduced immunity - all this increases the risk of onychomycosis.
Fungal attack in autumn
Unpleasant cracks on the leg between the fingers, and the nail turned yellow? You may have contracted a fungus. Around 10% of the world's population suffers from this microscopic enemy, and in the last 10 years, the number of victims of onychomycosis (or nail fungus) has more than doubled.
Both men and women are victims of it with equal success. But the risk of getting sick increases with age. For example, after 70 years, one in two people suffers from onychomycosis.
Fortunately, children are much less likely to become infected, since the nails of babies grow much faster than those of an adult, and the fungus, on the contrary, develops rather slowly.
Where can you get mushrooms? Yes, most likely from his own relatives.
Recent studies have found that nail fungus runs more often in the family, even if it involves two people. The risk group includes people who have excessive sweating, weakened immunity, flat feet. Too narrow shoes can provoke the disease: in it, the skin of the foot and nails are more susceptible to injury. Stockings and socks made of synthetic fibers, poor ventilation in autumn and winter shoes create a humid microclimate for the feet. Frequent contact of the hands with household washing and cleaning products damages the nails on the hands, and the fungus simply prefers weakened and damaged nail plates, a healthy nail is practically invulnerable to fungal infection. These are the main causes of onychomycosis:
Cracks and scratches on the skin, nail injuries, constantly wet feet.
The presence of diseases: diabetes, AIDS, obesity, reduced immunity. The risk of getting sick increases if the vascular tone of the legs is disturbed, for example, with heart failure or varicose veins.
Take antibiotics, oral contraceptives.
The disease first appears on the skin of the feet, often in the interdigital folds. A parasitic fungus that has settled on the skin can poison anyone's life.
Over time, the affected area captures the nails not only on the legs, but also on the hands. Sooner or later, someone else will step on the fallen skin flakes and become infected.
Outwardly, the appearance of nail fungus can look like this: the color and thickness of the nails change, the nails begin to crumble or collapse.
where is the infection
You can pick up a fungus both in common areas (the floor in the changing rooms of gyms, in a bathhouse, swimming pools, a manicure / pedicure salon, in a hotel, on the beach) and in your own home.
Shared shoes at home with the family, in the countryside or at a party, walking barefoot, household items and equipment (towels, rugs, blankets) - these are the factors that determine the transmission of the fungus between members of the same family, their relatives and friends .
The most effective means of combating nail fungus is primary prevention. It is better to prevent infection than to treat it later. To avoid infection with nail fungus, you must follow these simple rules:
- Never wear someone else's shoes and don't give your shoes to others, even close people.
- Do not use the same manicure accessories for the treatment of diseased and healthy nails.
- If possible, disinfect all objects with which the patient's legs and hands have been in contact.
- Do not walk barefoot in public places, and it is better not to do it at home either. When visiting a bathhouse, sauna or swimming pool, wear closed rubber slippers that protect against splashes. On the beach, too, go only in slippers.
- After the pool you have to take a shower.
- Never visit baths and swimming pools if cracks appear on your soles.
- After visiting public places, treat the skin on your feet with boric alcohol or some kind of antifungal ointment, cream, gel, or spray. For prevention, almost all antifungal agents or alcoholic solutions of antiseptics are suitable.
- Do not wear rubber boots for a long time, uncomfortable shoes that rub the feet.
- Do not abuse stockings or synthetic stockings, change them daily.
To the doctor immediately!
At the first suspicion that you have contracted a fungal infection, you should consult a mycologist or dermatologist. The doctor will not only conduct an examination, assess the thickness and structure of the nail, but also take tissue scrapings for analysis. Only then will you be able to determine the presence of the fungus, its type and prescribe the correct treatment.
If onychomycosis is not treated, it can lead to nail loss. The infection damages the entire body. The fungus releases toxic substances, causing allergic reactions and reduced immunity.
It is necessary to clearly know that in the early stages it is quite easy to get rid of the infection. If the disease does not progress, local treatment can be carried out: cut off the affected areas of the nail, cover the remaining nail with antifungal varnish, lubricate with antifungal ointments, of which there are many today.
Remember that the longer the fungus lives on your nails, the more difficult it will be to remove it. In the later stages, when several years have passed after infection (and toenails are affected), fungal diseases are difficult to treat.
what you need to know
- It is necessary to sound the alarm already at the first signs of the fungus on the skin. A fungal infection on the skin is easier and faster to treat than on the nails. Just a week is enough to lubricate the affected areas with one of the antifungal agents, which are abundant in any pharmacy.
- The fungus can also infect the hair, although the most common is nail fungus.
- Sometimes a change in the appearance of the nails is not associated with a fungus, but is caused by the state of the internal organs: cardiovascular and pulmonary insufficiency, renal or hepatic dysfunction. Nails can turn yellow after taking strong medications. Nail damage is also caused by lichen planus, eczema, psoriasis, and eventually nail injuries also occur. But more often than not, the appearance of the nails changes after all due to a fungal infection.
Treating nail fungus with home remedies is rarely effective. However, here are two recipes.
- Apply a piece of kombucha on the sore nail and bandage your finger. This will soften the nail and make it easier for you to cut it. Repeat the procedure until the nail becomes completely smooth. Then vaporize your legs well and lubricate them with this mixture: take one part vinegar essence, two parts glycerin, two parts 96% alcohol. Prepare the garlic oil: grate the garlic and pour in the sunflower oil heated to sixty degrees (the oil should cover the garlic); mix everything and leave it to infuse for a couple of days in a tightly closed container. Soak a cotton ball in this oil, apply it to the sore nail and cover it. Put a plastic bag on top; in this way, it will not stain the bedding, since such treatment must be carried out before going to bed. The course of treatment is 10-15 days.
- Wash your feet well before going to bed. Soak a cotton ball in 9% vinegar and place it on the nail. Wrap your finger on top with a film and fix it with a Band-Aid. Repeat the procedure in the morning. Wash your feet one day after such treatment. Put your nails in order: where to cut, where to clean. Repeat the procedure several times on the sole.