Categories: Health & Fitness

How to treat nail fungus (hand, foot)?

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Nail mycosis (onychomycosis) can affect the nails of the hand (thumb…) but more often the foot (big toe). How to know ? Who to consult? With what treatment to treat it? Photos and tips.

Nail fungus (or onychomycosis) is an infection caused by a fungus growing under the fingernail (thumb for example) or toes. Mycosis occurs more frequently under the toenail due to sweating (often the big toe). The duration of the treatment is approximately 6 months for the fingernails. It is longer, 9 to 12 months approximately, for toenails. How do you get toenail fungus? Is it that it’s dangerous ? How to get rid of it and cure it quickly? With what treatment?

What is the definition of nail fungus (onychomycosis)?

I’onychomycosis is the medical term for nail fungus, i.e. a proliferation of microscopic fungi under the nails hands or feet. “Mycoses are more common on toenails than on the fingernails, in particular because of the perspiration in the shoes” says Dr Olivier Cogrel, dermatologist at the Bordeaux University Hospital and President of the surgical group of the French Society of Dermatology. It is in particular the big toe which is the most affected.

Diagram of nail fungus (big toe) © sakura –

What are the symptoms of nail fungus?

  • the nail peeling
  • the nail yellows (yellowish or whitish color)
  • The nail becomes hard
  • the nail crumbles
  • The attack can extend to the skin of the finger: it is characterized by a yellowish spot which appears on the free edge of the nail and extends towards the matrix of this one.

Photo of nail fungus (big toe)

Photo of fungus on the big toe of the foot © eliosdnepr –

Various fungi are at the origin of mycoses. “Fungi affecting the toenails are dermatophytesmost often tricophyton rubrum details Dr. Cogrel. “These are the same fungi that are at the origin of the athlete’s foot. Often, the mycosis affects the spaces between the toes (intertrigo) and the fungi then colonize the nail and develop in the keratin. he completes. More generally, “the fungi involved in onychomycosis are yeasts most often candida albicans Or mold in tropical countries . THE nail fungus can spread to the spaces between the toes and sometimes to other parts of the body such as the buttocks or between the thighs. Transmission is mostly human-to-humanespecially for dermatophytes.

What promotes the appearance of nail fungus?

heat, humidity due to the sweatwhich promote an ideal growth medium for fungal infections.

Changing rooms, municipal swimming pools, saunas: toenail fungus caused in more than 90% of cases by dermatophytes is caught when walking barefoot in locker rooms, swimming pools, sports halls, saunas… Indeed the floors of these places are infested with fungi caused by skin debris from the peeling skin of infected people.

► One immune deficiency or diabetes are contributing factors.

► The fingernail fungus, rarer, Caused by yeasts mainly affect people who come into frequent contact with humidity when, for example, they wash their hands too often. Health professionals and bakers are particularly affected. “Immunological factors cause some people to defend themselves less well against dermatophytes and yeasts” informs Dr. Olivier Cogrel.

Diagnosis of nail fungus is clinical. A mycological examination confirms the diagnosis of nail mycosis, especially if patients have to be treated orally” explains Dr. Olivier Cogrel. The mycological sample allows the precise diagnosis of nail fungus. It is very difficult to tell the difference between nail fungus and another nail disease such as psoriasis. “This mycological examination is not necessarily done when the mycosis requires local treatment” emphasizes the dermatologist. The mycological sampling of the nail is not painful. It is necessary to cut the detached nail and then scrape the powdery debris underneath. About a month is needed to obtain the results of the mycological sampling.

Who to consult for nail fungus?

  • A general practitioner
  • A dermatologist
  • A podiatrist

In order to obtain a very rapid efficiency, it is advisable to treat yeast infection as early as possible possible, as soon as the first signs appear. “Treatment depends on where the nail fungus is located” informs Dr. Olivier Cogrel.

When there is distal involvementwe deal locally with an antifungal. The affected area is removed surgically or with a urea-based chemical. Then you have to apply an antifungal varnish until it heals. You must then remove the residual varnish with a solvent, file the surface of the nail and clean with a cleaning wipe. Do not stop treatment until the nail has grown back.

“When the matrix area is touchedthe antifungal treatment is done orally. informs Dr. Olivier Cogrel. Terbinafine is often prescribed after confirmation by mycological sampling for a period of approximately 6 months. Grisefulin is also possible in children.

fluconazole and itraconazole are prescribed if other treatments fail. Local treatment is combined with oral treatment.

► Sometimes it is essential to surgically remove the infected nail when, for example, drug treatment has proven ineffective. The appearance of the nail improves as it is replaced with a healthy nail. It takes about 6 months for fingernails and about 12 months for toenails. The risk of relapse is frequent.

A few very simple actions can prevent nail fungus.

  • Have your fingernails cut short
  • Change socks daily and favor cotton rather than synthetic materials to limit sweat
  • Limit the wearing of sports shoes to sports activities because they promote humidity.
  • Alternate your shoes so they have time to dry
  • Use antiperspirants in case of excessive hand and/or foot sweating
  • Dry your feet well and especially between the toesespecially when the nails curl up with aging.
  • Avoid washing your hands too frequently, situations favoring the appearance of fingernail fungus
  • Wear gloves to prevent hand contact with water
  • Do not lend or borrow towels
  • Do not walk barefoot on the edges of swimming pools or in sports halls

“These hygiene measures must be strict to limit the risk of mycosis, emphasizes Dr. Olivier Cogrel. For people who have recurrent nail fungus, “it is possible topreventively apply an antifungal varnish“.

Thanks to Dr Olivier Cogrel, dermatologist at the Bordeaux University Hospital and President of the surgical group of the French Society of Dermatology.

#treat #nail #fungus #hand #foot

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