Nail fungus is the most contagious infection that is diagnosed in 64% of all patients who go to dermatologists or mycologists. The reason for the prevalence of mycosis is that its spores are able to live in the environment without a carrier for several years. By touching the soil where pathogens are localized, or by dipping your feet in a warm river, you can be infected with a pathogenic microflora with a 90% chance. However, this is not all the pathways for the spread of onychomycosis pathogens.
Fungus infection mechanism
Mostly the infection is transmitted by contact. This may be direct interaction of a healthy person with an infected person or touching his personal belongings (clothes, dishes, shoes, etc.).
Most often, onychomycosis begins on the toes. The foot is constantly in contact with the floor, on which fungal spores can remain for a long time. In addition, the lower limbs sweat more strongly than the hands, namely increased humidity creates favorable conditions for the development of the disease.
Small abrasions and cracks contribute to the penetration of infection into the tissues. The fungus initially “settles” on the skin, but over time it also appears in the blood. However, infection on the surface of the nail or even deep into its structure does not mean that the disease has begun. An ailment can bypass a person if he has good health. The body itself will destroy dangerous microorganisms and prevent them from developing. But if the immunity is weak, then the fungus will begin to multiply rapidly and its symptoms will soon be visible.
One or more negative factors can contribute to a weakening of the immune system:
- prolonged use of drugs, especially antibiotics;
- chronic diseases that often worsen;
- hormonal disorders;
- thyroid disease;
- previous surgical interventions;
- childbirth and pregnancy.
Who is at risk for developing nail and skin fungus
Often, the fungus is transmitted sexually. In this case, people who lead a hectic way of intimate life are at risk. A woman can infect a man and vice versa. The pathogen during intercourse enters the mucous membranes of the genitals, penetrates the epithelium, then into the bloodstream, and spreads throughout the body, reaching the nails on the arms or legs. There he is fixed and begins to develop.
Also at risk are those who regularly go to the pools, swim in open water, relax at sea or are a regular in nightclubs.
Athletes also often suffer from fungal diseases. It is quite possible to get infected with mycosis in hot shops, where there is always an elevated temperature and humidity level.
The military and miners are still at risk of contracting onychomycosis, since they are in specialized shoes for a long time, which causes increased sweating of the feet.
Where and how to catch pathogenic microflora
The easiest way to transmit the fungus is through contact with an infected person. The transmission of pathogenic spores occurs with a handshake, a hug, a kiss of welcome and even accidental touching with hands in public transport (for example, when transferring a ticket).
The infection process is faster if there is damage in places of contact with the carrier of mycosis. So the spores penetrate the tissues faster, and then with the bloodstream spread through the internal organs and accumulate in keratin.
In places where there are many people, infection is carried out both directly, from person to person, and indirectly. In the second case, the transmission of the pathogen occurs through objects and things that contain spores on their surface.
One of the most favorable areas for infection is the pool. The disease can even be caught through water. Spores of the fungus feel great in hot and cold fluids. The amount of bleach contained in the artificial pond is not enough to destroy the pathogens of mycosis.
Another way to transmit infection in the pool is through the floor. Spores fall on him from the nails and skin of the feet of an infected person. Increased moisture contributes to the rapid multiplication of the fungus. Despite the fact that the most favorable conditions for the development of pathogenic microorganisms are created in the cavity of the tree, they can live in plastic, rubber and ceramics.
Not only the floor can be dangerous, but also doors, cabinets, towel hooks. These items are a hotbed of infection, with equal probability affecting both the skin and the nails on the hands or feet.
Infection with a fungus in the bathhouse
There is nothing easier than to catch mycosis in the bath. There are a lot of items on which fungal spores can live for a long time, waiting for a suitable victim.
Dangerous areas in this public place are:
- wooden benches;
- wet wood floors with crevices and cracks
- public bath towels;
- fabric tracks;
- door handles, buckets;
- walls in the steam room.
How can I get a fungus in a beauty salon
Manicures and pedicures can also cause the appearance of mycosis. During these procedures, the nail plates are in direct contact with infected scissors, files or brushes. If the tool is poorly processed, then there is a high probability that spores will instantly penetrate the structure of keratin or soft tissues.
Infection can also be transmitted from the hands of the master, therefore, according to safety standards, a specialist should only wear gloves, and all tools are pre-lubricated with alcohol and processed in a special sterilizer.
Infection while trying on shoes
The fungus can live for several months in the insoles of shoes. Microbes especially love leather goods. For this reason, infection can occur even when trying on new shoes in a specialty store.
As a prophylaxis, you can use a disinfectant gel. They lubricate their nails and skin immediately after going to a shoe store. Another option to protect yourself is to buy plastic socks or shoe covers that are worn on the leg before trying on.
Contamination through soil and animals
The environment is full of infections, including fungal infections. Microspores live in water, sand, on sunbeds. Contagious sand can be not only on the beach, but also in the sandbox. Therefore, it is important to monitor her condition if the child often plays in it.
You can also get infected through the ground, stones. From the soil, fungi can easily be transferred to plants, so skin mycosis is quite possible to get through an unwashed fruit or vegetable. Nail fungus occurs after walking barefoot on grass or soil in the garden.
Often, fungal carriers become pets. Spores are found on the hair and nails, feathers and shells, as well as the skin of pets. To prevent the appearance of onychomycosis, pets are regularly bathed with medical shampoo. The cat's toilet should be filled only with a special filler, since the sand, as mentioned above, contains pathogenic microorganisms.
Infection at home
The house ranks second in the ranking of places in which people most often become infected with nail fungus. If there is an infected person in the family, then any thing can be dangerous in terms of transmission.
In high concentration, spores are localized on the following items:
- socks of a sick relative;
- his underwear;
- a towel, both personal and general;
- the bottom of the bath or shower.
As practice shows, the fungus passes from the oldest member of the family to the youngest. But in some cases, young children are the first to become infected.
How is fungus treated
It is necessary to be treated for mycosis comprehensively. The nails on the extremities are lubricated with antimycotic ointments, while taking antifungal tablets inside. Also, folk remedies are prescribed as a supplement.
To quickly remove the nail fungus on the legs or hands, one must not forget about personal hygiene. Clothes are regularly washed, the body is washed with an antibacterial gel, and limbs are regularly soared in a solution with disinfecting properties.
If the family has a person suffering from mycosis of the nails or skin, then the rest of the members should closely monitor their health. If itching, burning, peeling of the skin, unpleasant odor from the palms and feet, exfoliation, yellowing and thickening of the nail plate occur, you should consult a doctor.
In order not to become infected with onychomycosis, it is necessary to follow simple rules of prevention:
- To wipe hands and body exclusively with your own towel;
- Wash clothes and underwear of a sick husband, wife or other relatives separately from things of healthy family members, and after washing, wipe the machine with a cloth dampened in a disinfectant solution;
- Change bedding regularly;
- Once every six months to buy new home slippers;
- Mop the floors weekly with a mild bleach solution. Instead, you can take a solution of chloramine (5-7%) or Formalin;
- Do not use manicure tools of an infected person. This rule does not apply to cosmetic nail polishes. Acetone, which is part of them, is not a favorable environment for the life of fungi. In view of this, it is unrealistic to become infected with a fungus through nail polish.
It is also important to maintain the immune system:
- regularly drink a course of vitamins;
- eat right (eat meat, seafood, herbs and fruits);
- have a good rest;
- do sport;
- spend every day in the fresh air (at least an hour).