Mycosis of the feet is a dermatological disease that is diagnosed in more than 70% of the population, mostly men. It is easy to get infected with a fungal infection, one contact with a sick person or an infected surface or object is enough. For a long time it was believed that foot fungus does not need to be treated, but this is a wrong assumption.
Soon the patient begins to feel discomfort when walking and an unpleasant smell. In addition, the appearance of the legs deteriorates, and if not treated, the beauty of the skin is lost forever. In order to detect the problem in time and implement adequate therapy, we will consider the disease in more detail.
Causes of pathology and its types
Transmissible mycosis is usually caused by ascomycete (dermatophyte) fungi. Transmission of pathogenic microflora is real in contact with it.
Many people have a strong immune system that copes with the disease, but there are factors that contribute to a rapid infection:
- Walking in other people's shoes or barefoot - swimming pools, saunas, gyms are breeding grounds for infection. If you step on such a floor, the fungi will immediately go to the healthy skin;
- Foot injuries - with open wounds, fungal infection more easily penetrates the body and begins active reproduction. To prevent this from happening, it is necessary to treat any damage with an antiseptic;
- Professional factor - people who work in the bathroom, swimming pools, mining and other enterprises are at high risk of infection;
- Dermatological diseases - eczema, psoriasis, etc. ;
- Excessive sweating of the legs - a moist and warm environment is an ideal place for infection to multiply;
- Reduced immunity - a weakened body cannot resist the development of pathology. Fungi especially often affect elderly people suffering from atherosclerosis, diabetes, hallux valgus, HIV, etc. ;
- Wearing synthetic shoes - closed, tight shoes are an ideal breeding ground for fungal spores;
- Somatic diseases and disorders of the endocrine system;
- Uncontrolled treatment with immunosuppressants, antibacterial drugs, cytostatics and glucocorticoids, which has a harmful effect on the body;
- 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 fungi;
- Hypothermia of the feet.
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, treatment with antibiotics are factors that cause the weakening of the immune system, and as a result, the development of mycosis.
Types of foot fungus
The type of fungal disease is determined by the symptoms, they are usually pronounced. Initially, there is inflammation and itching, and then the skin cracks and peels.
In dermatology, there are 4 forms of disease caused by different types of fungi:
- Dermatophytosis (interdigital mycosis)- this type is the most common. Initially, the fold between the fourth and fifth toes is affected, and 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 peeling and shedding of the dermis. Often, dermatophytosis develops together with other bacterial infections, from which the disease develops into a neglected form. Over time, the symptoms intensify, the person complains of severe pain that cannot be eliminated. Cracked skin bleeds, causing additional suffering. On a psychological level, the patient tears it off, causing a new infection;
- Dyshidrotic mycosis- it is characterized by the appearance of erosions and rashes. The pathology is transmitted only through contact with a sick person, so it is rarely diagnosed on the legs. If it is not treated, against the background of the negative influence of pathogenic organisms, mycotic eczema develops. The vesicular form is accompanied by constant burning, itching, swelling of the feet, and sometimes an elevated body temperature. A mild form of pathology is quickly eliminated if a bacterial infection does not join;
- Hyperkeratotic fungus- in the advanced stage, the patient has deep cracks, and the skin is damaged up to the ankle joint. At the beginning of development, the patient does not see external manifestations of the pathology, there is no pain and itching, occasionally small cracks, peeling and redness can be seen. If nothing is done, the form soon develops into dyshidrotic;
- Eradicated mycosis- the patient does not complain about anything, there is barely noticeable itching and peeling of the epidermis between the fingers. It is precisely 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 period of development of pathogenic microflora is 14 days. Often, even without therapy, mycosis disappears on its own.
Onychomycosis is often diagnosed, in which the fungus is localized in the nail plate. Keratinized parts break and change color. Without adequate therapy, the nail is destroyed, and an open wound forms in its place.
How to recognize mycosis
The classic form of lichen is accompanied by a slight thickening of the skin and redness. Affected areas are shiny, showing enhanced patterns. The surface is dry, scales and grooves are observed. Most often, the pathology begins its development from the folds between the third and fourth toes. Furthermore, the fungal infection spreads to other interdigital spaces, the sole 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 is better to see a doctor.
The erased course of the pathology manifests itself quite weakly, and sometimes there are no signs at all. The squamous form is accompanied by the formation of scales in large numbers. In dyshidrotic mycosis, the skin is severely dehydrated, which causes deep cracks to appear on the feet. The intertriginous form is characterized by diaper rash, and the hyperkeratotic form is characterized by active keratinization of the skin.
In short, mycosis can be suspected by the following signs:
- sweating of the feet, the appearance of an unpleasant odor;
- cracks between fingers;
- small wounds and erosions;
- dryness of the epidermis, cracks, peeling;
- severe itching, patients often scratch the affected area until blood;
- redness and burning;
- the shine of the skin, its thickening, the appearance of whitish scales;
- small bubbles with a clear liquid;
- the fungus is often accompanied by destruction of the nail plate (onychomycosis).
The severity of symptoms varies in intensity. The patient may notice only a few of the above signs, for example, peeling of the feet and itching. In neglected forms, blisters appear, the infected surface begins to itch strongly, the skin peels and deep cracks appear. It is easier to deal with pathogenic microflora in the initial stage, therefore, if even the most insignificant signs of fungus are detected, immediately consult a doctor.
Diagnosis of pathology
A dermatologist deals with the treatment of foot fungus. If necessary, the doctor can 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 nail and skin sample 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
Antifungal drugs are mainly used to treat mycosis. They can completely destroy the infection or slow down its development. Creams, ointments, aerosols and gels effectively treat, disinfect the skin, kill the causative agent of mycosis and relieve unpleasant symptoms.
Popular remedies for topical treatment of fungus
In most cases, dermatologists prescribe such drugs:
- A spray that quickly kills infection and disinfects clothes and shoes well. Suitable for the prevention and treatment of plantar nail mycosis and ulcers on the palms;
- Balm is an inexpensive remedy that can remove fungus on any part of the body. The natural composition allows you to use it during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Active substances irritate the skin, so apply the ointment carefully;
- Bactericidal cream is often used to treat fungus and ringworm. The drug heals cracks, normalizes the function of sweat glands, initiates tissue regeneration;
- Medicine based on tea tree oil that relieves pain, itching and local temperature. To prevent infection, feet and hands are lubricated with the product after visiting public places;
- Antiseptic spray used to treat nails, hands and feet. It contains aggressive components, so you can use the product after 3 years of life;
- Oil - effectively fights mycosis of the interdigital areas, and is also used for a transient form of the pathology. The oil softens, restores, relieves swelling and itching. The tool is more suitable for prevention;
- A drug with antifungal and antiseptic effects. Instantly relieves itching and swelling after the first use. The solution is added to the baths. Course - 7 days, 1 time a day. As an analogue, you can take potassium permanganate;
Medicines are most often used to treat foot fungus. If there is no improvement after 2 weeks, doctors prescribe anti-fungal tablets and injections.
Tablets for oral administration
In addition to local treatment, the pathology requires the use of stronger drugs that act internally. They are usually prescribed in advanced cases, when ointments and gels are ineffective. Tablets increase immunity, destroy the mycelium in the body and contribute to quick recovery.
You cannot prescribe medicines yourself, such actions will only harm. The correct treatment is determined exclusively by the doctor.
Advanced stages require systematic therapy, which may include alternative prescriptions.
Treatment of fungus at home
Using medicines, you can supplement their therapeutic effect with folk recipes.
Proven methods for treating foot fungus at home:
- Celandine- the decoction of this plant helps a lot with mycosis. For cooking you need to take 4 spoons. 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 are done every day for 3 weeks in a row;
- Tar soap or birch tar- kill bacteria, relieve inflammation, remove symptoms. The problem area is treated with foam and left for 4-5 minutes. Then the soap is washed off and a cream containing zinc is applied. The course of treatment is 14 days. Birch tar is applied to burned feet treated with pumice stone, left for 1. 5 hours, washed with a towel, but not washed off. The procedure is repeated every 2 days for 1-2 weeks;
- Butter with garlic- to prepare the paste, garlic is mashed into a pulp and mixed with oil 1: 1. Spread the resulting mass on the affected area 2 times a day until all symptoms disappear;
- Cream cheese- the dairy product is used to relieve itching. You can use it to make poultices or simply spread it on the infected area;
- Vinegar- take 0. 5 liters of vinegar (9%), heat it to 40 degrees, pour it 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 in the cracks between the fingers and left for some time. You can also make a strong potion and soak your feet before going to bed.
There are many methods of fighting mycosis, but the main thing in treatment is the right preparations and folk recipes.
To avoid a fungal infection, it is enough to follow some rules. This especially applies to people who serve in the army, work in a mine, often visit baths and swimming pools, because it is very easy to get infected in such places.
Even if the fungus is already cured, it can come back. To prevent recurrence, you must adhere to preventive recommendations and follow the doctor's advice.
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 multiplication and activation of bacteria. For people with poor circulation, it is recommended to go for a therapeutic massage or do gymnastics.
You must wear only high quality, comfortable, roomy shoes. After treating the fungus, be sure to disinfect all things and surfaces at home. It is recommended to be in public places less often and always use personal shoes, towels, etc.
It is recommended to consume less sugar and eat properly. If the skin looks infected, seek medical help immediately. Timely treatment allows you to quickly get rid of the problem and prevent complications.