Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the nail. Typically they are called fungi-dermatophytes.
There are several types of onychomycosis. Its manifestations are conditioned by a change in color, thickness and structure of the nail or the skin, the nail may lose luster and become deformed.
There are three types of onychomycosis:
- Normotrofic - the color of the nail changes, spots and stripes appear. Shine and thickness of the nail remain normal.
- Hypertrophic - the color of the nail changes, it loses its luster, becomes thickened and deformed. Partial destruction at the edges of the nail can happen .
- Oniholitic (atrophic) - the affected part of the nail atrophies and becomes separated from the nail bed.
Localization of onychomycosis:
- distal ( the lesion of the nail at the free edge)
- lateral (the lesion of the nail's sides)
- proximal (the lesion of the rear roller)
- totality (the lesion of the whole nail).
Onychomycosis, or nail fungus affects about 10 percent of the world's population, with each year the percentage of cases is increasing by 5%. However men get sick more often than women. Immunity decreases with age, and it becomes more difficult for the person to resist disease. At the age of 70 years, every second person in the world suffers from nail fungus. At that point when adults suffer from onychomycosis much more often than children . Children get sick less often due to the fact that their nails grow faster than adults, and the disease develops slowly.
How does onychomycosis affect the nail? . Let‘s get a closer look at human anatomy. Nail is a layer of ectodermal cells (the outer germ layer). The nail is made of keratin (a dense fibrous protein). Keratin is the primary building block of the nail, in its turn, it is formed in the growth area of the matrix, which is located at the proximal skin roller. Nail plate is formed of this matrix . It is located in the nail bed (a layer of connective tissue). Epidermis of the dorsal (back) surface of the nail bed constantly produces keratin. Without continued production of keratin our nails would not have property to grow.
Healthy nail on the hand grows by an average of 0.8 mm - 1 mm per week, on the foot - at 0.25 mm. Normal physiological growth of nails and restoration / reproduction keratin continues, as long as the body would not get fungus. The target for a fungus is plate. The majority of fungal pathogens (- Trichophyton, Candida (Candida) ) primarily affects on this plate . Other fungi very often damage tissue around the nail . The penetration of infection in them developes the disease, which is called paronychia.
Where does one can get infected by fungus?
Very often people get infected from their relatives. Onychomycosis is passed as a normal fungal infection. The latest researches have shown that people get infected by nail fungus most often in the family. You can pick up the fungus in crowded areas and public places ( floor in public showers, gyms, locker rooms, on the beach or in hotels). Often the cause of the disease is common shoes in the house or in the pool, at a party and in the country. The fungus is transmitted through household objects (towels, rugs and floor coverings) . Risk group includes people with excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), flat feet, weakened immunity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, atherosclerosis, which is the result of poor circulation in the limbs. Vasodepression of course depends on the antibiotics and contraceptives and pills that can increase blood clotting. If the nail is damaged then risk of the infection by fungus is very high. Healthy nail is almost immune to the fungal infection.
External manifestation of the fungus might look like this: the thickness of the nail and the color of the nail changes when infected . The nail begins to break down and crumble. Some fungal infections are accompanied by blackening of the nails. This is called onychomycosis.
The disease is easily diagnosed by VRT diagnosis, when it is still in the initial stages, in the later stages the infection can be seen with the naked eye.
But we should not forget that the most effective way to cope with the nail fungus is primary prevention. By following simple precautions, you can protect yourself and your family from infection by the fungus .