Onychomycosis is a disease in which parasitic fungi invade the nail plate and the surrounding skin. Many are in no hurry to treat the disease, because they think that it is not dangerous for the body. However, it is not. Symptoms of fungal infection are growing rapidly, especially with a weakened immune system. Further, there is a partial or complete destruction of the nail plates, severe complications are manifested, which in isolated cases threaten a sick person to death. But this is not all that you need to know about pathogenic microorganisms.
Is the nail fungus dangerous for humans?
Men are more likely to become ill with nail fungus than women, and this is often due to neglect of basic hygiene rules, as well as professional conditions. Mycotic spores multiply rapidly in a humid environment, and in industrial plants, where workers are engaged in hard physical labor, nobody controls the humidity in the rooms.
The peculiarity of onychomycosis is that the severe effects of the fungus are observed in every second infected person due to illiterate treatment or a feeling of restraint, in which patients do not rush to the hospital. They choose their own medicines and naively believe that with a noticeable improvement in the condition and the disappearance of alarming symptoms, the disease has receded. But if you do not treat mycosis further, then the infection “lurking” in hard-to-reach places (for example, at the atrophic stage of onychomycosis) again makes itself known when conditions are favorable for it.
The fungus is also dangerous due to the fact that, in its severe forms, spores can penetrate deeper under the skin, enter the bloodstream and with it spread throughout the body. The causative agent of the disease exhibits high activity in a humid environment, so new foci of disease will inevitably appear in the internal organs, and then the person is doomed to a severe toxic injury, which can eventually be fatal.
The most dangerous types of fungi
Everyone should know which types of pathogenic microflora are especially dangerous. The consequences of ignoring the nail fungus can be irreparable if such types of mycosis are found in a person after a diagnostic examination:
- Dermatophytes. Onychomycosis is caused by one of 3 pathogens: Trichophyton, Microsporum, Epidermophyton. Strips of gray or yellow color appear on the nail plates, keratin becomes loose, uneven. It becomes thinner and at the last stage of the disease lags behind the nail bed;
Dermatophytes – the most common type of mycotic lesion. According to statistics, it is diagnosed in every third patient with onychomycosis.
- Yeast. Its development is caused by the fungus Candida. If a person has a strong immune system, this form of the disease does not threaten him, because the body maintains a balance of “bad” and “positive” microorganisms, and the cells that perform a protective function do not allow yeast fungi to increase their numbers. But if it is weakened under the influence of comorbidities or severe physical exhaustion, Candida fungi begin to multiply rapidly, affecting not only the internal organs of the person, but also penetrating the nail plates. They become thinner and crumble, the inflammatory process seizes the skin on the toes, causing them to redden and swell;
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- mold. This type of fungus is very dangerous for the body, because during the last stages of the soft tissues located next to the nails, ulcerated foci form, which are “open gates” for any infection. On the nail plates appear unpleasant black dots that gradually grow into dark spots. The keratin layer gets an unpleasant greenish, brown or black shade.
Any of these types of fungus can cause irreparable health effects, so it is important to detect and treat onychomycosis in its early stages. Ultimately, the nails are so deformed and destroyed, that the patient can face severe toxic poisoning (the waste products of the fungus accumulate in the human body) or an allergic reaction. The allergen in this case is the fungus itself, and since it is very difficult to get rid of it, its intolerance will develop further.
What threatens the fungus during pregnancy
In the female body during pregnancy, strong changes occur: hormonal disturbances are disturbed, the stomach grows, which puts pressure on the internal organs and creates a tremendous load on the spine. The substances necessary for vital activity and growth of the fetus come to him through the placenta through the bloodstream. At this time, the woman is experiencing a shortage of vitamins and minerals, and if their daily supply is replenished in insufficient quantities, then the body’s defenses weaken.
It becomes open to various infections, including the infection of the fungus. The disease will be difficult, because the immune system cannot fight off pathogens. There is no barrier that would prevent their reproduction. The situation is complicated by the fact that fungal spores can penetrate the mother’s blood and get into her internal organs. In this case, they may appear in the child’s body.
For the effective treatment of fungal diseases, three areas are applied: systemic, complex and external. With systemic treatment, medications are taken orally (ingestion) and their components act on the body as a whole. If the fungus enters the bloodstream, then such therapy acts on fungal spores detrimental to any part of the body. In the integrated fight against the disease used drugs for external use and for oral administration. Creams, solutions and varnishes are used to treat nail plates and skin.
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Pregnant women are rarely prescribed oral medication because this can adversely affect the development of the fetus. Doctors choose external methods of treatment for them, which affect only the nail plates of the feet and the affected skin. These treatments are safe for the fetus.
Fungal disease is not always diagnosed in its early stages. If the disease is neglected, external methods of treatment will not have the desired effect and this creates a serious threat to the health and life of the mother and child.
The effects of nail fungus, if not treated
The disease proceeds in 3 stages. If it is diagnosed at the initial or middle stage of development, then there is every chance of a successful cure. But the severe form of the disease faces serious complications.
3 steps of fungus development:
- Normotrophic. The nails of the foot retain their shape, but white or dark dots appear on their surface, they thicken and turn yellow from the edges;
- Hypertrophic. Nail plates change color, thin, their structure becomes loose. They are easily stratified, edges get an uneven shape;
- Atrophic. Nail pieces from the edges easily lag behind the bed, it is not visible through the nail plate. The inflammatory process passes to the skin, where small ulcerated foci are formed. The smell of rot comes from the feet. Toes can be deformed.
Fungal disease is especially hard on the background of chronic infectious diseases, diabetes, diseases of the skeletal system. The terrible consequences of an uncured fungus are pathologies:
- Toxidermia. This is an acute inflammatory process of the skin, which develops as a result of exposure to a large number of toxins in the subcutaneous layer. They have allergic properties: they poison the body and at the same time cause a “rejection” reaction;
- Lyell syndrome. This disease also has an allergic nature and is the body’s response to severe toxic poisoning, which develops as a result of the vital activity of fungal spores. Primarily affected skin, mucous membranes and kidneys, and then other internal organs, which threatens the patient with a fatal outcome;
- Toxic hepatopathy. The action of toxic substances leads to severe functional liver failure. If the disease is not treated, then it can be fatal.
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A person does not think about how dangerous the leg fungus is, until he himself is faced with its consequences. Unfortunately, in rare cases, the disease cannot be cured and its relapses appear for the rest of their lives. We are talking about neglected cases of fungal pathology, when the parasites “travel” through the internal organs. Even the smallest focus of the disease can lead to its new outbreaks. To prevent this from happening, doctors advise not to forget about the most basic preventive measures:
- When going to baths and saunas, use only your slippers, a towel, a toothbrush and other hygiene items;
- Frequently wash the feet, take care of the skin of the feet, cleaning them of dead skin scales with the help of cosmetics;
- Lead a healthy lifestyle, proper nutrition, which is dominated by plant products;
- Avoid contact with people who have a foot fungus, because the disease is contagious. Surrounding people can hide information that they are sick, so you need to pay attention to their appearance;
- Lack of bad habits, regular walks in the fresh air – these are the basics that make the immune system strong.
- Good health is a shield that the fungus will not let into the body and will not allow it to develop there.