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Nail fungus Onychomycosis

  1. Reasons
  2. Symptoms
  3. Diagnosis
  4. Treatment


infectious disease that affects the nails of a person. Most often caused by various fungal infections such as dermatophytes (they come first), yeast and mold fungi, as well as trichophytosis, microsporia and epidermophitia. Therefore, this disease in people referred to simply as nail fungus, and suffers them about 20% of the total population of the earth.

The distribution of onychomycosis of nails depends on a number of other factors.

  • climatic conditions (often found in cold and temperate climates, where people wear a closed, warm shoes, which is developing nail fungus on the feet, and in the tropics and subtropics, dominated by humid, hot climate)
  • living conditions (onychomycosis are more common among residents of cities than villages)
  • the age of the person. Most often found in middle-aged and elderly, although in recent years the disease began to show themselves among children and adolescents, because you can get infected by visiting a public pool, water Park, sauna
  • working conditions (working in high humidity, high temperature, radiation, etc.)
  • related diseases (e.g., diabetes).

Even gender has an effect on the development of this disease. It is noticed that most of the disease is the male segment of the population (1.5-3 times more often than women).


As mentioned earlier, the most common cause of the disease are dermatomitsety, because of their characteristic difference is the ability to destroy and digest the keratin. Your way they often start with the skin of the feet, and gradually move on to the nails.

There are 3 ways of penetration

  • using subungual seizure (the most common method of penetration)
  • directly through the nail plate (the so-called dorsal part)
  • through the proximal nail wall.

Penetrating the nail, a fungal infection begins slowly destroyed. It should be noted that the penetration of Candida albicans fungus, the infection begins in the proximal nail shaft and often affects the nails of the hands than the feet.

In the damaged fingernail fungus to penetrate easier, so it is recommended to carefully monitor the condition of the nails and to avoid a different kind of damage. For example, wearing tight shoes can lead to injuries of the nail plate and the development of moist environment. Also a negative effect on the nails gives contact with household chemicals, so it is recommended to use rubber gloves during operation.


In domestic medical practice fungal nail diseases are divided into 3 types

  • onychomycosis normotrofichesky characterized by the fact that the nail plate remains the same thickness as before the disease. Also retained a healthy glow, but the color of the nail changes. There are white stripes and spots
  • hypertrophic onychomycosis is a more complex form, because it leads to deformation of the nail and its partial destruction, which complicates the treatment and causes pain while walking (if you lose toenails). Nails lose their luster and become denser
  • type atrophic nail changes color and becomes grayish-brown and starts to flake off.

The most common symptoms depend on the location of introduction of the fungus and its forms, but there are some that are common to all types.

Common symptoms

  • the appearance of white or yellow stripes and spots on the nail plate
  • inflammation in the cuticle area (the skin around the nail plate)
  • the change in the thickness of the nail plate (thickening or depletion)
  • rejection of the nail.


For an accurate diagnosis use research microscopes, which helps determine the fungal nature of the infection, but to determine the type of pathogen, use of bacterial inoculation. The detection of onychomycosis treatment should begin immediately, since the disease develops very quickly and can permanently affect the structure of the nail and may even cause a complete loss.


When nail fungus treatment local antifungal agents is often ineffective, as the use of various ointments and creams the affected part of the nail should be removed. This procedure is performed either surgically or through the use of special drugs (keratolytic medications).

These drugs are applied on the affected part of the nail, soften it and help with little or no pain to remove the nail plate. Absolutely whether it is nail fungus on hands, or fungus toenails treatment should not be delayed, because the effects of this disease are extremely unpleasant and dangerous. Usually patients are prescribed a systemic treatment.

The most common drugs are

  • griseofulvin. This is one of the first antifungals (antifungals) systematic action. Use it for nearly half a century, and in 40% of cases it is effective. However, it has many side effects and therefore its use is restricted
  • ketoconazole. This drug is taken once a day during meal within 8-12 months. It is effective in 50% of cases. If you combine its use with surgery, the percentage of recovery increases
  • Itraconazole is one of the modern drugs. A distinctive feature is a short course of treatment (not more than ten days), high percentage of successful recovery (80-85%) and, most importantly, it helps even without surgical intervention
  • terbinafine is the only drug which gives a positive result in 90% of cases. He has to take it every day for 2-3 months. The disadvantage of this drug is that the effect of treatment is manifested through a fairly long period of time (48-50 weeks) after treatment.

In addition, fungal infections are extremely tenacious and thrive on all surfaces, especially on wet, untreated wood (bathhouses, saunas), they also quickly develop immunity to some of the substances included in the composition of antifungal drugs. Accordingly, this leads to the fact that re-infection tool, which was used in the previous treatment, will not give the desired effect. In this case, should choose a product with a different composition and principle of action.

Also, be aware that all antifungals have a lot of side money, so start using them only in the case of absolutely reliable diagnosis.