Foot mycosis is a dermatological disease diagnosed in over 70% of the population, mainly men. It's easy to get a fungal infection, just one contact with a sick person or an infected surface or object is enough. It has long been believed that foot fungus does not need to be treated, but this is an incorrect assumption.
Soon the patient begins to feel discomfort when walking and an unpleasant smell. In addition, the appearance of the legs deteriorates, and if treated incorrectly, the beauty of the skin is lost forever. In order to detect the problem in time and conduct adequate therapy, we will consider the disease in more detail.
Causes of pathology and its types
Transmissible mycosis is usually caused by ascomycete fungi (dermatophytes). The transmission of pathogenic microflora is real upon contact with it.
Many people have strong immune systems that cope with illness, but there are factors that contribute to a rapid infection:
- Walking in someone else's shoes or barefoot - swimming pools, saunas, gyms are a hotbed of infection. If you step on such a floor, the mushrooms will immediately go to healthy skin;
- Foot injuries: with open wounds, a fungal infection is easier to penetrate the body and begin active reproduction. To prevent this from happening, any damage should be treated with an antiseptic;
- Occupational factor - people who work in bathing, swimming pools, coal mining and other enterprises are at high risk of infection;
- Dermatological diseases - eczema, psoriasis, etc. ;
- Excessive sweating of the legs: a humid and warm environment is the ideal place for the multiplication of the infection;
- Reduced immunity - a weakened body cannot resist the development of pathology. Especially often the fungus affects older people suffering from atherosclerosis, diabetes, hallux valgus, HIV, etc. ;
- Wear synthetic shoes: closed and tight shoes are an ideal breeding ground for fungal spores;
- Somatic diseases and disorders of the endocrine system;
- Uncontrolled treatment with immunosuppressants, antibacterial, cytostatic and glucocorticoid drugs, which adversely affects the body;
- The use of contaminated tools for pedicure and manicure - in some salons, the cleanliness of the equipment used is neglected, and healthy people can pick up a fungus;
- Foot hypothermia.
People who are overweight and suffer from poor blood circulation in the limbs are also susceptible to the disease. Constant depression, the presence of bad habits, antibiotic treatment are factors provoking a weakening of the immune system and, as a consequence, the development of mycosis.
Varieties of foot fungus
The type of fungal disease is determined by the symptoms, usually they are pronounced. Initially inflammation and itching appear, then the skin cracks and flakes.
In dermatology, 4 forms of the disease are distinguished, which are caused by different types of fungi:
- Dermatophytosis (interdigital mycosis)- this type is the most common. The crease between the fourth and fifth toes is initially affected, then the infection spreads to the entire foot. The wet form is characterized by swelling of the skin, while the dry form is characterized by flaking and loss of the dermis. Often, dermatophytosis develops together with other bacterial infections, from which the disease develops in a running form. Over time, the symptoms intensify, the person complains of severe pain, which cannot be eliminated. The cracked skin bleeds, which causes further suffering. Psychologically, the patient tears it off, causing a new infection;
- Dyshidrotic mycosis- is characterized by the appearance of erosion and rashes. Pathology is transmitted only through contact with a sick person, so it is rarely diagnosed on the legs. If left untreated, against the background of the negative impact of pathogenic organisms, mycotic eczema develops. The vesicular form is accompanied by constant burning, itching, swelling of the feet, and sometimes high body temperature. A mild form of pathology is quickly eliminated if a bacterial infection does not join;
- Hyperkeratotic fungus- in advanced stages, the patient has deep cracks, and the skin is damaged up to the ankle. At the very beginning of development, the patient does not see external manifestations of pathology, there is no pain and itching, occasionally small cracks, peeling and redness can be seen. If no action is taken, the form soon develops into a dyshidrotic form;
- Mycosis cleared- the patient does not complain about anything, there is a barely noticeable itching and peeling of the epidermis between the fingers. It is these people who are the sources of infection, because they do not notice the symptoms. The disease is caused by fungi of the genus Candida, the development period of pathogenic microflora is 14 days. Often, even without therapy, mycosis disappears on its own.
Often, onychomycosis is diagnosed, in which the fungus is localized in the nail plate. The keratinized parts break and change color. Without proper therapy, the nail is destroyed and an open wound forms in its place.
How to recognize mycosis
The classic form of ringworm is accompanied by a slight thickening of the skin and redness. The affected areas are shiny, show enhanced patterns. The surface is dry, scales and furrows are observed. Most often, the pathology begins its development from the folds between the third and fourth fingers. In addition, the fungal infection spreads to other interdigital spaces, the sole of the foot and the back of the foot.
The main signs of mycosis are itching, burning, peeling, discoloration of the skin layer, excessive sweating. If you have at least two symptoms, it's best to see a doctor.
The erased course of pathology manifests itself rather weakly, and sometimes there are no signs. The scaly form is accompanied by the formation of scales in large numbers. With dyshidrotic mycosis, the skin is severely dehydrated, which causes deep cracks to appear on the foot. The intertriginous form is characterized by diaper rash and the hyperkeratotic form is characterized by active keratinization of the skin.
Briefly, mycosis can be suspected by the following signs:
- feet sweating, the appearance of an unpleasant odor;
- cracks between the fingers;
- small sores and erosion;
- dryness of the epidermis, cracks, peeling;
- severe itching, patients often scratch the affected area until blood is drawn;
- redness and burning;
- shine of the skin, its thickening, the appearance of whitish scales;
- small bubbles with a clear liquid;
- often the fungus is accompanied by the destruction of the nail plate (onychomycosis).
The severity of symptoms varies in intensity. The patient may only notice a couple of signs of the above, such as scaling of the feet and itching. In neglected forms, blisters appear, the infected surface begins to itch strongly, the skin peels off and deep cracks appear. It is easier to deal with pathogenic microflora at the initial stage, therefore, if even the most insignificant signs of a fungus are detected, you should immediately consult a doctor.
A dermatologist deals with the treatment of foot fungus. If necessary, the doctor may involve other specialists. The first step is to interview the patient and examine the affected areas. For effective therapy, it is important to determine the type of pathogen, at this stage a sample of nails and skin is taken. According to the anamnesis, a general diagnosis is made, and in order to finally make sure that it is correct, the doctor sends the patient for additional laboratory tests.
How to cure foot fungus
Mostly, antifungal drugs are used to treat mycosis. They can completely destroy the infection or slow its development. Creams, ointments, aerosols and gels effectively heal, disinfect the skin, kill the causative agent of mycosis and relieve unpleasant symptoms.
Popular drugs for local treatment of fungus
In most cases, dermatologists prescribe such remedies:
- A spray that quickly kills the infection and disinfects clothes with shoes well. Indicated for the prevention and treatment of plantar mycosis, nails and sores on the palms;
- The balm is a cheap remedy that can remove the fungus from any part of the body. The natural composition allows you to use it during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Active substances irritate the skin, so the ointment is applied carefully;
- A bactericidal cream is often used to treat fungi and lichens. The drug heals cracks, normalizes the function of sweat glands, initiates tissue regeneration;
- A remedy based on tea tree oil that relieves local pain, itching and temperature. To prevent infection, feet and hands are lubricated with the product after visiting public places;
- An antiseptic spray that is used to treat nails, hands and feet. Contains aggressive components, therefore it is possible to use the product after 3 years;
- Oil - effectively fights mycosis of the interdigital areas, and is also used for a passing form of pathology. The oil softens, restores, relieves swelling and itching. The tool is more suitable for prevention;
- A drug with antifungal and antiseptic action. Instantly relieves itching and swelling after first use. The solution is added to the baths. Course - 7 days, 1 time per day. As an analogue, you can take potassium permanganate;
Medications are most often used to treat foot fungus. If there is no improvement after 2 weeks, doctors prescribe antifungal tablets and injections.
Tablets for oral administration
In addition to local treatment, pathology requires the use of stronger drugs that act from the inside. They are usually prescribed in advanced cases, when ointments and gels are ineffective. The tablets enhance immunity, destroy the mycelium in the body and contribute to a speedy recovery.
You cannot prescribe drugs yourself, such actions will only harm. Adequate treatment is determined solely by the doctor.
Advanced stages require systematic therapy, which may include alternative recipes.
Treatment of fungi at home
Using drugs, you can supplement their therapeutic effect with folk recipes.
Proven methods of treating foot fungus at home:
- Celandine- a decoction of this plant helps a lot from mycosis. For cooking, you need to take 4 tbsp. L. raw materials, pour 1 liter of boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Soak your feet in the liquid for half an hour. Baths do 3 weeks in a row every day;
- Tar soap or birch tar- kill bacteria, relieve inflammation, eliminate symptoms. The problem area is treated with foam and left for 4-5 minutes. After that, the soap is washed off and a zinc-containing cream is applied. The course of treatment is 14 days. Birch tar is applied to steamed feet treated with pumice, left for 1. 5 hours, washed with a napkin, but not washed off. The procedure is repeated every 2 days for 1-2 weeks;
- Butter with garlic- to prepare a paste, garlic is crushed into a mush and mixed with oil 1: 1. Lubricate the affected area with the resulting mass 2 times a day until all symptoms disappear;
- Sour cream- a dairy product is used to eliminate itching. You can make compresses from it or simply spread it on the infected area;
- Vinegar- take 0. 5 liters of vinegar (9%), heat up to 40 degrees, pour into any container and immerse your feet there. The substance must not come into contact with healthy areas. After the procedure, the feet do not need to be washed, they are smeared with wine vinegar and put on socks;
- Instant coffee- they are sprinkled with cracks between the fingers and left for a while. You can also make a strong drink and soak your feet in it before going to bed.
There are many methods of combating mycosis, but the main point of treatment is the right preparations and folk recipes.
To avoid fungal infection, it is enough to follow a few rules. This is especially true for people who serve in the army, work in a mine, often visit baths and pools, since it is very easy to get infected in such places.
Even if the fungus has already been cured, it can come back. To prevent relapses, you must follow preventive recommendations and follow the advice of a doctor.
The first rule is to take care of the immune system, because it is the weakening of the body's defenses that leads to the reproduction and activation of bacteria. For people with circulation problems, it is advisable to have a therapeutic massage or exercise.
You must wear only high-quality, comfortable and spacious shoes. After treating the fungus, be sure to disinfect all things and surfaces at home. It is advisable to be less frequent in public places and to always use personal shoes, towels, etc.
It is recommended to consume less sugar and eat right. If your skin looks infected, see a doctor right away for help. Timely treatment allows you to quickly get rid of the problem and prevent complications.