If you recognize a fungus on the feet at the initial stage and start treatment in time, there is a high probability of a quick recovery with the use of a minimum amount of antifungal drugs, which for the most part pose a health hazard (especially for the liver) during long-term use. Unfortunately, not always and not everyone is able to respond in time to the first bells of the appearance of fungal infections, since the symptoms at the initial stage are very similar to innocuous skin manifestations. A familiar feeling when they found a yellow spot on the nail plate on the toe and the first thoughts that came to my head – nothing, cut, healthy clean nail will grow or hit somewhere, will soon pass. Or there was a slight peeling in the interdigital folds, which in 90% blamed on dry skin and begin to treat moisturizers. But behind all these “innocuous” manifestations, the familiar and hated leg fungus is most often hidden.
Provocative Factors and Sources of Infection
Pregnancy can cause the development of fungal diseases, since a woman in such period can experience a sharp decline in immunity and hormonal disturbances.
A fungus on the feet, like many diseases, cannot develop on its own – a favorable environment is necessary for its appearance and progression. There are a number of factors and associated diseases that provoke the appearance of this disease:
- a sharp decline of immunity;
- absence or personal hygiene;
- excessive sweating;
- flat feet;
- vascular disease of the lower extremities;
- permanent abrasions and injuries;
- surgery, etc.
We have listed the most popular causes of foot fungus, but even a poor diet or long-term antibiotic use can also cause mycosis.
Infection most often occurs after using the shoes of a sick person or visiting public showers. In recent years, there has also been a rapid increase in the spread of mycoses through manicure devices. The sources of infection can still be attributed:
- personal hygiene products of a sick person (cleansers, pumice stone);
- things of an infected person (socks, stockings, shoes, slippers, pants);
- floor (especially wooden) in baths, showers, gyms.
The pathogens of the fungus on the legs are very resistant to the environment and are distinguished by the fact that they can be for a long time in a latent state on wood, towels, socks or insoles. The period of aggravation is spring and autumn.
Photo of Fungus on the Feet
How to Recognize the Fungus of the Feet at the Initial Stage?
Here, experienced dermatologists recommend paying attention not only to external, but also to internal signs. Pay attention that everyone go to the baths, swimming pools, sunbathe on the beach, but the fungus affects only individual people? The fact is that for its development a favorable environment is necessary – reduced body resistance. This condition can be observed in the presence of concomitant diseases or recently postponed therapeutic measures during which antibiotics or hormonal preparations were used.
Now let’s talk about the manifestation of fungus on the skin of the legs. The main symptoms include:
- cracks in the interdigital folds;
- peeling between the fingers;
- rough skin on the feet;
- peels skin on feet, toes;
- deformation of the nail plate (thickening or thinning);
- discoloration of nails (yellow, brown, black);
- dry and cracked heels;
- redness and swelling of the feet;
- the appearance of red spots on the thighs and the inner side of the feet;
- Mucous scales across the entire surface of the foot;
- itching of varying intensity (depending on the location and pathogen);
- offensive odor (most often observed in people suffering from excessive sweating).
With deep mycoses, bubbles, crusts and cracks may appear, which are accompanied by severe itching and pain. In some cases, the lesions are located in such places that, due to severe pain, it is not possible to stand on one leg. This can lead to temporary disability and movement problems.
Varieties and Classification
As you already know, mycoses can be caused by different pathogens, based on this, localization of lesions may vary. Most often, the fungus on the feet can be caused by:
- deep mycoses.
All mycoses of the feet are today considered to be independent diseases, caused by different pathogens and localized on different parts of the feet, but they are all united by one name – a fungus on the legs. The most common ones are:
- Rubrofitia feet. It is approximately 60% of all mycoses feet. It has a high contagiousness and prevalence among certain segments of the population. The initial stage of rubromycosis of the feet is characterized by damage to the interdigital folds of the feet. Subsequently, the sole and the inner side of the foot are involved in the process. The lesion of the nail plastic in ruhrofitii is observed in every third patient. Quite often combined with fungus on the hands, especially with generalized rubromycosis.
- Epidermal Mycosis. These include just two separate diseases – athlete’s foot and athlete’s groin-femoral folds. In both cases, the lesions are localized on the feet. Epidermophyton feet characterized by the defeat of the folds between the toes, the sole and back of the foot. Less often, the process spreads to the nails (usually V and I toes). Lesions are covered with floury scales and crusts. There is an itch of varying intensity. In acute cases, general malaise and headache may occur. Groin athlete’s disease manifests as large flaking spots in the groin, on the inside of the legs, thighs, and the perianal area. Lesions can reach the size of a large plate, accompanied by slight itching, desquamation and swelling.
- Onychomycosis. Every year the prevalence of fungal nail infections is steadily increasing. Only now (according to statistics in the middle of 2016) 10-18% of Russians diagnosed onychomycosis of nails of varying degrees of severity. Of great importance in their development are environmental and social factors. Also at risk are people who have problems with the vascular, immune and endocrine systems. Men get sick 1.3 times more often than women. In children, onychomycosis is very rare, the peak of prevalence is in people aged 50 to 70 years.
- Candidiasis. Rarely, but still there are cases of feet lesions with Candida fungi. In rare cases, candidal balanoposthitis can spread from the genital organs to the perianal zone and inguinal-femoral folds. A little more often, yeast-like mushrooms are found on the nails. At the initial stage, there is pain in the nail cushion, which, when pressed, may produce pus. Over time, its color becomes brownish-brown.
There is also a smooth skin scar, but the lesions with it are rarely found on the legs. But rubromycosis in the groin is characterized by damage to the inside of the leg with red spots.
Treatment and Prevention
Diagnosis of the fungus on the legs includes examination of the clinical picture, taking a scraping from the lesions, conducting microscopic examination (find the threads of septic mycelium) and bacterial seeding to determine the culture of fungi. Before visiting the doctor can not handle lesions by any means! Differential diagnostics is performed with eczema, psoriatic eruptions and contact dermatitis.
Treatment of athlete’s and rubrofitia in the groin is carried out with the help of external preparations (most often Clotrimazole). The prognosis is positive, the duration of therapeutic measures rarely exceeds one month. As a preventive measure, treatment of lesions with alcohol-containing solutions is recommended; in the presence of itching, antihistamines can be prescribed.
More difficult is the situation with mycoses of the feet and onychomycosis, since even the initial stage they are very difficult to treat and are prone to relapses. The most effective is the combination of external and systemic drugs, strict adherence to dosage, personal hygiene and disinfection rules. The combination of diflucan in capsules and terbinafine in the form of an ointment has proven itself well (treatment of lesions 2p / d for a month). Exoderil, Mykoseptin are good reviews (there are no contraindications even with HB). Much attention in case of foot fungus is given to the treatment of shoes and socks, which can cause a relapse. It is desirable to boil or wash socks at a temperature of 90 degrees, insoles and shoes inside must be treated with a chlorhexidine solution (in particularly severe cases, you can use the solution Mykoseptin).
And most importantly, remember that today the fungus on the legs, discovered at the initial stage, can be successfully treated with modern drugs, but neglected onychomycosis and mycoses of the feet can be treated for months and even years.