Fungal infections of the skin and nails are common problems that include athlete’s foot, jock itch, oral thrush, ringworm, yeast infections, interdigital mycoses, onychomycosis, cutaneous candidiasis. Fungal diseases are usually treated with some antifungal medicines over the counter, but in difficult cases constant monitoring by a doctor is necessary. There are antifungal medicines available:
Fungal skin or nail medications involves two steps: killing the fungal cells and preventing fungal therapy. Only your doctor can advise you which antifungal medicine to take and how to use it at different therapy stages.
Feet fungal infection symptoms. Athlete’s foot and interdigital mycoses
Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) is a common fungal infection that affects the foot. This type of fungal skin disease is associated with violation of personal hygiene rules, uncomfortable shoes, socks made of synthetic materials, because fungus grows in warm and moist environment. These factors create favorable conditions for the fungus appearance. Classic symptoms include:
Interdigital mycoses are mostly caused initially by dermatophytes and yeasts symptoms and may include redness of the interdigital space, itching, peeling of the skin, it should be noted that only a doctor can establish the difference and diagnose the disease correctly.
In addition to skin infections, toenails are also susceptible to fungal diseases. To avoid a mistake – the doctor will examine the nails. Onychomycosis is diagnosed only after laboratory tests.
Nail fungus symptoms. Onychomycosis
Nail fungus (onychomycosis) is common disease that begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of a fingernail or toenail. As the disease progresses – the nail becomes discolor, thicken and crumble at the edge. It can affect several nails. Classic external symptoms that the doctor pays attention during the examination are:
- thickening of the nail plate
- color changing to yellow-brown discoloration
- changing the shape of the nail
- friability of the nail
- smelling foot
Fungal nail infection can develop in people at any age, but it’s more common in older adults. The causes of nail fungus appearance are violation of the body sweating (hyperhidrosis), ignoring personal hygiene, a minor skin or nail injury or a skin condition, such as psoriasis, diabetes, circulation problems or a weakened immune system.
Stages of antifungal treatment
Primary stage of antifungal treatment is establishing diagnosis. Your doctor may scrape the skin and examine it under the microscope. As already noted above, the standard symptoms of fungal skin lesions are:
or nail symptoms such as thickening of the nail plate, color change, fragility, friability, nail shape distortion, bad smell – you should report them to your doctor. It is always best to confirm the diagnosis in the laboratory with appropriate fungal scrapings. Even if you have only a few symptoms, you need to discuss it with your doctor. The clinical picture looks different for each patient.
After establishing an accurate diagnosis, the doctor prescribes an adequate antifungal treatment, which depends on the disease severity, the patient’s health characteristics and the collected anamnesis. The prescribed cure may be different to children, pregnant women and people who are undergoing other treatment and to people without complicating factors.
Fungal skin diseases treatment is currently complicated by the high toxicity of remedies components. The antifungal treatment should be both safe and effective at the same time. Skin fungus cure means overcoming the fungi resistance mechanisms and developing efficient strategies to overcoming and preventing the relapse of the disease. Common antifungals are often ineffective and have many contraindications, and cannot be used for such groups of people as children, pregnant women, the elderly or people with sensitive skin. So, actual antifungal therapy must meet such requirements as extended spectrum of actions on various fungi strains, large bioavailability, the minimal toxicity, universality of using for different segments of patients.
Best ways to cure fungal infection
Component safety implies their natural origin, thus, natural ingredients with significant antifungal activity are considered
- herbal oils and essentials,
- CO2-extracts of medicinal plants
Effective antifungal agents are Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) Oil, Tea Tree Leaf Essential Oil, Thymus Serpyllum Essential Oil.
Anti-fungal topical preparations with natural components are less toxic to the human body. Thus, we can conclude that it is necessary to carefully study the composition of the cream/spray or other antifungal preparation before using it and discussing the active substances with your doctor.
At the initial stage of the disease, the doctor may prescribe external agents that are less harmful, in severe cases, the doctor will prescribe appropriate treatment. In some cases, you should visit podiatrist in order to clean the affected nail. In our opinion, the main factors in antifungal treatment are:
- obligatory and timely visit to the doctor,
- careful selection of the preparation (as natural as possible)
- correct use of the preparation
- prophylaxis after complete cure to avoid recurrence of infections
General recommendations for fungal infections treatment
The prevention of the fungal disease and the observance of personal hygiene are very important. Thus, to prevent fungal infection, you need wash your hands and feet regularly and moisturize your nails after washing. Also you need wear sweat-absorbing socks or change your socks throughout the day. You should choose shoes made of breathing materials. You shouldn’t go barefoot in public areas (pool areas and locker rooms). By the way, it is also very important to use sterilized manicure tools.
Antifungal treatment should be started as early as possible. If it is possible, you should select natural treatment and do not stop using it until full recovery. In addition to antifungal treatment, antifungal prophylaxis is also important, you can take it into account when you’ ll choose home care products for feet. There are home-care creams that are developed specifically for nails after onychomycosis. They nourish nails and stimulate the growth of healthy nail plates. You can find on our website the compositions of such preparations and the list of products with natural ingredients that are effective in the treatment of fungus.
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