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Pain with toenail fungus: Nail fungus – Diagnosis and treatment


Nail fungus – Diagnosis and treatment


Your doctor will examine your nails. He or she may also take some nail clippings or scrape debris from under your nail and send the sample to a lab to identify the type of fungus causing the infection.

Other conditions, such as psoriasis, can mimic a fungal infection of the nail. Microorganisms such as yeast and bacteria also can infect nails. Knowing the cause of your infection helps determine the best course of treatment.


Fungal nail infections can be difficult to treat. Talk with your doctor if self-care strategies and over-the-counter (nonprescription) products haven’t helped. Treatment depends on the severity of your condition and the type of fungus causing it. It can take months to see results. And even if your nail condition improves, repeat infections are common.


Your doctor may prescribe antifungal drugs that you take orally or apply to the nail. In some situations, it helps to combine oral and topical antifungal therapies.

  • Oral antifungal drugs. These drugs are often the first choice because they clear the infection more quickly than do topical drugs. Options include terbinafine (Lamisil) and itraconazole (Sporanox). These drugs help a new nail grow free of infection, slowly replacing the infected part.

    You typically take this type of drug for six to 12 weeks. But you won’t see the end result of treatment until the nail grows back completely. It may take four months or longer to eliminate an infection. Treatment success rates with these drugs appear to be lower in adults over age 65.

    Oral antifungal drugs may cause side effects ranging from skin rash to liver damage. You may need occasional blood tests to check on how you’re doing with these types of drugs. Doctors may not recommend them for people with liver disease or congestive heart failure or those taking certain medications.

  • Medicated nail polish. Your doctor may prescribe an antifungal nail polish called ciclopirox (Penlac). You paint it on your infected nails and surrounding skin once a day. After seven days, you wipe the piled-on layers clean with alcohol and begin fresh applications. You may need to use this type of nail polish daily for almost a year.
  • Medicated nail cream. Your doctor may prescribe an antifungal cream, which you rub into your infected nails after soaking. These creams may work better if you first thin the nails. This helps the medication get through the hard nail surface to the underlying fungus.

    To thin nails, you apply a nonprescription lotion containing urea. Or your doctor may thin the surface of the nail (debride) with a file or other tool.


Your doctor might suggest temporary removal of the nail so that he or she can apply the antifungal drug directly to the infection under the nail.

Some fungal nail infections don’t respond to medicines. Your doctor might suggest permanent nail removal if the infection is severe or extremely painful.

Lifestyle and home remedies

Often, you can take care of a fungal nail infection at home:

  • Try over-the-counter antifungal nail creams and ointments. Several products are available. If you notice white markings on the surfaces of the nails, file them off, soak your nails in water, dry them, and apply the medicated cream or lotion.
  • Trim and thin the nails. This helps reduce pain by reducing pressure on the nails. Also, if you do this before applying an antifungal, the drug can reach deeper layers of the nail.

Before trimming or using a nail file to thin thick nails, soften them with urea-containing creams. If you have a condition that causes poor blood flow to your feet and you can’t trim your nails, see a health care provider regularly to have your nails trimmed.

Preparing for your appointment

You’re likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. In some cases when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred immediately to either a doctor who specializes in skin conditions (dermatologist) or one who specializes in foot conditions (podiatrist).

To make the most of your time with your doctor, it’s good to prepare for your appointment.

What you can do

  • List your symptoms, including any that may seem unrelated to nail fungus.
  • List key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
  • List all the medications, vitamins and supplements you’re taking.
  • List questions to ask your doctor.

For nail fungus, your questions might include:

  • What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
  • What are other possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
  • What tests do I need?
  • What is the best course of action?
  • What are the alternatives to the primary approach you’re suggesting?
  • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • Is a generic alternative available for the medicine you’re prescribing?
  • Do you have any brochures or other printed material that I can take home? Do you recommend any websites on nail fungus?

Don’t hesitate to ask any other questions you have.

The Dangers of Ignoring Toenail Fungal Infections

With all the serious health dangers out there, like cancer and diabetes, having a yellowed nail from toenail fungus can seem pretty insignificant. Since toenail fungus (onychomycosis) usually isn’t painful, many people put off seeking treatment, says Peter Joseph, DPM, a podiatrist with Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh. While many people are otherwise healthy and may just think of it as a cosmetic problem, ignoring a toenail infected with fungus could have health consequences beyond appearances. Potential complications of a toenail fungal infection:

Foot pain. Over time, a nail infected with fungus can become thick and misshapen, causing pain, Dr. Joseph says. It can even make it difficult to walk when wearing shoes, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association.

Spread of the fungus. Sometimes untreated toenail fungus can spread to the surrounding skin on the foot. This may result in athlete’s foot, a condition marked by itchy, red, cracked skin. “If you wear shoes and socks all day and one of your toenails is infected, it can spread quite easily because fungus thrives in a warm, dark, moist environment,” Joseph says. The fungus can also spread to the genitals, where it becomes jock itch, a condition that can affect both men and women, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology.

Widespread infection. This complication of toenail fungal infection is of particular concern for people with diabetes and other chronic conditions that weaken the immune system. If a toenail fungus spreads to the skin and causes it to crack, bacteria can get in. This may cause cellulitis, a condition that produces swollen, red, tender skin and must be treated with antibiotics, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. In severe cases of cellulitis, the infection can enter the bloodstream and be deadly. “And it can all start from a simple fungal infection,” Joseph says.

Treating Toenail Fungus | Everyday Health

Unless you are fond of open-toed sandals or pedicures, you probably don’t pay much attention to the health of your toenails. But there’s good reason to keep your toes in top shape. A toenail infection — also known as onychomycosis — doesn’t go away on its own, and if left untreated, the fungus will spread and can eventually destroy the nail. What’s more, because the fungus is typically painless, people are often unaware that they even have a problem.

“What happens over time is that the fungus breeds in the nail tissue and goes from being just a little bit on the nail to a really discolored and thickened nail to a nail that is totally embedded with fungus,” explains Marlene Reid, DPM, FACFAS, FACFAOM, a podiatrist and spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association.

Getting rid of established toenail fungus can be difficult. Successfully eliminating it depends on careful adherence to a treatment plan.

Toenail Fungus Treatment Options

With superficial onychomycosis, small white patches of fungus form on the nails. Generally this fungus can simply be filed off the nails. An over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal topical medication should then be applied to the nail. Keep in mind that OTC medication often doesn’t penetrate the nail deeply enough to kill all of the fungus and prevent the infection from recurring. Repeated applications of the medication or a prescription-strength drug may be necessary.

The symptoms of more severe infections include thickened, discolored toenails that may eventually become painful. In these situations, you should see a podiatrist who can devise a treatment plan that may involve:

  • Debridement. The thickened portions of the nail can be debrided, or removed, to reduce pain and allow a topical treatment to penetrate more effectively.
  • Topical medication. This type of treatment is available over the counter or as prescription medication. Unfortunately, topical medication doesn’t always work because it doesn’t move deeply enough into the nail to reach the fungus or because patients forget to apply it daily, as is required. To increase effectiveness, always follow usage instructions on the label.
  • Oral medication. If used consistently, oral medications have a good success rate and require a three-month course of treatment. Although these drugs are not as hard on the liver as other medications are, blood tests still need to be performed every four to six weeks to monitor liver function.
  • Laser treatment. Podiatrists can now offer in-office laser treatments approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help eradicate toenail fungus. “It’s not the golden ticket that we’re still looking for for fungal nails, but it definitely has improved the outcomes of treatments overall,” Dr. Reid says. She uses the laser in her practice in conjunction with other treatments, such as topical and oral medications when appropriate. “Laser has definitely improved the effectiveness and success of clearing toenails.”

In the most serious instances of toenail fungus, the toenail may be removed surgically or dissolved with acid. This can be done to just a portion of the nail in hopes that the remaining nail will grow back healthy. In cases where the entire toenail has to be removed, artificial nails and products using light-cured resins to form a temporary covering can be used to protect the underlying tissue until the nail grows back.

If you prefer to go the home remedy route, you’re not alone — ancient Egyptians reportedly used crocodile dung as a treatment for toenail fungus. One home remedy more commonly used today is tea tree oil; however, its effectiveness hasn’t been well-studied, and it is not recommended by podiatrists.

By keeping your feet clean, dry, and well groomed, you can help prevent a toenail fungus infection from starting in the first place — and you’ll always be one step ahead of the foot doctor.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Toenail Fungal Infections

A toenail fungal infection (onychomycosis) definitely isn’t a glamorous topic, but it can be an interesting one. Think you know all there is to know? There may be facts about toenail fungus that you’re unaware of.

5 Facts About Toenail Fungal Infections

Lesser-known facts about toenail fungal infections include:

1. It tends to stay local. Some people think having toenail fungus means they’re harboring unsavory organisms throughout their body, but that’s not the case. While it’s true that some fungal infections can wreak havoc in the body, the fungus that affects toenails tends to stay on the nail or in the area immediately surrounding it, says Richard Goad, DPM, a podiatrist with Baylor Scott & White Health in Temple and Killeen, Texas. “Don’t get too worried about it,” he says. “It’s a problem in the nail plate and nail bed.”

2. But it can spread to other parts of the body. If a fungus is affecting one of your toenails, the toenails surrounding it are more likely to develop it as well, Dr. Goad says. In some people, the fungus can also spread to the surrounding skin, causing athlete’s foot. Sometimes the fungus can be passed to the genitals (jock itch) when underwear is pulled on over infected toenails. “If your toenails are infected, put socks on before you put on underwear,” says Peter Joseph, DPM, a podiatrist with Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh.

3. Age is a risk factor. The older you get, the more likely you are to develop a toenail fungal infection. Adults over age 60 are particularly susceptible.

4. It can be contagious. It’s unlikely that you’ll catch toenail fungus from having coffee with a friend, but if you live in close quarters with someone who has it, be on the alert and take preventive measures. “Don’t wear a person’s socks or use their shoes if they have a toenail fungal infection,” Goad says. “Beyond that, the chance of it spreading to others is very low.” You can also reduce your risk of picking up a toenail fungal infection by wearing shower shoes in places like a public pool or gym locker room.

5. An injury can lead to an infection. If you damage your toenail, from an ill-fitting shoe for example, the nail can separate from the nail bed, allowing enough room for a fungus to take hold, Joseph says. “The organisms that cause toenail fungus are common inhabitants of our everyday environment in showers, hotels, and outdoors,” he says, “so the chance of exposure is high.” If you experience a nail injury, watch carefully for signs of a toenail fungal infection. Signs include a nail that becomes white, yellow, brittle, or thick.

Symptoms Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

What Is a Fungal Nail Infection?

A fungal nail infection is a common condition that can leave you with brittle, discolored nails, usually on your toes.

Its formal name is onychomycosis, and it’s a lot like athlete’s foot. But instead of affecting the skin on the bottom of your feet or between your toes, it invades your nails.

Fungi are tiny organisms you can only see through a microscope. Many different types can cause a nail infection. Sometimes they live on your skin and don’t make any trouble. But if you have a lot in one area, you might get infected.

Don’t be embarrassed if you have toenail or fingernail fungus. It’s way more common than you think.

Types of Fungal Nail Infections

There are four main kinds of fungal nail infection. Each looks slightly different:

  • Distal or lateral subungual onychomycosis. This is the most common kind. It results from a fungus called a dermatophyte. You can get it in your fingernails or toenails. It starts in the nail bed, underneath the nail. You’ll see a yellowish colored area that spreads from the edges of the nail to the center, and places where it comes apart from the nail bed.
  • White superficial onychomycosis. This is less common and only affects the nail surface, mainly on your toenails. It starts as white spots, which become powdery and cause the nail to crumble.
  • Proximal subungual onychomycosis. This appears first as white spots in the center of the nail bed at the cuticle. They move outward as the finger or toenail grows. It’s rare and usually affects people who have immune system problems, like HIV infection.
  • Candidal onychomycosis. Yeast causes this infection that usually affects your fingernails. The area around the nails is often swollen and inflamed, and the nails may come off entirely. It tends to happen to nails that have been damaged by an injury or another infection.

Fungal Nail Infection Symptoms

Symptoms are different depending on which type of fungal nail infection you have. They usually start mild and get more serious.

  • At first, you may only see a white or yellow spot under your nail. Over time, this spreads and can turn your whole nail white, yellow, green, or black.
  • The nail may thicken and could be hard to trim. 
  • It may start to curl up or down or loosen from the nail bed. 
  • Your nail could become brittle and crumble when you touch it.
  • Your nail may become misshapen.
  • You may notice a bad smell.

It’s easy to ignore fungal nail infections at first, since you may not have any pain. But if you don’t treat them, it can hurt to put any pressure on the area. If an infection gets bad enough, it could even become hard to walk.

Fungal Nail Infection Causes

It’s a good idea to wash your hands and feet often. Use soap, and make sure you get between your fingers and toes.

Keep your fingernails and toenails short and trimmed straight across.

Wear socks that wick away (absorb) moisture. If your feet sweat a lot, change your socks once or twice a day, or take off your shoes and let your feet cool when you have the chance.

Use antifungal powder or spray on your feet as well as in your shoes. Throw away old pairs of closed-toe shoes since fungi might be living in them.

If you get manicures at nail salons, visit only the ones that disinfect tools after each client. You can also bring your own file and clippers from home. Ask that your cuticles not be cut, since this can cause tiny breaks in the skin that let germs in.

Don’t share towels if someone else in your family has nail fungus. This will pass around the infection.


See your doctor if you think you have nail fungus. You may need a prescription to treat it, whether that means taking a medicine by mouth or using a special cream. In severe cases, your nail may need to be removed so a healthy new one can grow in its place. Doctors can also use lasers to treat nail fungus.

You get an infection when a crack in your nail or the skin around it allows fungus to get inside and grow.

Since fungus thrives in dark, warm places, your toenails are more likely to be affected than your fingernails. Your toes also have less blood flow than your fingers, which makes it harder for your body to pick up on and prevent an infection.

You’re more likely to get a fungal nail infection if you:

  • Are a man
  • Are older. Nails become more brittle and likely to crack as you age. 
  • Have a weak immune system or ongoing health problems like diabetes
  • Wear shoes that make your feet hot and sweaty
  • Walk barefoot through gym showers, swimming pools, and locker rooms. These are places where fungus spreads easily. 
  • Live with someone who has a fungal infection
  • Have athlete’s foot. The fungus that causes it can spread to your nails. 
  • Recently had an injury or surgery on your nail, or had a previous infection
  • Wear plastic gloves or keep your hands wet for long periods of time

Fungal Nail Infection Treatment

See your doctor if you think you have nail fungus. It can be tough to get rid of, and you’re more likely to have success with a prescription. Treatments include:

  • Oral antifungals. The doctor may give you a pill to kill fungus in your whole body. This is usually the best way to get rid of a nail infection. Treatment may last 2 months for an infection in your fingernails, or 3 months if it’s in your toenails. 
  • Topical antifungals. You rub or brush these medicines onto your nails. They may work for a mild infection, but they can’t get deep enough into the nail to cure a more serious one. You might use a topical treatment in combination with a pill.  
  • Surgery. If other treatments don’t work, the doctor may need to remove your nail entirely and let a healthy one grow back in its place. The new nail could also get infected.
  • Laser or photodynamic therapy. Doctors are studying newer treatments that use special light to try to kill the fungus.

Fungal Nail Infection Prevention

It’s a good idea to wash your hands and feet often. Use soap, and make sure you get between your fingers and toes.

Keep your fingernails and toenails short and trimmed straight across.

Wear socks that wick away moisture. If your feet sweat a lot, change your socks once or twice a day, or take off your shoes and let your feet cool when you have the chance.

Use antifungal powder or spray on your feet as well as in your shoes. Throw away old pairs of closed-toe shoes since fungi might be living in them.

If you get manicures at nail salons, visit only the ones that disinfect tools after each client. You can also bring your own file and clippers from home. Ask them not to cut your cuticles, since this can cause tiny breaks in the skin that let germs in.

Don’t share towels if someone else in your family has nail fungus. This will pass around the infection.

Fungal Nail Infection Complications

It can take a year or more for your nails to look like they did before the infection. And you may continue to have problems: 

  • The fungus can come back.
  • Your nails may be permanently discolored or misshapen.
  • The infection may spread to other parts of your body.

It’s especially important to take care of a fungal nail infection if you have diabetes. You’re at greater risk of getting a serious skin infection. 

Town Center Foot & Ankle: Podiatry

While toenail fungus is common — about 10% of all Americans and 50% of people over 70 get it — it’s still an unpleasant and embarrassing condition. It’s also contagious and difficult to treat. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t avoid treating it.

In the early stages, toenail fungus will likely not cause discomfort or embarrassing yellow, thick nails or pain that can make walking difficult. And, if you seek treatment early, you can prevent it from getting worse and painful.

What is toenail fungus?

Toenail fungus, also called onychomycosis or nail fungus, is an infection underneath the nail bed caused by fungi. It can occur in fingernails as well, but it’s more common in toenails because it’s easier to catch in a warm, damp environment, like sweaty socks and shoes.

The fungi usually get into the nail through a small cut or crack in the nail. Older people are more susceptible to nail fungus because your nails get dryer as you get older, making them more brittle and likely to crack and let fungi in. Nail fungus can also spread from person to person, so it’s a good idea to wear shower shoes or sandals in locker rooms or around wet, damp areas like pools.

Toenail fungus symptoms and risk factors

Toenail fungus symptoms are not pretty. At first, you may notice small white spots and possibly a foul smell. As the condition worsens, your nail gets thicker, which makes it harder to trim or cut, and turns yellow or brown. Nail fungus can spread from nail to nail and, eventually, make your nails split and crumble.

In addition to older people, people with certain conditions like diabetes or psoriasis are at higher risk for developing fungus. Other risk factors include having a history of athlete’s foot, which is an infection between your toes, a propensity for sweaty feet, and those with a weakened immune system.

How to treat nail fungus and why you always should

Aside from the pain and discomfort, it’s crucial to treat nail fungus because it can spread and cause permanent damage to your toenail beds. Plus, it is more difficult to treat when it advances, and it does not just go away on its own.

For those with diabetes or a weakened immune system, nail fungus can increase the risk of an infection of the surrounding skin.

Treatments include medicated nail polish, topical antifungal creams, and oral medications. At Town Center Foot & Ankle, podiatrist Dr. Stephen G. Eichelsdorfer offers an effective high tech treatment to get rid of toenail fungus and prevent it from returning. He uses PinPointe™ FootLaser system to destroy the fungus on the affected toe as well as the surrounding toes.

This method enables Dr. Eichelsdorfer to destroy fungus that is present on neighboring toes but has not caused symptoms yet. This way you destroy all the nail fungus at once to prevent a recurrence. Recurrences are fairly common.

For more information on how to prevent, diagnose, and treat toenail fungus, call Town Center Foot & Ankle with offices in Kingwood and Atascocita, Texas, or make an appointment online.

Examining the Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Toenail Fungus

It is important to keep your body healthy, from your head right down to your toes. Toenail fungus is a common condition that can impact the health of your toenails and lead to pain and embarrassment. If you are concerned about toenail fungus, schedule an appointment with a foot doctor in Sugar Land to have your feet examined. You can also find out more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for toenail fungus below.


Nail fungus is a type of fungal infection that can take root in the space between your nails and your skin. Toenail fungal infections are more common than fingernail infections, as the toes are often confined in socks and shoes, which provide an ideal environment for fungal growth. Toenail fungus is often spread in warm, damp areas, such as in locker rooms and around public swimming pools.


Toenail fungus can have a variety of effects on the nails. This type of infection can cause the toenails to become discolored and yellowed. Infected nails may also thicken as the infection spreads. Other common symptoms which indicate that you should schedule an appointment with your podiatrist include nails that are distorted, dull, and brittle. Toenail fungus may affect just one of the nails on a foot, or can spread to several nails. You may also feel pain in your toes or notice a foul odor coming from your toenails if you are suffering from toenail fungus.


Your foot doctor can help you find the right treatment to eliminate toenail fungus. Antifungal medications may be used to treat the infection. These medications may come in the form of oral pills or medicated creams. Another highly effective form of toenail fungus treatment is laser treatment. With this option, your podiatrist will direct a laser through your toenail to kill the fungal infection at its source. Laser treatment is painless and fast, with no unwanted side effects.

Pain of nails with fungus: treatment, causes, symptoms

If a toe near the nail hurts, it may be a sign of a fungal infection. Fungus of nails is common and provokes a lot of unpleasant symptoms. The disease is easy to eliminate at an early stage of development, therefore, at the first signs of pathology, you need to consult a doctor, and not ignore the problem, aggravating it. Otherwise, the pathology leads to significant physical and aesthetic discomfort.

Causes of the fungus

If the patient has severe pain in the big toe due to the fungus, this indicates an advanced stage of the disease and the need to remove the affected nail.

Fungus often affects toes. Toenail fungus on the big toe or on the little toe, causing pain, is perceived as a consequence of wearing uncomfortable shoes, which allows the fungus to develop. Thumb disease is less common, although, if untreated, mycosis spreads to the rest of the fingers. There are several reasons for the development of the disease:

  • Injuries. Because of injuries, fungus often develops on the big toe, because it is this toe that suffers the most.
  • Tight shoes. Toenail fungus may not be noticed if a person is wearing uncomfortable shoes, even when their nails are very sore. Constant pressure with shoes provokes deformation of the diseased area and favorable conditions for the development of mycosis.
  • The use of certain drugs. The main reason for the development of the fungus is low immunity, poor body resistance. Frequent, prolonged use of antibacterial or hormonal drugs negatively affects the immune system.As a result, the body cannot resist infection.
  • Allergy. An allergic reaction to detergents or cosmetics is a favorable condition for the development of onychomycosis.
  • Hyper or vitamin deficiency. Lack of vitamins and minerals weakens the body. The fungus, once on the skin, develops rapidly, which provokes pain in the nails.

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First symptoms

The affected nail plate turns yellow and is deformed.

When fingernails hurt, we are talking about an advanced stage of the disease.The first symptoms of pathology look like:

  • a yellow corner appeared on the side of the nail, which grows throughout the plate;
  • the nail turns yellow, white or bluish;
  • affected horny plates become lumpy, thick and brittle;
  • The finger near the nail is inflamed, reddened and swollen;
  • the sore finger itches, the skin cracks and dries;
  • in the finger when pressed, there is a hardness and pain;
  • The skin under the nails hurts when pressed (the symptom comes on later).

If untreated, the nail affected by the fungus peels off the skin and falls off.

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Signs of an advanced disease

With an advanced fungus, the patient has toenails on the big toes or everything. The inflammation that developed earlier turns into a purulent process. In this case, the nail becomes black, brown or green, and gradually collapses, exfoliates from the skin and disappears. The nail bed is peeling, the skin is thickened in this place, the fungus literally eats away at it.

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Pain with onychomycosis

Launched nail fungus spreads to the entire foot.

Painful sensations are characteristic of the late stages of onychomycosis. The reasons for their development are deformation and thickening of the nail plate. This is often the result of constant pressure with shoes, which makes the toe hurt all the time. The inflammatory process and the formation of cracks in the skin are accompanied by pain. Mycosis, having penetrated into the deeper layers of the skin, affects the nerve endings.

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How to save yourself from pain in case of nail fungus?

To get rid of the pain caused by onychomycosis, you need to treat the fungus.After making sure that the cause of pain can only be a fungal infection, and injury or tight shoes are excluded, you should consult a dermatologist. After the examination, the doctor will prescribe special tests that will confirm the diagnosis and establish the type of causative agent of the disease. Self-medication can be harmful. If peeling of nails has begun, to speed up this process and relieve pain, it is recommended to steam the sore fingers in a solution of salt and soda.

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Treatment of pathology

If your finger hurts under the nail on your hand or foot, this is a signal that you cannot hesitate with a visit to the hospital.The doctor selects the treatment of the fungus individually, taking into account the type of pathogen and the patient’s allergy to drugs. Antifungal creams, ointments and emulsions for external use are prescribed. In severe cases, drug therapy is supplemented by taking special pills, the active substances of which, getting into the blood, fight mycosis from the inside. It is recommended to make baths with soda, calendula broths, oak bark every day. To do this, you need to allocate a special container, which no one else should use.

Fungi can quickly move to adjacent areas of the skin, so the treatment should be comprehensive. The main task, in addition to local effects on mycosis, is to strengthen the immune system. You need to do exercises in the morning or play sports, eat a balanced diet, take vitamins (as prescribed by a doctor). It is necessary to give up bad habits, avoid stress, hypothermia / overheating. This will not only quickly get rid of the problem, but also prevent relapse.

reasons and can it hurt from a fungus

There are not so few reasons why a toenail hurts. After bruises, one of the most common causes is fungus. As a rule, painful sensations arise already in the later stages of the disease, when the initial stages are skipped. So, how can a sore nail be cured and when is it worth going to the doctor for help?

Pain on the nail with fungus

Whether a nail hurts with a fungus depends on several reasons – the individual characteristics of the patient, the type of fungal infection and the stage of the disease. In case of illness, pain is felt under the nail and in the finger itself, the reasons for this are:

  1. Deformation. Due to the thickening of the nail plate, previously comfortable shoes can press on the toes, causing pain.
  2. Damage to the nerve endings. As the disease progresses, the fungus gets deeper and deeper. If the infection touches the nerves, pain will be felt all the time while walking and at rest.
  3. Painful wounds and blisters may appear around the nail plates .In addition to burning, they cause itching.

Some people mistakenly believe that pain is the cause of the fungus, but this is not the case. Pain itself is a signal of the body about the presence of violations, it is always a consequence of illness or injury, and not vice versa.

Other causes of nail pain

So, the answer to the question whether a finger can hurt with a nail fungus is yes, but fungal infections are not the only reason that can cause pain. These include:

  1. Ingrown toenail. May appear on its own as a result of the growth of the nail plate, or be one of the manifestations of the fungus. The pain is caused by the fact that a sharp fragment of the nail gradually grows into the skin, provoking purulent inflammation. In the initial stages, part of the nail plate can be removed on your own by simply cutting it off, but in advanced cases, only surgical intervention will help.
  2. Tight shoes. Too narrow toes of boots or shoes constantly put pressure on the big toe, in some cases the nail turns blue due to insufficient blood supply to the tissues under it.
  3. Injury to toes. Very often, with a bruise, the nail plate is injured, with a strong blow, the nail turns blue and can even leave the bed.

In some cases, pain in the nails and toes is caused by serious medical conditions. Among them, the following are especially distinguished:

  1. Arthritis. Joint disease in which severe pain in the limbs occurs. The painful sensation extends to the entire finger, including the nail. When sick, it is almost impossible to move your fingers or toes.
  2. Gout. The disease is caused by an excess of uric acid salts and also manifests itself as joint pain. Unlike arthritis, pain is most often felt at night, and the temperature often rises.
  3. Skin and venereal diseases can also affect the nail plate and cause painful sensations.
  4. Panaritium. Purulent inflammation appears for a variety of reasons, from minor injuries to infectious diseases. The pain is pulsating, accompanied by swelling around the nail and redness of the skin.

If the pain in the nail appears for no apparent reason, you should not self-medicate, you should immediately consult a doctor.

How can you relieve pain

First, you need to identify the root cause of pain in the big toe nail. If there has been a recent injury, it is enough to treat the damaged skin with antiseptic and anti-inflammatory drugs and to prevent infection in case of open wounds. You can relieve unpleasant pain with folk remedies:

  1. Onion compress. To do this, grate the onion or pass through a meat grinder, apply the resulting gruel to the nail and wrap it with a clean bandage. The compress should be done twice a day.
  2. Pork lard. To relieve pain, you need to apply a thin piece of fat to the damaged nail, fixing it with a bandage. This remedy is considered to be very effective for gout.
  3. Potato lotions. Raw grated potatoes are applied to the nail, and then the gruel is washed off after half an hour.
  4. Healing bath with chamomile. The medicinal decoction will not only relieve pain, but also help eliminate inflammation. To prepare the bath, you will need to pour 6 tablespoons of dry chamomile with two liters of boiling water. After an hour, you can carry out procedures, the duration of one bath is 20 minutes. For a new bath, a fresh broth will be required.
  5. Lotion with plantain. To relieve pain and swelling, you can put the crushed leaves of a plant on a sore finger, and then wrap it in a bandage, put on socks and leave it overnight.By morning, the painful sensations will recede.
  6. Aloe leaves. The juice of this plant relieves inflammation and pain; for treatment, it is necessary to apply the halves of the leaf with the fleshy side down to the diseased nail. You need to repeat the procedure twice a day.

Using traditional methods of relieving nail pain in case of fungus or other diseases, it is important to remember that this is not a complete therapy. To treat the disease that caused the pain, drugs are needed, the dosage and duration of the course of which is prescribed only by the doctor.

When medical attention is needed

With a fungal disease of the nails, the help of a specialist is needed in any case. Based on the test results, the specialist will select the appropriate treatment. Complex therapy is most often used:

  1. Local preparations. This category includes ointments, creams, gels, varnishes and medicated sprays. They are designed to fight fungal infections directly on and below the nail plate.
  2. Oral drugs. Tablets for oral administration are prescribed to eliminate the fungus inside the body. Most often they are combined with local therapy.

If the pain is too strong, this indicates an advanced stage of the fungal disease, when it is necessary to remove the entire nail plate. Previously, this was done surgically, the procedure was long and very painful.

Modern methods are not so traumatic; a laser or special plasters are used to remove the nail. In the latter case, the process takes from 3 days to several weeks.

An ingrown toenail can be treated at home if it is possible to cut off a part with scissors. If the painful sensations persist for several days, you should consult a doctor. Most likely, you will need surgery or the installation of special staples that slightly raise the nail. As a result, the nail plate becomes flat and does not bend, digging into the skin on the toes.

Most minor injuries do not require medical intervention; it is enough to use healing ointments and antiseptics for treatment. If a bruise or pus appears under the nail plate, a visit to a specialist is necessary.

Preventive measures

Since fungus is a fairly common disease in which the nail can hurt, prevention is first of all necessary: ​​

  1. Feet should be kept clean and feet washed daily.
  2. Shoes should be comfortable, not press or rub anywhere.
  3. The stuffy humid environment is ideal for the growth of fungi, so your feet should not be sweaty.Shoes and socks must be matched to the weather.
  4. Feet should always be dry.
  5. In the sauna, pool or in the shower of the gym, you need to wear only your own slippers or use disposable ones.
  6. It is imperative to dry wet shoes to the end; it is best to use ultraviolet lamps for these purposes. The devices will not only quickly dry the inside of the shoe, but also destroy pathogens.
  7. When signs of infection appear, do not self-medicate, you need to see a specialist.

Important! In addition, it is necessary to monitor the condition of the nails and not to cut them too short, and it is better to remove the varnish with products that do not contain acetone. An aggressive substance can damage the nail plate.


With toenail fungus, the toes are also vulnerable to infection and can hurt if things go too far. When painful sensations are caused not by a bruise, cut or uncomfortable shoes, but by an ailment, complex treatment is necessary.

Local therapy is aimed at relieving pain, while tablets or capsules are prescribed to treat the underlying disease.

Beautician with 8 years of experience.
Education: Diploma in General Medicine, Perm State Medical University (2001)
Specialization: Diagnostics and treatment of the following diseases: acne, age spots, hemangiomas.

90,000 Why do the nails on the toes and hands hurt

Almost every one of us at least once in our life has come across unpleasant pain sensations localized in the area of ​​the nail plates.Moreover, the nails can periodically hurt not only in men who are not inclined to pay attention to proper hygienic care of the nail plates on the hands and feet. Many women who like to take care of their nails at home are familiar with this problem and use professional tools for manicure and pedicure. If your nails on your fingers or toes hurt, then first of all you need to find out the cause of the unpleasant symptoms, and then choose the appropriate treatment for the disease.

Healthy marigolds should have a pinkish tint, natural shine, smooth surface without seals. If your nail plates become brittle, begin to exfoliate, or other signs of deformation appear, then be sure to visit a doctor for a specialist to prescribe a comprehensive examination. As a rule, nails hurt after mechanical damage, as a result of fungal infection, as well as with the development of some infectious and non-infectious diseases of a non-fungal nature.


• Ingrown nail (Onychocryptosis).

Pain appears after ingrowth of the nail plate into the lateral roller. Onychocryptosis can develop on both toes and fingers. But most often, an ingrown toenail is found on the big toe, causing severe pain, bleeding, and inflammation of the soft tissues with purulent discharge.
Reasons: Constant wearing of tight or narrowed shoes, incorrectly performed pedicure and clipping of nails ‘to meat’, orthopedic pathology of the feet, hereditary predisposition.
Treatment: soda baths, chamomile baths with castor oil, mechanical thinning of the entire plate with a needle file (to a thickness of about 0.1-0.2 mm), staples for correction with cutting the plate on the sides, Lugol treatment. At 3-4 stages of onychocryptosis, treatment by a specialist in the clinic is indicated (radio wave treatment, laser removal).

• Injuries.

Pinching of the upper phalanx of the finger, tearing and damage to the nail plate with a heavy object can cause darkening of the nail.The bruise spreads under the nail, the structure of the plate is damaged and its complete replacement occurs within a few months. Usually, after an injury, the nails hurt for several days, then a gradual replacement of the dark color of the plate with lighter tones occurs.


• Onychomycosis.

Dermatophyte fungi affect the nails on the hands and feet. Pressure on the nail plate is accompanied by unpleasant painful sensations.With hypertrophic onychomycosis, the color of the nail changes, and the plate itself thickens. In atrophic onychomycosis, the affected plate is separated from the bed. Normotrophic onychomycosis causes discoloration and stripes on the nails.
Treatment: drugs (Itraconazole, Griseofulvin, Fluconazole, Ketoconazole Terbinafine), ointments (Dactarin, Mikozon, Bifasam, Bifonazole, Bifosin, Mikospor, Exoderil, Atifin, Binafin, Micormisil). The treatment course is prescribed by the doctor.

• Rubromycosis.

Red Trichophyton fungus affects nails and makes them brittle. Nails and side ridges hurt when pressed. The plates gradually become thinner or, on the contrary, thicken.
Treatment: Whitefield, Arievich ointment; drying ointments Pimafucin, Mycozolon, Exoderil, Tolmitsen, Nizoral, Lamikon after treatment with 2% iodine solution; fungicidal and keratolytic varnishes.

• Candidiasis.

The fungus is usually introduced during a pedicure with a poorly disinfected instrument through wounds and cuts.Candidiasis causes pain, inflammation and swelling in the soft tissue of the nail.
Treatment: antimycotic drugs – Fluconazole, Ketoconazole, Itraconazole; ointments – Pimafucin, Mikoseptin, Clotrimazole, Ketoral.

• Ringworm (microsporia).

The nail plate hardens and becomes colorless as the infection progresses deeper into the plate. Ringworm can affect both the toes and the hands. The disease gradually progresses and the nails hurt more and more.
Treatment: antifungal drugs and ointments (Thermikon, Clotrimazole, Terbizil). If microsporia is complicated by a secondary infection, Triderm ointment is used.

• Epidermophytosis.

A fungal infection affects the nail plate and then spreads to the skin around the nail. The color of the nail becomes yellow or brownish, and the plate itself deforms and begins to crumble. The periungual skin becomes inflamed and reddened.
Treatment: Removal of the nail plate, followed by treatment of the bed with fungicidal agents (Krichevsky’s liquid, Nitrofungin) and aniline dyes (Fukortsin).


• Panaritium.

Pyogenic bacteria penetrate the soft tissue around the nail through small wounds and cuts. The first symptom of panaritium is a sharp pain that spreads to the upper part of the finger when the nail is pressed. Gradually, the color of the rollers around the nail turns dark red, the plate deforms. Panaritium affects both fingers and toes.
Treatment: at home can only be treated at the initial stage of the disease.Dimethyl sulfoxide is diluted 1: 4 with boiled water, a small piece of gauze is impregnated with this solution and the compress is applied to the finger. If severe pain bothers, then the doctor will open the abscess.

• Onychorexis and onychochisis.

Infection of the nail grooves with pathogenic bacteria can destroy the structure of the nail. The plate begins to split in the transverse direction (onychoshisis) or in the longitudinal direction (onychorexis). The plate gradually changes color and flakes off.
Treatment: preparations with a local disinfecting effect (chrysarobin solution in chloroform, synthomycin emulsion, tinol alcohol solution, heliomycin ointment).


• Onychomadesis.

Violation of the normal functioning of the root (matrix). As a result of the pathology, the nail plate begins to move away from the bed, starting from the base of the nail. The nail hurts even with slight pressure on the plate.
Treatment: finger massage to normalize the functioning of the matrix, vitamin therapy, chondroprotectors (glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate).

• Onyhauxis.

An infection enters the soft tissues and an inflammatory process begins in the bed, nail folds. The nail plate increases in size and becomes thicker. The nail hurts even when you press the pad of your finger.
Treatment: drugs are prescribed to strengthen the vascular wall (Detralex, Venodiol, Phlebodia).

• Onycholysis.

The nail plate begins to move away from the free edge and side ridges. The soft periungual tissue becomes inflamed.
Treatment: fortifying therapy: iron preparations, calcium, vitamins A and B, gelatin; synthomycin emulsion, heliomycin ointment; a solution of chrysarobin in chloroform.

• Onychogryphosis.

The color of the nail plate changes to dirty brown, and the plate itself deforms, thickens, stretches and becomes like a claw.Onychogryphosis can develop on both toes and hands.
Treatment: nail removal with onycholysin; application of ointments containing gelatin, ichthyol, retinol, vitamin A.

• Scleronychia.

Disruption of the matrix causes hypertrophy of the nail, its thinning and separation from the bed.
Treatment: complex therapy (Trental, Doxium, Ascorutin to improve blood microcirculation in the fingers; keratoplastic drugs).

• Micronychia.

Nails grow poorly and do not completely cover the bed. When pressing on the short plate, pain is felt.
Treatment: restorative therapy (vitamins A and E, Aevit, retinol palmitate).


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Fungus of nails of pain, on legs and fingers

Almost everyone knows firsthand how painful it is when the toenails or the fingers themselves hurt.The reasons can be very different: uncomfortable shoes, accidental injury, or an ingrown toenail. Also, quite often painful sensations appear due to foot fungus (onychomycosis), usually in the most advanced stage.

How is nail fungus manifested at the initial stage?

The most important problem in the treatment of toenail fungus is to detect it in time. Someone relies on their keen eye, noticing all the changes in the nails, someone hurries to a dermatologist to get tested. There are those who immediately occupy medical forums and sites, asking experienced advice and looking for signs of a fungal infection.

Many sources necessarily indicate pains of a different nature with a fungus on the legs, but not all specify that these symptoms usually appear in the last stages. That is, when the disease has completely captured the toenail (and often more than one) and gradually passes to the feet themselves.

At the initial stage of onychomycosis, pain is rarely felt. Most often it is just a little discomfort, itching or burning under the nails, on the periungual roller or between the toes.You can recognize a fungal infection of the feet at an early stage by the following signs:

  • the nail changes color abruptly, whitish spots or stripes appear on it;
  • the nail plate is deformed, bumps appear;
  • a yellow spot appears on the nails (from the edge), which gradually grows;
  • the periungual roller swells, reddens or flakes, itching is felt;
  • the nail itself exfoliates or leaves the nail bed;
  • cracks or bubbles appear between the toes.

Pain with running fungus

Onychomycosis on the legs is a very individual disease. And although the general symptoms in people are usually the same, there are very special symptoms. This largely depends on the type of parasitic fungus that has settled on your nails. Therefore, at the slightest suspicion, you should immediately go to the doctor and get tested, because the choice of drugs is also determined by the results of research.

With advanced nail fungus, it will not be difficult to recognize the infection with the naked eye.The nails on the legs completely lose their original appearance, become uneven, thick, crumble and exfoliate. Many people during this period complain of pain under the nails or in the fingers.

Pain in onychomycosis may appear for the following reasons.

  1. The nail plates become thicker and deformed, making it very difficult to fit shoes.

In this case, even your favorite worn-out shoes or sneakers mercilessly press on the disfigured disc. As a result, the nail aches and hurts both during walks and after taking off your shoes.

  1. The infection involves nerve endings.

As it spreads, the nail fungus invades new territories, including nerve cells. As a result, unpleasant sensations appear: either aching pain, or strong, throbbing. Moreover, such discomfort is felt both when walking and at rest.

  1. The skin between the toes cracks and becomes inflamed.

One of the hallmarks of a foot fungus is sores and blisters between the toes.They get wet, inflamed and very painful. And since the area between the toes sweats a lot and is poorly ventilated, such wounds on the legs heal very slowly.

What should I do if my toe hurts?

If your toenail or toe often hurts, you must first establish the cause. First, check to see if one of the common causes of the pain is causing the pain. It can be tight shoes, injury (dropped something on your leg or pinched by the door), ingrown toenail.

If none of the above happened to you, carefully examine the nails on each leg. If they become thicker, begin to exfoliate and change color, an unpleasant odor appears from under the nails, then the reason is probably the fungus. It does not cost anything on your own: you urgently need to go to a dermatologist, get tested and start treatment based on their results.

The following methods are used to treat fungal infections of the feet:

  1. Local therapy. These are various creams, ointments and sprays designed to destroy the pathogen directly on and under the nails.
  2. Preparations for oral use. These are pills that are used in the treatment of advanced onychomycosis along with local remedies.
  3. Folk recipes. They are used as part of a comprehensive antifungal therapy.

If onychomycosis on the leg is accompanied by severe pain, this usually means that the infection is advanced and it is necessary to completely remove the nail. Previously, in this case, doctors recommended surgical removal of toenails – a very difficult and painful procedure.

Today, there are more gentle methods – keratolytic patches and laser therapy. In the first case, you can remove a diseased nail at home, the process takes several days or weeks. Using a laser, it is possible to remove the affected nail plate in several sessions, the procedure is completely painless.

Pain in the feet and toes is a very serious symptom that should never be ignored. If you wear comfortable shoes and protect your feet from injury, you should urgently go to the doctor.The sooner you find a foot fungus, the less time and money you will have to spend on treatment.

90,000 Does a nail hurt with a fungus? What pain can it cause?

Published: 07 Apr 2016 @ 16:05

A person is exposed to many negative environmental factors that often accompany him for a long time and significantly worsen the quality of life. One of these manifestations is onychomycosis.He may not make itself felt for a long time, and often people notice him at an advanced stage. At the first sign of illness, treatment should be started immediately. Accordingly, the question arises, what symptoms signal the presence of harmful microorganisms? Does nail fungus hurt?

It should be noted that in an organism with strong immunity, the pathogenic microflora is in a depressed state. As soon as a failure occurs due to other past illnesses, it can manifest itself sharply.At the initial stage of the disease, there is no pronounced pain sensation. The disease makes itself felt through itching, burning, discomfort. It is at this stage that you can easily get rid of the disease. With the aggravation of the condition, the nail fungus hurts much more intensely. That is why dermatologists advise you to immediately contact them for help.

If a person does not pay attention to the course of the pathological process on the toes or hands, the symptoms begin to appear more clearly. At this time, the first pain occurs with nail fungus.Its amount under the plate can reach critical values, which leads to a change in the color of the nail, its crumbling, and loss of structure. Very often the plate flakes off. At the same time, especially sensitive people have a desire to take painkillers.

Some patients ask if the finger hurts with nail fungus? During the detachment of the affected areas, still living tissues are often affected. The infection can extend beyond the plate and spread to areas around the entire toe.There is an irresistible desire to scratch the skin. In this case, the finger often hurts with nail fungus. This is especially true when walking and putting on shoes. Even at rest, intermittent throbbing pain may occur. This is a sign of aggravation and extreme neglect of the disease.

Pain with toenail fungus also occurs in the presence of inflammatory processes. They appear in the form of bubbles, ulcers, cracks, redness. Often it is possible to get rid of the disease at this stage only with the help of surgical procedures.The operation is carried out in a hospital under special conditions. It is allowed to remove the plate with your own hands at home, but inexperience and carelessness can lead to the introduction of other infections and further aggravate the disease.

It should be said that the operation to remove the affected plates is quite painful, therefore it is carried out under local anesthesia and with the use of potent antiseptics. In 70% of cases, surgery helps to get rid of onychomycosis. Why, when the nail fungus is destroyed, does the toe hurt?

Very often, during the operation, the tissue base of the plate is damaged.In the future, this may affect the structure of an already newly formed nail. It deforms and grows into living tissue. The pain is very sharp. If a person tries to rectify the situation with the help of nail scissors, the pain only intensifies.

In order not to bring the matter to surgical methods for eliminating onychomycosis, it is necessary to monitor personal hygiene, to avoid potentially dangerous places for infection (public saunas, baths, showers, swimming pools, beauty salons).Also an important aspect of preventing nail fungus damage is timely prevention.

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90,000 How to cure nail fungus on your own or with the help of a doctor: how much does it cost

I have been treating toenail fungus for five years – the disease goes away and then comes back again.

Andrey Ozerov

veteran of the war against fungus

During this time I have already tried, probably, all types of folk remedies, I have consulted a doctor several times. In the article I will tell you what nail fungus is, why it occurs, why it is dangerous and how to get rid of it.

There will be photos in the article – they are not the most pleasant ones. But forewarned means armed, because most often the fungus can be suspected by the appearance of the nails.

See your doctor

Our articles are written with a passion for evidence-based medicine. We refer to reputable sources and go for comments from reputable doctors. But remember: the responsibility for your health lies with you and your doctor. We do not write prescriptions, we make recommendations. It is up to you to rely on our point of view or not.

What is nail fungus

Officially this disease is called onychomycosis – a fungal infection of the nail. In 60-70% of cases, it is caused by special dermatophyte fungi; infection from molds and yeasts is less common. To live, reproduce and grow, dermatophytes need a protein called keratin. That is why these fungi live in the nail plates, hair and the stratum corneum – where keratin is produced.

Onychomycosis: Epidemiology, clinical features, and diagnosis – article on Uptodate

Usually, the fungus begins to develop from the side of the cut of the nail.The tip of the nail gradually changes color: it becomes yellowish, light brown or milky. If left untreated, the infection spreads towards the cuticle. The fungus can also start from the lateral surface of the nail.

There is also white superficial onychomycosis. Outwardly, it looks like white or dull spots on the surface of the nail. It spreads from the center to the edges, if the disease is not treated, it can cover the entire nail plate.

Rarely occurs proximal onychomycosis – it affects the nail in the cuticle and root area.This usually happens in people with weakened immunity.

When the nail is completely destroyed due to the fungus, this condition is called general dystrophic onychomycosis. Outwardly, the nail looks terrible: it is thick, ribbed and an unpleasant dark color.

Different types of nail fungus. 1 – distal onychomycosis, 2 – lateral, 3 – superficial white, 4 – proximal, 5 – general dystrophic

Nail fungus is not a skin fungus

Nail fungus should not be confused with skin fungus or “foot fungus”, even under these requests it and look for it on the Internet.

Doctors call the nail fungus onychomycosis, this word is derived from the Greek όνυχο – “nail” and μύκης – “mushroom”. In the vast majority of cases, it affects the toenails. Fungi on the skin are called dermatomycosis – they settle not only on the feet, but also on other parts of the body.

These diseases are caused by similar pathogens, but they have different symptoms and different treatments. In this article, we will talk specifically about nail fungus.

Causes of occurrence

Nail fungus is a very common disease.Onychomycosis accounts for 50-60% of all nail problems. I do not know where I picked up the fungus myself, but here are the ways doctors give it.

Contact with contaminated surface. The causative agents of the fungus are very fond of dampness, and therefore they live well in humid rooms – baths or swimming pools. Sometimes, as a bonus, the fungus is brought from beauty salons after a manicure or pedicure: just one micro-cut and poorly processed tools are enough – and that’s it, the disease is right there.You can also get fungus if you put shoes on your bare feet after a sick person.

What to do? 11.02.20

Should the employees of beauty salons have medical records?

Intrafamilial infection. The fungus is highly contagious. If one of the household members is sick, the rest of the family can also become infected with onychomycosis. The risks are increased if you use the same slippers, a common washcloth or bath mat. However, the fungus can even be transmitted through carpets, which is why it is so important for a person with diseased nails to follow the rules of hygiene.

Poor hygiene. If a person does not wash his feet well, does not cut his nails on time, rarely changes socks, it will be easier for him to pick up the fungus.

Tight shoes. This is another factor that increases the risk of illness. When we wear tight shoes, the blood supply in the foot and nail roots is disrupted. Onychodystrophy may develop – a condition that looks like nail fungus and is often associated with it.

Certain professions. Nail fungus is much more common in people of some professions – housekeepers, cooks, cleaners, car wash workers.They often come into contact with damp surfaces, wear rubber shoes and rubber gloves, and use chemicals that soften the nail plate. And the fungus is very fond of all this and actively grows in such conditions.

Concomitant diseases increase the risk of infection by weakening the immune system. Fungus is more common in people who suffer from varicose veins, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease or malignant neoplasms. Smokers and obese people are also at risk.Excessive sweating – hyperhidrosis – also promotes the growth of fungi.

Typically, the fungus occurs in people 30 years of age and older, especially the elderly. Children get sick less often and respond better to local treatment: they have a thinner nail plate, and the nail itself grows faster. It turns out that with a shorter exposure to the drug, the effect in children comes faster.

Onychomycosis: Managemen – Article on Uptodate. Section Dermatophyte Onychomycosis

Is it possible to get a fungus in the pool

Mikhail Makmatov-Lynx


Nail fungus is really easy to get in rooms with high humidity and where there are a lot of people.This is due to the fact that the nail plates quickly soften, plus in such an environment the fungi themselves actively multiply.

To protect yourself, it is imperative to wear shoes, wash your feet thoroughly and disinfect them – there are often baths or taps with special solutions before entering the pool hall. It is important to use only your own towels and never wear someone else’s shoes.

Why the fungus is dangerous

Nail fungus does not just spoil the appearance of the feet, it is a real disease that is dangerous to the body.If left untreated, the fungus on one nail will spread to the rest of the nails that are still healthy. In some people, a fungal infection can cause allergies – the fungus itself becomes the allergen.

Dermatophyte fungi feed on keratin, so there is not enough of it for nail growth. Because of this, they become brittle, crumble and exfoliate. Over time, “keratin debris” will begin to accumulate between the nail and the nail bed – it is formed when keratin is destroyed due to the influence of fungi on it.From this, the nail becomes thicker and grows crookedly. Despite the fact that the nail is thick, it is still very fragile – it will catch on clothes and easily break.

Sometimes, with toenail fungus, the feet begin to sweat more than usual – this leads to an unpleasant odor, so you have to change socks several times a day.

If the infected nail is not treated for a long time, it will begin to separate from the nail bed. First, it just hurts. Secondly, a semblance of a wound will appear at the site of the removed nail, a moist warm environment will appear – just the kind that dermatophytes love.In it, they will grow even faster.

And neglected nail fungus is expensive to treat. Most likely, the person will have to buy medications and change all shoes after treatment is complete. If at the initial stages of onychomycosis it can be disinfected with the help of special disinfecting solutions, then after recovering from a neglected disease, all old shoes will have to be thrown away so as not to become infected again.

The fungus significantly reduces the quality of life. I was physically uncomfortable: my legs were sweating, my nails were thick, crumbled and broke.Even in the summer, I had to walk in closed shoes so as not to frighten others. In addition, the fungus severely limited activity: I could not really play sports and go to the pool. I read that some people have such a feeling of shame, which sometimes even rolls into severe depression. Fortunately, I didn’t get to that.

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What are the symptoms of nail fungus

This is what happens to your nails and feet if you catch a fungus.

The color of the nails changes, yellowish, whitish or brownish spots appear. This is more typical for the initial stage of infection and is associated with the accumulation of keratin debris in the nails and under them. Nails look dull and don’t shine like they used to.

The structure changes: the nail becomes thick or begins to grow in waves.When cutting, the cut is uneven, the nail crumbles into separate pieces.

An unpleasant odor appears, feet sweat more.

I suspected the fungus late. On the middle toe of the left foot, the nail became very thick and grew upward, standing out from the rest. I put off going to the doctor for a long time and did not engage in treatment, so the infection spread to other nails – they turned yellow.

Is it possible to paint nails with nail fungus

Mikhail Makmatov-Lynx


I would not recommend using decorative varnishes: they at least complicate the diagnosis, and the varnish must be removed before treatment.In addition, with a fungus, the nail is already affected, it is thin and loose – aggressive coatings only aggravate this condition.

The only way to reduce the aesthetic manifestation of fungus is to grind down the nail so that its color and texture do not stand out too much. You can also use antifungal medicinal varnishes: they help to slightly hide the external manifestation of the infection.

How I treated the fungus on my own

When I suspected a fungus, I thought it was nonsense. For about a year I did nothing at all, hoping that he would pass by himself.Then he decided that he should try to get rid of him, but still did not understand the complexity of the situation. I decided that it would be enough to simply anoint my nails with the magic polishes and drops that are advertised on TV, and everything will pass.

First I bought “Exoderil” – this solution had to be applied to nails twice a day. The bottle cost me 1,300 R. The first two weeks I honestly followed all the instructions in the instructions: I washed my feet, cleaned my nails all over the surface with a file, smeared them in the morning before work and in the evening before going to bed.Then he began to be lazy, because each procedure took at least 10 minutes. I thought: “Ay, I won’t anoint one time, nothing will happen.”

Then I bought “Lotseril” for 1400 R. This varnish should be applied only once or twice a week, before that, too, cleaning the nails. Now the procedure took 10-20 minutes a week, but another problem arose: I just started to forget to smear my nails.

The Lotseril website has a warning that in advanced cases the drug may not cope alone. I missed all this and then swore for a long time that the remedy “does not help.”I understand now: the fool himself

When I realized that drops and varnishes do not help, I began to make foot baths. They wrote on the Internet that this is a miracle procedure that will get rid of the fungus right for good. I don’t like going to doctors, so I believed these tips.

I soaked my feet in solutions of soda and liquid soap, dripped iodine into the water and even made coffee baths several times. Then I found out that it is better to replace liquid soap with brown laundry soap – when I rubbed it on a grater, the aroma in the apartment was indescribable.He cut and scraped his steamed nails, and then poured the nippers and the file into a bowl with vodka. He collected the fragments of nails on a paper napkin and threw them into the trash can. I also smeared my nails with aloe juice and propolis. These procedures took even longer, so in the end I just gave up on treatment.

As I later understood, self-medication was a big mistake of mine, because it took more than a year. But it did not bring any result: the fungus, it seems, only began to spread. The reason for this was my laziness and lack of understanding of the situation.

How the doctor diagnosed me

The infected nails continued to grow and get fat. I felt discomfort when I put on socks and any shoes, it even got in the way when walking.

And then my wife and I booked a trip to Turkey. And this was another reason why I went to the doctor – it became just a shame to show someone my legs.

Fungus nails (18+) This is how my nails looked on May 18, 2018 – before the start of treatment with a doctor. I took these photos on purpose to track progress later.

I signed up for a dermatovenerologic dispensary to see a mycologist.Already by the appearance of the nails, she said that it was very similar to a fungus, but she still sent me for tests.

I was asked to cut off the infected nail and submit it for examination, and also prescribed a general blood test. As the doctor explained, if the fungus is confirmed, in my case it will definitely not be possible to do without pills. And some of them have contraindications that can be identified through blood counts.

Doctor’s appointment and all tests were free of charge – treatment of nail fungus is included in the compulsory medical insurance program.

In the HPC laboratory I was given such a container, it is also called an Eppendorf tube. It was necessary to put pieces of a nail cut at home into it. Source: Pipetman

How I treated nail fungus under medical supervision

Three groups of drugs are used to treat fungal infections: terbinafine, fluconazole and itraconazole. All these drugs destroy the cells of the fungus, which ultimately leads to a decrease in their number and to the death of the pathogen. These drugs are officially called antimycotics.Like antibiotics, they must be taken strictly on a course. This means that will not be enough to drink one pill and wait for the symptoms to disappear – it is important to complete the course of treatment.

The specific type of medicine is prescribed by the doctor depending on the type of fungi, the degree of nail damage, the patient’s well-being, possible contraindications and other factors.

Often, in addition to tablets, external treatment in the form of creams, ointments, sprays is also prescribed – this helps to speed up the process.Still, such drugs can help patients who, for various reasons, cannot take systemic antimycotics.

Sometimes they prescribe photodynamic therapy – when the nail is covered with special substances, and then they act on it with a cold light beam and block the spread of infection. They can offer laser treatment – it is believed that a laser beam penetrates all layers of the nail and burns out the mycelium of the fungus. Here are just the proofs that the laser actually works, scientists have little.

In the most advanced cases, the nail is completely removed by surgery.

The doctor prescribed Orungamin tablets for me – 2 pieces 2 times a day for a week. To reduce the harmful effect on the liver, they said to drink “Karsil” – 2 tablets 2 times a day for a month. I honestly drank it, but I’m not sure if it was useful. The main component of Karsil is the fruit of milk thistle, and in modern medicine there is no exact information about its benefits for the liver. I spent about 2500 R.

2500 R

I spent on tablets

I ordered the medicines through the Apteka-ru service – it turned out to be 2488 R. This is 400 rubles cheaper than in a regular pharmacy

I underwent the course of treatment well, only two weeks was severe drowsiness – then I went to work for two hours in one side, and all this time I slept on the train. There were no problems with digestion.

The nail itself had to be scraped off by hand. To begin with, I was offered to make baths with laundry soap and soda and then apply the Mycostop paste on the nail.With a small spatula, I spread it on a quarter of a cotton pad, put it on a nail, wrapped it with bandages and a plaster, and walked like that for a day. During this time, the upper hard layer of the nail softened slightly, after which I scraped it off. Then he immediately applied the composition again, there were at least five such approaches for the entire treatment period. The paste helped, the nail became noticeably thinner. It became easier to cut it.

Three weeks later, the doctor prescribed a second appointment. Then she prescribed Ekodax cream – it has a local effect and, like tablets, destroys fungal cells.The cream should be smeared on nails twice a day, and this time I was no longer lazy.

Nails during treatment (18+) This photo was taken on June 2, 2018 – a little over a month after the start of treatment. Progress is already noticeable on September 13, 2018 – from afar, all the horror is definitely not visible. Actually, the photo was taken during a vacation at the sea. The whole treatment took me 7 months. This photo was taken on December 18, 2018.

What’s with the nails

With the cured nails I went for a year and a half. In July 2020, he again began to notice white spots on them.This time I went to the doctor right away and found out: there was a re-infection. Now it is still an initial stage, so local remedies can help – those same varnishes, drops and creams.

Reinfection should not be confused with relapse of the disease. Re-infection occurs when you received an infection from the external environment, that is, in fact, it does not differ from the initial infection. When it comes to relapse, the most common cause is incomplete treatment. Then the focus of infection remains in the nails: outwardly it may be invisible, but over time, growth will certainly appear.

And it also happens that the wrong diagnosis is made at the very beginning. For example, my doctor told me that in medical practice there were situations when nail fungus was confused with nail psoriasis. Both of these diseases are very similar in external symptoms in the initial stages.

What to do? 17.02.20

How to insure yourself against a medical error before the operation?

What causes the relapse of nail fungus

Mikhail Makmatov-Lynx


Relapse occurs due to the fungus remaining in the nail plate.There are cases when a person does not want to take medicine and simply grinds off the nail: the outward manifestations are no longer visible, but the infection remains inside, and the infected nail then grows back.

Sometimes the severity of the disease is incorrectly assessed and the wrong therapy is selected. For example, only local treatment is used, although it is not enough.

It happens that the treatment is chosen correctly and the patient agrees to it. Only now, either the duration of the course is calculated incorrectly, or the patient for some reason stops taking pills.

When there are risk factors – diabetes mellitus, venous insufficiency of the lower extremities, professional or sports activities – the chance of relapse is higher. Then the environment for the development of the fungus is better, and in patients with a violation of the vascular wall, the microcirculation of blood is impaired, so the infection returns faster.

Relapse from re-infection can sometimes be distinguished externally. Re-infection most often begins from the top of the nail – at the cut line. Relapse is more likely to come from the bottom up – from the root of the nail.

How to prevent nail fungus

Prevention of a fungus is directly related to the causes of its occurrence. Take the reason, reverse the meaning, and get recommendations for prevention.

Always wear shoes in public places, especially in those where it is humid – gyms, showers, saunas, near pools.

Don’t wear someone else’s shoes. Even rubber slippers with an open nose can be dangerous in terms of infection with a fungus.It is better to disinfect common shoes, for example on a skating rink or in a bowling alley, with special solutions. When buying shoes, try on them only on a toe or underfoot.

Do not wear tight shoes. No beauty is worth the health of skin and nails.

Keep your feet dry. If your feet get wet, try to wash, dry and put on clean socks as soon as possible. The shoes themselves must be dried.

Keep your feet hygienic. Pouring water over them with a daily shower is not enough.It is advisable to have a separate washcloth for the legs and wash them with soap – and it is precisely to rinse thoroughly in all areas, and not just to run one time on the heels and feet.

Trim your nails carefully. Try to avoid injuries and micro-cuts – they will be the entrance gate in general for any infections, and not just for fungi. Use only your scissors and do not pass them on to anyone in the family.

If you are doing manicure and pedicure, sterilize the instruments – this is also important in terms of other infections.For example, I sprayed my files and scissors with alcohol spray. He told his wife to see if the master sterilizes the tools in the manicure room – usually this is done with hot steam.

How to protect your family with nail fungus

Mikhail Makmatov-Lynx


If households are ordinary healthy people without any risk factors, you can limit yourself only to more frequent cleaning at home and stricter personal hygiene. First of all, it is important to use personal towels, to wear indoor closed shoes and not to pass them on to anyone, not to share your socks with anyone.Of course, you don’t need to wash the floors with bleach.

Bed linen and socks may not be thrown away during treatment, but simply washed at high temperatures and then ironed with steam.

But it is better to replace shoes. Of course, if it is very valuable, at your own peril and risk, you can try to treat the boots with ultraviolet light. Everything is individual here – if only one nail was infected and the treatment was successful, disinfection can help. But the risks always remain: removing the fungus from the fabric and folds inside the shoes is problematic.

How much does it cost to treat nail fungus

To cure nail fungus, you need to see a dermatologist – if he specializes in fungal diseases, he is called a mycologist. Such a doctor will be able to diagnose, assess the severity of the infection and choose a treatment. Taking pills on your own may not work and even be dangerous.

You can contact a dermatologist on the basis of the compulsory medical insurance policy: for this you need to make an appointment at a regular clinic or a dermatovenerologic dispensary.Consultation, examination and diagnostics will be free of charge.

If you are treated in private medical centers, you will have to pay for everything. For example, the initial appointment with a dermatologist in Moscow costs from 1000 R. The cost of examining nails for mushrooms depends on the analysis method. For examination under a microscope, the patient will pay 530 R, and for microscopy with inoculation – 1550 R

90 743 21 749 R 90 744

I spent on the treatment of the fungus

I spent 21 749 R

on treating the fungus

New shoes – sneakers for the summer, winter boots, slippers

~ 15,000 R

“Orungamin”, packing 42 capsules

1756 R


~ 1400 R


~ 1300 R

Files, sticks, nail clippers

~ 800 R

“Karsil”, packing of 180 pills

732 R

“Mikostop”, shoe disinfection spray

230 R

“Mikostop”, paste for nail removal

230 R


201 R

Soda and laundry soap

100 R

Three appointments of a mycologist at KVD


Analyzes in HPC



  1. Nail fungus, or onychomycosis, is an infectious disease that can easily be contracted in public showers, swimming pools, gyms, shoe stores, nail salons.
  2. The earlier the treatment of nail fungus is started, the better and faster the result will be. Perhaps it will be possible to do only with local remedies and not take pills.
  3. Only a doctor can find the right treatment. Self-prescribing pills for yourself based on reviews and recommendations from the Internet is a dubious tactic.
  4. It is important to complete the treatment, no matter how lazy.
  5. To prevent nail fungus, it is important to maintain foot hygiene and not wear someone else’s shoes on bare feet.

Errors in the treatment of toenail fungus

Nail fungus or onychomycosis is an unpleasant disease that cannot be noticed immediately. The fungus destroys your nail plate, causes discomfort and pain, if you start the treatment of onychomycosis, this can lead to soft tissue pathologies. The fungus can easily spread to healthy nails of the hands or feet, and this is a great danger to your health and the health of others.

If you have doubts about the health of your nails, it would be best to make an appointment with a dermatologist.Only when carrying out a comprehensive treatment, consisting of a medication course, regular foot hygiene and special treatment of the nail plates, will the treatment bring a positive result.

Main symptoms of fungal infections:

● Brittle, rough nails

● Deformation of the nail plate

● Presence of inflamed tissues around the nail

● Exfoliation, thickening or thinning of the nail plate

● The presence of brown, black or yellow areas on the nails.

How do you get nail fungus?

Ways of infection with onychomycosis. Subject to the rules of hygiene, the presence of good immunity, with healthy and well-groomed skin, the risk of contracting a fungal infection is not great. The fungus often enters the body through abrasions, cuts, cracks, altered damaged areas of the nails and skin. Excessive sweating or dry skin and wearing tight shoes can contribute to the growth of the fungus.

You are more vulnerable to nail fungus if:

● You have varicose veins

● Reduced immunity

● You are wearing rubber shoes that do not breathe

● There are endocrine and vascular diseases

● Have contacted a person infected with the fungus

● Flat feet are present.

What is the danger to humans of toenail fungus?

At an advanced stage of onycochomycosis, nail fungus causes an allergic reaction, intoxication on the body, and can affect internal organs.

How to cure nail fungus?

When treating nail fungus, local preparations can be used – creams, ointments, plasters, which can also be used at home.Various spray options are available that have pronounced antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.

At an early stage of the disease, the use of sprays or creams is recommended. Do not forget that the treatment of nail fungus is not only getting rid of external manifestations. For treatment, the dermatologist prescribes systemic drugs. The drug can be prescribed in the form of tablets, which will be taken in a course of three to six months.

The most common mistakes in the treatment of toenail fungus.

The moisture of your feet. The fungus in the form of spores is everywhere around us. When the moisture content of the skin is more than 80%, fungal spores begin to multiply, infect the nail plate and the surrounding skin. [i]

Presence of fungal spores on things. When steam ironing socks, you kill active fungal spores that have survived there. If this is not done, then from spores, in the presence of wet skin of the feet (favorable environment), high humidity of shoes, the fungus actively begins to multiply.

Footwear hygiene. When starting treatment for nail fungus, it is imperative to treat all shoes you are wearing. Use an individual foot towel only.

Residues of spore fungus on instruments. All nail clippers must be treated with disinfecting solutions; disposable files are recommended for the care of affected nails. If the spores of the fungus remain on the tools, then you can manually remove for years, cut out the traces of the fungus along with your nail, but this will not bring any result.

What to follow when treating toenail fungus?

If you do not follow the recommendations during the treatment of nail fungus, then a relapse is possible. Try to keep your feet clean at all times and change your socks daily. It will be important for your feet to wear the right shoes to keep your feet from sweating. After taking any water procedures, wipe your feet dry, paying special attention to the area between the toes.

Use an individual foot towel, which must be dried after use. If your shoes become wet, dry them immediately. It is recommended to change home shoes during treatment at least twice a year. Foot baths with baking soda and salt will also be useful. Feet should be washed daily using laundry or tar soap.

Always follow the rules of hygiene when visiting public places: saunas, baths, hammam, swimming pools.Do not self-medicate, it would be best to contact a dermatologist who will prescribe you a course of treatment so that you will soon get rid of toenail fungus, save your time and nerves.