The toenail fungus sometimes does not bother as long as dystrophic changes do not begin. That's when the sick rush to the doctor for medical care and begin a long process of treatment. Sometimes it lasts for months, and the surgically removed nail grows no earlier than a year later. Is it not a good reason to more closely monitor the condition of toenails and to see a doctor right away at the first symptoms? We will try to tell in an accessible form how the fungal infection is manifested so that you can distinguish the fungus from another skin disease and come to the dermatologist in time. So, toenail fungus: symptoms.
If you interview those who have already encountered the toenail fungus, what they felt at the beginning of the disease and at an advanced stage, then based on the answers, you can make a "popular" list of "Signs of toenail fungus."
- spots and white stripes on the surface of the nail plate
- the edge of the nail can crumble
- nail plate loosened
- nail plate turns yellow
- nail plate thickens
- pain when walking
- nail plate tarnishes
Doctors distinguish several forms of fungal nail infections. They are classified according to the change of the nail plate, its color and shape. The defeat begins with 1 and 5 toes, so they pay special attention to the inspection. If it is difficult to navigate, then look at the photo of the toenail fungus:
Form of onychomycosis: distal lateral (subungual) onychomycosis Pathogen: red trihofiton How manifested: Occurs in 85 cases out of 100. Initial stage. The defeat of the nail begins with the edges of the nail bed (this is a layer of connective tissue, on which lies the nail plate). First, the changes touch the side edges of the nail and its free edge. Thus, the disc loses its transparency, its color becomes slightly yellow or whitish, the free edge becomes thinner, crumbles, loses its even outlines. Against the background of the distant-latent form of onychomycosis, subungual keratosis may develop (the nail plate thickens). The fungus does not necessarily affect only the edge of the nail: it is able to capture it entirely. In this case, from the edge to the growth zone of the nail are white stripes. In case of mold infections, the nail may acquire an unusual color: gray, black or green. The final stage. The defeat of the entire nail plate, germ zone (matrix), nail dystrophy.
Form of onychomycosis: white superficial onychomycosis Pathogen: Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Aspergillus. How it manifests itself: Usually only the thin dorsal layer is affected (the uppermost layer of the nail plate). Initial stage. Initially, small strips or white spots are formed on the nail. Gradually, they are capturing more and more territory, turning the white nail plate into yellow. Independently determine whether the nail is affected by scraping: if the plate becomes loose, rough, then the nail struck the white surface onychomycosis. Usually this form of fungal infection is diagnosed on the first toes , sometimes on the 5th finger. A factor contributing to the development of this form is the softening of the nail plate due to prolonged exposure to a moist environment.
Form of onychomycosis: proximal subungual onychomycosis. Pathogen: Candida albicans, T. rubrum, Scytalidium spp. How manifested: This form is rare. The fungus falls under the nail through the periungual ridges or skin. If the pathogen is a fungal infection of Candida albicans, then first there is a purulent inflammation of the nail shaft, and only then the infection penetrates under the nail. Next, a change in the color of the nail begins, it is deformed in the area of the half moon, then in the growth zone. In an unfavorable course the nail plate is completely rejected. If the nail plate is affected by the fungus T. Rubrum, the disease passes in the following sequence: a white spot in the area of the semi-moon, the spread of a white spot to the level of the free edge. The nail gets a dirty yellow shade, the plate thickens and in advanced cases is rejected.
Form of onychomycosis: total dystrophic form Pathogen: dermatophytes, mold and yeast-like fungi How does it manifest itself: This form develops either from proximal or distal, if they were not treated. The nail looks thick, the color of the plate is yellowish gray, the contour is uneven. Subungual hypkeratosis may be present. In most cases, there are dystrophic changes in the nail plate: destruction, thinning, fragility.
On the development of the above proposed classification worked N. Zaias. Since 1972, it has been used by physicians from all over the world.
The pictures of toenail fungus on this page are just an example. Looking at them you do not need to make a diagnosis yourself. The dermatologist will confirm or deny it after microscopy of the pathological material and the seeding of fungi on special identification media.
Read the sequel: Identify nail fungus by photo