Foot fungus is an infection caused by fungal pathogens of various types. Each variety has its own characteristics and requires individually selected treatment. Nails, periungal areas, interdigital areas and feet can suffer from mycosis.
Everyone is at risk of getting foot fungus. Yes, most cases of the disease are observed in people who regularly visit public baths, showers, swimming pools and beaches. But there is a risk of transmitting the fungus by household means. The infection is transmitted through towels, ordinary pedicure tools, slippers or even carpets. Animals can also be a source of disease.
To successfully get rid of harmful microorganisms, you need to know what the fungus looks like on your feet, where it comes from and how to deal with it.
What do foot fungus look like?
Foot fungus is characterized by:
- skin rash;
- increased foot sweating;
- peeling is possible;
- formation of microcracks, especially in the lower part of the feet and soles;
- itching, tingling, burning sensation.
Occasionally, a blister rash appears on the feet. Peeling is especially noticeable in the area of the thumb. When trying to scratch an itchy foot, the patient often damages the thinned dry skin and the resulting wounds heal for a very long time. There is a risk of penetration through small skin lesions of secondary infections.
Without proper medical treatment, the fungus spreads and affects calves, thighs, hips and buttocks. The rashes are red with slightly raised edges.
A nail affected by mycosis changes color, turning yellow. There is a noticeable thickening, deformation and then complete separation. Sometimes patients complain of a bad odor emanating from the feet and nails.
A typical foot fungus can not be confused with anything. Manifestations may vary slightly, as the disease is caused by various parasitic fungi. But in rare cases, doctors still need to distinguish fungus from psoriasis. The symptoms of psoriasis in the early stages are similar to the manifestations of fungal infections. You can even spot these diseases yourself by carefully examining the affected areas. Are the rashes and itching in the form of rings or rings on the skin in these places? Then it most likely be a fungus. In psoriasis, the affected areas (psoriatic plaques) will have a gray or silver crust. Also, fungal infections are characterized by rapid spread in the absence of proper treatment.
The course of the disease
From the moment the causative agent of mycosis enters the body, the incubation period begins. Depending on the work of the human immune system and the type of pathogen, it lasts from a few weeks to several months.
- Initial phase. The first signs appear: itching, slight burning, redness. Sometimes the manifestations weaken somewhat when the patient applies moisturizing and antiseptic creams.
- The disease is progressing. Wide areas with scales, cracks in the feet, soles appear. Affected nails thicken, the leaves or the separation of the nail plate from the nail bed begins. There is often slight redness and swelling. Unpleasant feelings intensify. At this stage, qualified medical help is required.
- In the absence of proper therapy, the fungus can become chronic. In such cases, after treatment, the disease recedes, but after a while irritations occur. To avoid relapses, patients should constantly follow preventive measures.
Finger fungus can go to almost any part of the body. To prevent this from happening, you should follow simple precautions:
- when washing, select modes with a temperature of at least 75 ° C;
- have a special towel for the feet;
- wash your hands with soap, because by scratching the affected foot we pass the scales under the nails.
Disinfectant foot baths with chamomile flowers, sea salt or soda will not be superfluous.
During diagnosis, it is important for the doctor to get an accurate history. You need to know what factors can lead to fungal infection.
It is also possible to diagnose the disease with a superficial examination, but additional studies will be needed: a blood test and scratching. Scraping can be obtained from both the nail plate and the affected areas of the skin. Scales are needed for diagnosis, as it is on them that the pathogen content is high. Therefore, under no circumstances should you try to remove the scales. You risk not only complicating the diagnosis, but also hurting yourself. In the laboratory the biological material is examined, the type of pathogen is determined. Based on this information, the specialist will choose the optimal treatment.
Mycoses require complex therapy. Not only local but also general medicines should be prescribed. And after successful treatment, prevention must be observed: keep your feet hygienic, keep your shoes clean, ventilate them, use socks made of natural materials, put on slippers made of water-resistant materials when visiting public showers or swimming pools. Casual shoes should be made of natural materials and not tight. Walking barefoot will be helpful, but choose the safest places for it.