Toenail fungus: why creams do not help, how long the course of treatment lasts and what to do with shoes

Health Tips

The first signs of damage

The fungus feeds on skin scales, parasitizing and growing on the surface more and more. You have probably met completely affected nail plates of people suffering from this infection. According to statistics, more than 10% of people over the age of thirty have a fungal infection. Slowly but surely, it captures and destroys the nail (first one, then the others), causing the latter to literally crumble (at the last stage). Risk factors: diabetes, obesity, age (the older we are, the weaker our immunity).

Signs that should alert you: increased sweating of the legs and an unpleasant odor. They can signal the presence of a fungal infection in the initial stage. Following patients note redness and itching of the foot. Cracked heels are also often a symptom of a fungal infection. Then the nail will slowly turn yellow, changing its structure. Then you will have no doubts – this is a fungus. Do not delay: at the first sign, you should rush to an appointment with a dermatologist. He will quickly make a diagnosis, if necessary, take a scraping from the nail plate.

The main mistake in treatment

Previously, completely affected nails were removed surgically, now this radical method is resorted to less and less. The problem is different: most of those who have encountered an infection prefer to seek salvation in widely advertised creams, ointments and varnishes. However, external agents are only auxiliary and are not able to eliminate the fungus, especially when it comes to deep lesions.

It is important to understand: you need a course of treatment with antifungal drugs (in the form of tablets) that penetrate the bloodstream. When they accumulate in the body in sufficient quantities, the fungus will begin to die. Two drugs that are widely used to treat foot fungus are Terbinafine and Itraconazole (taken in consultation with a doctor – Note). Treatment will take you at least six months – so much time is needed for healthy nails to fully grow. As practice shows, patience and discipline in the fight against this infection are not enough for everyone. People drop out of therapy and then start again…

Get rid of shoes

Having started the fight against foot fungus, you need to get rid of the socks, stockings, tights that you wore before. If possible, throw away all the shoes – they are also affected by the fungus from the inside. If it is not possible to change shoes, it must be disinfected with ultraviolet irradiators. The fungus does not like dry heat, but loves humidity and warmth. Based on this, dermatologists give the following preventive recommendations:

  • buy high-quality shoes of your size (the tighter they are, the more the foot sweats, which creates a favorable environment for infection);

  • do not wear other people’s shoes, they may have a fungus;

  • do not measure shoes in a store without traces, nylon socks;

  • in public places (swimming pool, sauna, fitness room) be sure to take changeable shoes.

Alas, you can catch a fungus even at a party, where you will be offered slippers. One can only hope that the owners will offer disposable ones that no one has worn before … Remember that catching a fungal infection is quite easy, and treatment will take more than one day.


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