Summer gives us wonderful opportunities for relaxation and beauty. After all, when, if not in the summer, can we afford a fashion show with beautiful open-toed shoes, demonstrating to others our flawless pedicure and beautiful feet? And how much fun we get walking barefoot on the soft warm sand!
Unfortunately, all these summer beauties can end up quite sad for our feet and nails, because by opening them we risk being affected by a disease as unpleasant and extremely secretive as the fungus. And most often it is our nails and feet that are affected. Moreover, you can get infected with nail fungus not only on the beach or in a public bath.
You can catch this disease even on public transport, or just walking on the street with open shoes: slippers or sandals.
Unfortunately, the consequences of a fungal infection on the nails, and indeed all over the human body, are quite serious, so you should not start this disease.
Therefore, it is important to know the symptoms of the infection and start treatment on time. And for that you need to understand what constitutes a toenail fungus.
What is onychomycosis?
Fungi, as a class, belong to the lower plants that form mycelial fibers and spores. It is with the help of spores that the fungus reproduces and also spreads to the external environment. You will be surprised, but scientists know more than 300, 000 species of fungi and about 100 species of them can cause skin and nail diseases in humans.
Since they also reproduce by spores, any small crumb of a diseased nail or a small piece of skin from the heel or foot of a sick person is enough to infect with such fungi.
Fungal infections of the nails (onychomycosis) can be caused by different types of fungi. Therefore, the signs of infection will be different as well as the ways to get rid of them.
If you notice spots or small yellow streaks on your nails, streaks of a lighter white or gray hue on your nails, and the tip of the nail peels off and turns yellow - chances are you are infected with dermatophytes.
The degree of dermatophyte infection can be easily determined from the same lines and spots: the brighter they are and the closer they are to the center of the nail, the stronger the infection. So if these lines and spots are located closer to the edges of the nails, then the infection has not advanced much and the disease can be stopped in time. But in no case should you delay! Ultimately, if left untreated, not only the toenails are affected, but also the skin around them, and the nail plate will eventually become completely yellow and dark.
If the toenails become uneven, grooves and "waves" appear on them, if at the same time the nail gradually turns yellow and loses its density, becomes very brittle, thin, begins to remain behind the nail bed - there are manymost likely, you have become infected with yeast. In this case, the degree of infection is determined by the color of the nail: the more yellow and even brown it became, the more the lesion progressed.
Toenail damage with yeast most often begins with a slight thickening of the nail wrinkles, which eventually swell and turn red. Pressing these inflamed rolls is quite painful. Later, pus may appear in them, which if it comes in contact with the skin can cause additional infection. If no measures are taken, over time, the nail may gradually bend and change color, shallow brown grooves will appear on it.
If a person's nails, like his whole body, had been weakened for a long time by a long illness, and then rapidly changed their color - they became yellow, blue, green, brown or black, or dark or even black spots or spots appear. nails - most likely, there was an infection with mold fungus.
Such an infection, fortunately, does not penetrate very deeply into the structure of the nail plate itself and, compared to the above types of fungi, is treated fairly quickly: from one to two months.
Consequences of the disease
However, all of these are just outward signs of the disease and if left untreated, toenail fungus can spread throughout the body, especially when it comes to dermatophytes or mold. Over a year, and sometimes several years, the fungus slowly destroys the nail plate, fills the entire nail and penetrates the nail bed and after a while spreads from the feet to the hands, affecting first the big toes and then everyone else.
Spreading and taking root in the human body, the fungus significantly weakens the immune system, thus contributing to the occurrence of various allergic reactions and exacerbation of chronic diseases.
If a person does not start treatment at this stage, the internal organs are damaged. Particularly susceptible to such an infection are people who have a bad habit of biting their nails.
Therefore, it is extremely important to recognize the disease in a timely manner and to start treatment in a timely and adequate manner. Of course, only a specialist can prescribe it, who will perform the necessary examination and prescribe the right medications that affect exactly the fungus that affects your body.
You can try to diagnose your own nail fungus if you suspect something is wrong with their appearance, you feel itchy and dry skin.
To do this, you will need the most common potassium permanganate. You need to make it an aqueous solution and lower your feet into it. After a few minutes, your nails will turn brown, but the fungal lesions will remain light.
In this case, you definitely can not do without consulting a doctor. And it's better not to delay!