How long does it take tea tree oil to kill toenail fungus


How-to, Does It Work, and Is It Safe

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Tea tree oil is an essential oil with many therapeutic benefits. Among its healing benefits, tea tree oil has antifungal and antiseptic properties and may be an effective treatment for nail fungus.

Nail fungus can be challenging to treat because it may not resolve right away. If you use tea tree oil consistently, you should see results over time. Just keep in mind that the results won’t be immediate.

Read on to learn more about treating nail fungus with tea tree oil.

Results from scientific studies supporting the use of tea tree oil to treat nail fungus are mixed. Some of the research points to tea tree oil’s potential as an antifungal, but more studies are needed.

According to a 2013 study, tea tree oil was effective in reducing growth of the fungus Trichophyton rubrum in nail infections. T. rubrum is a fungus that can cause infections such as athlete’s foot and nail fungus. Improvements were seen after 14 days.

This study used an in vitro model, which is sometimes called a test-tube experiment. In in vitro studies, the experiment is done in a test tube instead of on an animal or human. Larger human studies are needed to expand on these findings.

Combining tea tree oil with standard medicated creams is also an option. A small 1999 study found that participants were able to successfully manage toenail fungus by using a cream that contained butenafine hydrochloride and tea tree oil.

After 16 weeks of treatment, 80 percent of participants who used this cream cured their toenail fungus with no relapses. No one in the placebo group cured their nail fungus. Further studies are needed to determine which of these ingredients is most useful in treating nail fungus.

Results of a 1994 study found pure tea tree oil was equally as effective as the antifungal clotrimazole (Desenex) in treating fungal toenail infections. Clotrimazole is available both over the counter (OTC) and by prescription.

After six months of twice-daily treatment, results of both groups were similar. While both groups had positive results, recurrence was common. Further studies are needed to determine how to treat nail fungus with no recurrence.

It’s generally safe to use tea tree oil topically, but no more than 3 drops directly to the skin.

If you have sensitive skin you may experience dryness, itching, stinging, redness or burning. It’s always best to do a skin test prior to use by testing with one drop of tea tree oil.

  • For every 1 to 2 drops of tea tree oil, add 12 drops of a carrier oil.
  • Apply a dime-sized amount of the diluted oil to your forearm.
  • If you don’t experience any irritation within 24 hours, it should be safe to apply elsewhere.

Never take tea tree oil internally. Avoid using tea tree oil on children without consulting a doctor.

Tea tree essential oils can be diluted in a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil or coconut oil.

It’s possible for tea tree oil to cause an allergic reaction. It can cause skin irritation such as redness, itchiness, and inflammation in some people.

Talk to your doctor before using tea tree oil if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

Tea tree oil is easy to use. If you are using the tea tree oil undiluted, or “neat”, do a patch test first. Then use up to 3 drops of undiluted tea tree essential oil directly on the fungus.

If you are diluting the tea tree oil, add it to a carrier oil, such as coconut oil. You can either use a cotton swab to apply it and allow it to dry or place a cotton ball soaked in the diluted tea tree oil on the affected area for a few minutes.

You can also do a foot soak a few times per week. Add five drops of tea tree oil to a half-ounce of carrier oil, mix them, stir into a bucket of warm water, and soak your feet for 20 minutes.

Keep your nails neat and nicely trimmed during the healing process. Use clean nail clippers, scissors, or a nail file to remove any dead nails.

Also, keep your affected nails as clean and dry as possible. Always wash your hands thoroughly after treating your nails to avoid spreading the infection.

You need to be consistent with the treatment in order to see results. It usually takes a few months for the nail to heal completely. Healing time depends on how severe the infection is and how quickly your body responds to the treatment.

The fungal infection is cured when you’ve grown an entirely new nail that’s free from infection.

You can continue the tea tree oil treatment after the nail has healed to ensure that the nail fungus doesn’t return.

It’s important that you use a high-quality tea tree oil for best results. Here are some things to look for when buying tea tree oil:

  • The oil needs to be 100 percent pure.
  • Buy an organic oil, if possible.
  • Look for a tea tree oil that has a 10 to 40 percent concentration of terpinen. This is one of the main antiseptic and antifungal components of tea tree oil.

You can buy tea tree oil online or at a local health store. Always buy from a brand that you trust. The supplier should be able to answer any questions you have about their product.

Research your brands and manufacturers. Essential oils can have issues with purity, contamination, and strength. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate essential oils, so it’s important to purchase from a supplier you trust.

How to store essential oils

Store your essential oils away from direct sunlight, moisture, and extreme temperatures. They should be okay at room temperature. If you live in a very warm or humid climate, you can store them in the refrigerator.

If you’ve taken steps to treat your nail fungus but it isn’t improving or starts to get worse, it’s important that you see a doctor. Nail fungus has the potential to cause other complications, especially for people who have diabetes or a weakened immune system.

Using tea tree oil should be a safe and effective method for treating nail fungus, but it’s still important that you use it with care. Keep an eye on the effect it’s having on your nail fungus and possibly on the skin around it. Discontinue use immediately if you experience any adverse effects.

Also keep in mind that it may take some time to completely heal nail fungus.

How-to, Does It Work, and Is It Safe

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Tea tree oil is an essential oil with many therapeutic benefits. Among its healing benefits, tea tree oil has antifungal and antiseptic properties and may be an effective treatment for nail fungus.

Nail fungus can be challenging to treat because it may not resolve right away. If you use tea tree oil consistently, you should see results over time. Just keep in mind that the results won’t be immediate.

Read on to learn more about treating nail fungus with tea tree oil.

Results from scientific studies supporting the use of tea tree oil to treat nail fungus are mixed. Some of the research points to tea tree oil’s potential as an antifungal, but more studies are needed.

According to a 2013 study, tea tree oil was effective in reducing growth of the fungus Trichophyton rubrum in nail infections. T. rubrum is a fungus that can cause infections such as athlete’s foot and nail fungus. Improvements were seen after 14 days.

This study used an in vitro model, which is sometimes called a test-tube experiment. In in vitro studies, the experiment is done in a test tube instead of on an animal or human. Larger human studies are needed to expand on these findings.

Combining tea tree oil with standard medicated creams is also an option. A small 1999 study found that participants were able to successfully manage toenail fungus by using a cream that contained butenafine hydrochloride and tea tree oil.

After 16 weeks of treatment, 80 percent of participants who used this cream cured their toenail fungus with no relapses. No one in the placebo group cured their nail fungus. Further studies are needed to determine which of these ingredients is most useful in treating nail fungus.

Results of a 1994 study found pure tea tree oil was equally as effective as the antifungal clotrimazole (Desenex) in treating fungal toenail infections. Clotrimazole is available both over the counter (OTC) and by prescription.

After six months of twice-daily treatment, results of both groups were similar. While both groups had positive results, recurrence was common. Further studies are needed to determine how to treat nail fungus with no recurrence.

It’s generally safe to use tea tree oil topically, but no more than 3 drops directly to the skin.

If you have sensitive skin you may experience dryness, itching, stinging, redness or burning. It’s always best to do a skin test prior to use by testing with one drop of tea tree oil.

  • For every 1 to 2 drops of tea tree oil, add 12 drops of a carrier oil.
  • Apply a dime-sized amount of the diluted oil to your forearm.
  • If you don’t experience any irritation within 24 hours, it should be safe to apply elsewhere.

Never take tea tree oil internally. Avoid using tea tree oil on children without consulting a doctor.

Tea tree essential oils can be diluted in a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil or coconut oil.

It’s possible for tea tree oil to cause an allergic reaction. It can cause skin irritation such as redness, itchiness, and inflammation in some people.

Talk to your doctor before using tea tree oil if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

Tea tree oil is easy to use. If you are using the tea tree oil undiluted, or “neat”, do a patch test first. Then use up to 3 drops of undiluted tea tree essential oil directly on the fungus.

If you are diluting the tea tree oil, add it to a carrier oil, such as coconut oil. You can either use a cotton swab to apply it and allow it to dry or place a cotton ball soaked in the diluted tea tree oil on the affected area for a few minutes.

You can also do a foot soak a few times per week. Add five drops of tea tree oil to a half-ounce of carrier oil, mix them, stir into a bucket of warm water, and soak your feet for 20 minutes.

Keep your nails neat and nicely trimmed during the healing process. Use clean nail clippers, scissors, or a nail file to remove any dead nails.

Also, keep your affected nails as clean and dry as possible. Always wash your hands thoroughly after treating your nails to avoid spreading the infection.

You need to be consistent with the treatment in order to see results. It usually takes a few months for the nail to heal completely. Healing time depends on how severe the infection is and how quickly your body responds to the treatment.

The fungal infection is cured when you’ve grown an entirely new nail that’s free from infection.

You can continue the tea tree oil treatment after the nail has healed to ensure that the nail fungus doesn’t return.

It’s important that you use a high-quality tea tree oil for best results. Here are some things to look for when buying tea tree oil:

  • The oil needs to be 100 percent pure.
  • Buy an organic oil, if possible.
  • Look for a tea tree oil that has a 10 to 40 percent concentration of terpinen. This is one of the main antiseptic and antifungal components of tea tree oil.

You can buy tea tree oil online or at a local health store. Always buy from a brand that you trust. The supplier should be able to answer any questions you have about their product.

Research your brands and manufacturers. Essential oils can have issues with purity, contamination, and strength. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate essential oils, so it’s important to purchase from a supplier you trust.

How to store essential oils

Store your essential oils away from direct sunlight, moisture, and extreme temperatures. They should be okay at room temperature. If you live in a very warm or humid climate, you can store them in the refrigerator.

If you’ve taken steps to treat your nail fungus but it isn’t improving or starts to get worse, it’s important that you see a doctor. Nail fungus has the potential to cause other complications, especially for people who have diabetes or a weakened immune system.

Using tea tree oil should be a safe and effective method for treating nail fungus, but it’s still important that you use it with care. Keep an eye on the effect it’s having on your nail fungus and possibly on the skin around it. Discontinue use immediately if you experience any adverse effects.

Also keep in mind that it may take some time to completely heal nail fungus.

Tea Tree Oil for Nail Fungus: How to Do it, Does it Work and Is It Safe? Among its medicinal properties, tea tree oil has antifungal and antiseptic properties and can be an effective treatment for nail fungus.

Nail fungus can be difficult to treat because it cannot get rid of it right away. If you use tea tree oil consistently, you should see results over time. Please note that the results will not be instant.

Read more to learn more about tea tree oil treatment for nail fungus.

Does tea tree oil work?

Research evidence supporting the use of tea tree oil for the treatment of nail fungus is mixed. Some research points to the potential of tea tree oil as an antifungal agent, but more research is needed.

Prema 2013 study, tea tree oil was effective in reducing the growth of the fungus Trichophyton rubrum in nail infections. T. rubrum is a fungus that can cause infections such as athlete's foot and toenail fungus. Improvements were seen after 14 days.

This study uses an in vitro model, sometimes referred to as a test tube experiment. An in vitro test experiment is carried out in a test tube, not on an animal or human. Larger human studies are needed to disseminate these results.

You can also combine tea tree oil with standard healing creams. A small 1999 study found that participants were able to successfully get rid of nail fungus using a cream containing butenafine hydrochloride and tea tree oil.

After 16 weeks of treatment, 80 percent of participants who used this cream had cleared their nail fungus without recurrence. None of the placebo group cured nail fungus. Further research is needed to determine which of these ingredients is most beneficial in treating nail fungus.

Results 1994 study Pure tea tree oil was found to be as effective as the antifungal clotrimazole (Desenex) in treating fungal nail infections. Clotrimazole is available over the counter (OTC) and by prescription.

After six months of twice daily treatment, the results of both groups were similar. Although both groups had positive results, relapses were common. Further research is needed to determine how to treat nail fungus without relapse.

Is it safe?

It is a common siguran that tea tree oil is used topically in small amounts and when properly diluted.

Never take tea tree oil by mouth. Avoid using tea tree oil on children without consulting a doctor.

Tea tree essential oils should be diluted with an oily oil such as sweet almond oil.

Tea tree oil may cause an allergic reaction. For some people, it can cause skin irritation such as redness, itching, and inflammation.

Even when using diluted tea tree oil, always do a skin test before use:

  • After you drink the oil, dilute it: for every 1-2 drops of tea tree oil, add 12 drops of carrier.
  • Apply a dilute amount of penny oil to the forearm.
  • If you do not experience irritation within 24 hours, it should be safely applied elsewhere.

Talk to your doctor before using tea tree oil if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

How to use

Tea tree oil is easy to use. Add tea tree oil to a carrier oil such as coconut oil. This dilutes the oil and reduces the chance of a reaction. You can use a cotton swab to apply it and let it dry, or apply a cotton swab dipped in diluted tea tree oil to the affected area for a few minutes.

You can also soak your feet several times a week. Add five drops of tea tree oil to half an ounce of nasal oil, mix them together, stir in a bucket of warm water, and soak your feet for 20 minutes.

Keep your nails neat and nicely trimmed during the healing process. Use clean nail clippers, scissors, or a nail file to remove dead nails.

Also, keep affected nails as clean and dry as possible. Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling nails to avoid spreading infection.

You must be consistent in your treatment to see results. It usually takes several months for the nail to heal completely. The timing of treatment depends on how severe the infection is and how quickly your body responds to treatment.

A fungal infection is treated when you grow a new nail that is not infected.

You can continue the tea tree oil treatment after the nail has healed to ensure that the fungus does not return.

Purchase of essential oils

It is important to use high quality tea tree oil for best results. Here's what to look for when buying tea tree oil:

  • The oil must be 100 percent pure.
  • Buy organic oil if possible.
  • Look for tea tree oil with 10 to 40 percent terpenes. It is one of the main antiseptic and antifungal components of tea tree oil.

You can buy tea tree oil online or at your local health store. Always buy from a brand you trust. The supplier must be able to answer all your questions about their product.

Research your brands and manufacturers. Essential oils can have issues with purity, contamination, and persistence. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate the use of essential oils, so it is important to buy from a supplier you trust.

How to store essential oils

Store essential oils away from direct sunlight, moisture and extreme temperatures. They should be fine at room temperature. If you live in a very warm or humid climate, you can store them in the refrigerator.

When to ask for help

If you have taken steps to treat your toenail fungus and it doesn't get better or gets worse, it's important to see a doctor. Toenail fungus can cause other complications, especially in people with diabetes or a weakened immune system.

Excursion

Using tea tree oil should be a safe and effective treatment for nail fungus, but it's still important to use it carefully. Pay attention to the effect that the fungus has on the nails and possibly on the skin around it. Stop use immediately if you experience any side effects.

Also be aware that nail fungus may take some time to heal completely.

How to treat toenail fungus with folk remedies at home

Hello, dear readers. Nail fungus is one of the most common forms of mycotic damage to the body. The disease is quite unpleasant and it is not easy to recover from it. The disease cannot be started, because this is not a cosmetic problem, but a serious pathology. But not everyone knows which approach will be correct. It should be noted right away that self-medication is not the best choice in this situation. But information about what the disease is and how to quickly get rid of nail fungus will not be superfluous for anyone.

What causes nail fungus infection

Nail fungus, or as it is called in medicine, onychomycosis, is a disease that causes damage to the nail plates and adjacent areas by parasitic fungal microorganisms. This is one of the subspecies of mycoses. If we consider all the diseases that the feet can only be subject to, onychomycosis is the most common.

It can be caused by several groups of fungi:

Infection can be caught in public places where air humidity is excessive. This includes baths, steam rooms, swimming pools, beaches.

Wooden objects (bench, deck chairs, etc.) are widely used here. Due to the porosity of the wood, the fungus is difficult to kill there.

In addition, doctors distinguish several risk groups. For people belonging to one of them, the likelihood of infection increases dramatically.

- cancer patients exposed to chemotherapy;

- after a course of antibiotic or steroid treatment;

It is not always possible to get rid of an illness quickly. The rate of cure depends on the variety of the parasite that caused it, the stage of development of the disease, the area of ​​the lesion, the presence of complications and concomitant ailments, and the general condition of the body.

Symptoms of onychomycosis

Damage to the nails by a parasitic fungus cannot go unnoticed. Symptomatic changes in the nail plates are quite pronounced and boil down to the following.

  1. Loss of natural shine, transparency.
  1. Color changes. It can be yellowish, brownish, whitish, bluish, greenish, grayish.
  1. Surface roughness appears.
  1. Stripes, spots and bulges are clearly visible.
  1. Layering is observed.
  1. Peeling occurs from the nail bed.
  1. Various areas are painted and crumbled.
  1. Surrounding tissues may become red, swollen, itchy.
  1. Pain occurs.
  1. Feet emit an unpleasant odor.

Despite all this, self-diagnosis can be difficult. Early in development, the signs of onychomycosis are similar to those of some other lesions:

- injury to the nail area;

How to quickly get rid of toenail fungus with folk remedies and medicines

You should be realistic and understand that fungal infections of the nail and nail areas are not treated in a week. According to doctors, the healing period can last from 6-8 weeks to six months, and sometimes 8-12 months.

It depends on many factors, as well as on the growth activity of the nails. On the hands, this process proceeds much faster than on the legs, and therefore the cure here comes earlier.

The best and fastest positive results can be obtained by following the recommendations below.

  1. Use various therapeutic measures in combination. Do not rely on the effectiveness of any one miracle remedy. Competently combine pharmacological preparations and traditional medicine recipes.
  1. Treatment should be active, but gentle - aggressive agents, often used for therapeutic purposes, should not affect healthy areas of the body located in close proximity to the affected.
  1. Strictly adhere to hygiene requirements so that the fungus does not spread, also to avoid re-infection soon after treatment. And the likelihood of this is very high.
  1. Watch for dryness of affected limbs. Remember that humidity and heat are ideal conditions for the active reproduction of the fungus.
  1. Eliminate all causes of onychomycosis and eliminate them.
  1. Every day, carefully, but as much as possible, cut off the growing nail edge affected by the disease. If possible, go through the procedure of laser exposure, which very effectively inhibits the pathological activity of pathogens.

Pharmacological agents

Agents that act against pathogens are usually divided into three subgroups depending on the active components. Each of them has in its arsenal both external ointments and tablets of general action on the entire body.

Keep in mind that the latter have an extensive list of side effects. Therefore, you should not self-prescribe medications. To minimize the risks, you need to undergo an examination, identify which varieties of the fungus caused the disease, and act with medicines “targeting”.

Subgroups of antimycotic drugs

  1. Azole agents. They are based on triazole or imidazole, as well as their derivatives. Depending on the concentration, they exhibit fungistatic or fungicidal effects. They are effective in the fight against mold and yeast-like fungi. Examples: clotrimazole, miconazole, bifonazole, etc.
  1. Allylamine agents. The active ingredients can be terbinafine, naftifine, butenafine. They are able to stop the growth of the fungus, and also have an anti-inflammatory effect. Examples: lamisil, terbinafine, naftifine, etc.
  1. Other preparations. They act on the basis of flucytosine, morpholine, griseofulvin, chlornitrophenol additives. They are distinguished by a narrower activity aimed at certain types of fungal pathogens.

Topical agents

At the onset of onychomycotic lesions, only ointments should be used. Only if they turn out to be ineffective, the administration of tableted antimycotics is introduced.

Difference between creams and ointments:

- have a direct effect on the lesions;

- have fewer contraindications;

- adverse reactions are limited.

If you catch an illness at the beginning of its development, then it will be possible to cope with it within a month.

Most popular antifungal creams and ointments

  1. Zinc ointment. Allows you to relieve inflammation, dry the affected areas, get rid of itching, get an adsorbing effect.
  1. Candide (clotrimazole). Broad spectrum tool. Duration of use - from 2 weeks to six months. It also has an antiseptic effect. May cause skin dryness, burning, allergic manifestations on the skin. Contraindicated for pregnant women and nursing mothers, as well as young children under the age of three.
  1. Exoderil (naftifine). Fights inflammation, has an antimicrobial effect. The agent is prone to accumulation in the treated surfaces. Use the ointment no more than twice a day. The tool is not used during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Using Tablets

To have a systemic effect on the whole body, the doctor prescribes oral tablets. Broad-spectrum drugs are prescribed.

  1. Diflucan (fluconazole, medoflucon). It is enough to take it only once a day. The agent is well tolerated. In rare cases, intestinal disorders and rashes on the body may occur. The course of treatment can be 1-4 weeks.
  1. Irunin (orungal, sporanox). Can be used for pulse therapy. The drug is not prescribed for renal failure, pregnancy, hypersensitivity to the action of the drug. May cause allergic reactions, dizziness, hypokalemia, abdominal pain.
  1. Terbizil. Able to accumulate in the skin and its horny formations (hair, nails). The course of treatment is at least 6 weeks. Requires 1 tablet per day. The medicine is not given to young children, pregnant and lactating women. It can provoke migraine, muscle and joint pain, allergies, anorexia.

Take all medicines for fingernail or toenail fungus only after talking with your doctor.

How to treat toenail fungus with folk remedies at home

First of all, you should strictly adhere to all medical recommendations, do not skip medications and complete the treatment, and not interrupt the course after the elimination of particularly annoying symptoms.

In addition, you should:

- regularly use local baths;

- apply a specialized varnish that blocks the spread of the fungus, and also has a healing effect;

- daily remove the protruding parts of the growing nail, which is affected by the disease;

— use special products to soften the nail plate in order to remove it;

- steam hands or feet before using local topical agents;

- take measures to prevent infection of household members.

Special varnishes

Varnishes offer a number of advantages. The active ingredients penetrate well deep into the affected nails, but at the same time they harden and do not leave marks on clothes, sheets, shoes.

The hardened layer reliably blocks the oxygen supply to pathogens, which blocks their activity. But varnish products are effective only at the initial stage of onychomycosis.

Before using varnishes, use a warm local bath. Soaked plates affected by a fungus are cut to the maximum, treated with a file or other grinding device. The surface is wiped dry,

It is recommended to cover healthy nails with varnish too. The procedure is repeated every evening for a long period - from several months to six months.

Surgical assistance

Part or all of the plate may be removed. But this is not a guarantee of complete relief from the disease. The likelihood of further spread of a fungal infection is very high.

After surgery, the finger heals for a long time. In addition, suppuration may develop. A newly growing nail may be deformed. A preferred alternative to such a method is laser therapy.

After the surgical removal of the damaged nail formation, special emphasis is placed on the medical treatment of the fungus. In some, especially severe cases, the growth zone can be removed, after which the finger will remain “naked” - the nail will not be able to grow here anymore.

Traditional medicines

Traditional methods are slower than medical ones, but have fewer side effects. They can be effective only for the treatment of the early stage of the development of the disease.

Later folk recipes are used exclusively in combination with pharmacological preparations as ancillary measures.

These agents are used to treat nail fungus.

  1. Garlic. Apply garlic gruel in the form of applications on sore nails. A fixing bandage is placed on top. A nightly repetition of the procedure is practiced. You can also use squeezed garlic juice in an equal mixture with alcohol. Nails are treated with the resulting balm twice a day.
  1. Vinegar. Acetic acid acidifies the environment, which inactivates pathogens. This tool lubricates damaged nails every day. You can use vinegar compresses. To do this, clods of cotton wool are moistened in vinegar and fixed on the desired fingers in the affected area. Compresses withstand all night, removing in the morning.
  1. Peroxide. Like vinegar and other similar products, apply directly to nails or cotton swabs. Peroxide acts as an antiseptic.
  1. Iodine solution in alcohol. They can cover the nail plates, including healthy ones, 1-2 times a day. In addition, an iodine supplement is suitable for any bath. To do this, just add a few drops of the product.
  1. Propolis tincture. It can be used for lotions, as well as injected into local baths for hands or feet. Compresses are left on the nails overnight. You can prepare an ointment, which is a mixture of propolis and butter. The composition is superimposed on gauze and placed on the desired area. The remedy is left for 10.9 hours0042
  1. Vegetable stingers. For the treatment of onychomycosis, onions or horseradish are suitable. They have antimicrobial activity. Herbal products are used in the form of gruel. You can also make a kind of ointment by mixing liquid pomace with butter or rendered chicken fat.
  1. Essential extracts. These funds have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, regenerative effects. For the preparation of local baths or as part of mixtures for compresses, oils can be used:

- firs and some others.

The essential extract is mixed with vaseline in a ratio of 1:1. It should be rubbed into damaged nail plates. As always in such cases, the remedy will have a stronger effect if the nails are first steamed out.

Prevention measures

The risk of re-infection with the fungus after getting rid of the disease is very high. Therefore, you need to clearly follow the simple rules:

- follow the hygiene of the feet;

- get rid of shoes, towels and socks that were used during treatment;

- avoid sharing such items with other family members;

- avoid excessive moisture of the feet, use talcum powder;

- treat the inner surfaces of shoes with antiseptics.

Do not forget, all medicines for nail fungus, take after consulting your doctor.

This article was written to help you learn more about fungal nail infections . It will tell you what they are, what causes them, what can be done about them, and where you can learn more about them.

What is a fungal nail infection?

Fungal nail infections also known as dermatophytic onychomycosis . The initial fungus that affects the skin of the feet is a common infection of the skin of the feet, especially between the toes. On the skin of the feet, the original fungus lives in the keratin that makes up the outer layer of the skin. When the fungus spreads to the keratin of the nails, fungal nail infection .

What causes fungal infections?

Fungi spread from the foot (known as "dermatophyte fungi" ) cause most fungal nail infections. Less commonly, nail infections are caused by other types of fungi, usually yeast (eg Candida ) and mold .

These fungi tend to attack nails that are already damaged, as it is easier for the fungus to penetrate. Fungal infections of the toenails are very common (1 in 4 people may be affected at any given time), less common is toenail fungus. Both types are most common in older people, people with weakened immune systems, and people with diabetes and poor peripheral circulation. A warm, humid environment helps fungi grow and cause infection. Wearing tight shoes or using showers, bathrooms, or changing rooms can increase your risk of fungal infections.

Are they hereditary?

Actually, no. However, in some extremely rare cases, there is a genetic risk factor, and other family members may also be susceptible to infection.

What are the symptoms of fungal nail infections?

Initially, there are usually no symptoms. Later, the nails may thicken and become painful when pressed against the inside of the shoe. Then they are difficult to trim. The sight of an infected nail, especially a fingernail, can be embarrassing. An affected nail can ruin socks and tights, and it can also chafe adjacent skin. The skin nearby may also have a fungal infection; it may itch, crack, blister, or appear whitish, especially between the toes.

What do fungal nail infections look like?

Nail fungus usually starts at the free edge and then spreads along the side of the nail to the base of the cuticle. Eventually, the entire nail may be affected. Infected areas become white or yellowish, become thickened and flaky. Less commonly, there may be white inclusions on the surface of the nail. The nails on the big toes and little fingers are most susceptible to damage by fungal infections. Sometimes, especially in those who regularly do wet work, such as a housewife or cleaner, the skin around the nail becomes red and swollen. This is called paronychia and can allow infection to enter the nail easily.

How are fungal nail infections diagnosed?

Fungal nail infections are usually diagnosed clinically. Your doctor may take a piece from an infected nail and send it to a lab to see if the fungus can be seen under a microscope or cultured. Sometimes repeat samples may be required.

Many nail problems can only look like fungal infection , such as changes seen in psoriasis after a bacterial infection or an old injury, but antifungal pills will not help. Proper treatment may depend on knowing which fungus is causing problems; it may take several weeks to get results.

Can fungal nail infections be cured?

Yes. However, successful treatment of fungal nail infection requires long-term treatment, which can take up to a year. Fingernails are easier to handle. Fungal infections of the nails usually recur, especially on the toes.

How can fungal nail infections be treated?

Fungal infections of the nail are not bothersome in and of themselves, not all of them require treatment. Some people with infected toenails don't worry about them at all. In this case, they can sometimes be left alone (although the patient must remain careful and try not to spread the infection to other parts of the body and nails, as well as other people).

On the other hand, if infected nails are embarrassing or uncomfortable, they are usually treated. It is important to treat people whose infections can cause serious health problems, such as diabetes or reduced immunity, to prevent potentially serious health problems.

The goal of treatment is to get rid of the fungus: then the nail usually returns to normal. However, if the nail was damaged before it was infected, it will be harder to clean and may return to its original state. Nail infections caused by mold and yeast can be very resistant to treatment.

Treatment options include:

  • Nail treatments (topical treatments)

Nail treatments do not work as well as oral treatments. They are most effective if the infection is at an early stage. The most commonly used methods are amorolfine-based nail polish, ciclopirox, and thioconazole solution.

They may not be able to clean the deeper parts of the infected nail on their own, but regular removal of the damaged part of the nail with clippers or abrasions can help. Medicines taken by mouth, used in combination with an antifungal agent, increase the chance of a cure. They may need to be used for 4-12 months before the effect is noted.

For hand nail infections the course of treatment is shorter. The cure rate with local treatments alone is about 15-30%. Topical treatment is safe. Redness and irritation may occur.

Before taking the tablets, the doctor must send the part of the nail to the laboratory to check if the diagnosis of a fungal infection is confirmed.

Three drugs are available for use in the treatment of fungal nail infections:

  • Griseofulvin has been used for many years and is the only one of three drugs licensed for use in children. It is only fully absorbed with fatty foods (such as milk and dairy products), and long courses of treatment (6 to 9 days) are usually required.months for fingernails and up to 18 months for toenails). However, only about three-quarters of infected fingernails and one-third of infected toenails are cleared. Frequent relapses are also possible.
  • Terbinafine and itraconazole have now largely moved away from griseofulvin. They work better and much faster, although only about 50% of nail infections are cured. Terbinafine should be considered as a first line treatment for dermatophyte fungi (i. e., those that affect the feet). It is taken daily for 6 weeks for handnail infections and for 12-16 weeks for foot infections.
  • Itraconazole is effective in the treatment of dermatophytes; it is also useful for treating other fungi such as yeast. It is usually taken in periods - for one week each month - because it is absorbed into the nail cuticle and continues to act for several weeks. Two weekly courses given over 21 days are usually sufficient for fingernail infections and three for toe infections.
  • Fluconazole may be effective for Candida fungal infections. It is not currently licensed for fungal nail infections. It appears to be less effective than itraconazole and terbinafine, but remains an alternative for intolerance to the two drugs.
  • Other procedures

Laser and photodynamic therapy may be helpful but are less effective than the topical and systemic treatments listed above.

Herbal products are also promoted for treatment of fungal nail infections, but there is no conclusive evidence that they are safe or more effective than standard treatments.

Are there any side effects of the treatment?

Oral treatments are more likely to cause side effects than topical treatments.

Terbinafine sometimes causes a potentially very severe allergic reaction, may slightly worsen skin conditions, and sometimes affects the taste buds.

Itraconazole is not indicated for people who are already taking certain medicines. Your doctor will inform you about this. Both terbinafine and itraconazole can affect the liver, and your doctor may order a blood test to check this before and during treatment.

Although griseofulvin is the only licensed drug for children, many dermatologists prefer terbinafine because it is much more effective.

How do I know if the treatment is working?

The new nail will grow slowly from its base and it may take 6 months to a year after treatment is finished before the nails look normal again. Foot infections clear up faster and more completely than toenails; it may take 18 months for the foot to fully recover.

Surgical nail removal

Sometimes very thick nails that do not respond to pills alone can be removed by surgeons under local anesthesia, but this is rarely done because the level of outcome does not justify surgery.

Self care

  • Keep nails short, dry and clean. Use one clipper for infected nails and the other for normal nails.
  • Don't just treat your nails; use an antifungal cream to treat the skin of the foot.
  • Avoid cuticle trimming, either by yourself or by a manicurist, as this increases the risk of nail damage and infection.

For toe fungus:

  • Wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes without high heels or tight socks.
  • Keep your feet dry, wear cotton socks and change them daily, use breathable shoes. A regular wash in hot water cleans up most contaminated socks, but it can be made more effective by using an antifungal spray before washing. Other clothing generally cannot be contaminated.
  • Maintain foot hygiene, including treatment of any infection.
  • Wear clean shower shoes when using a shared shower.
  • Be especially careful about the hygiene of affected feet.
  • Consider seeing a podiatrist if thickened toenails make walking uncomfortable.

This article was translated from the recommendations of the British Association of Dermatologists "Overview Information for the Patient", adapted into Russian by Professor TV Svyatenko, Dnipro, Ukraine.

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What is the reason for the increase in the incidence of mycoses of the feet? What are the possible consequences of mycoses of the feet? Figure 1. Intertrigio-dyshidrotic mycosis of the feet Mycosis of the feet (MS) is a fungal disease (dermatophyte, yeast, mold), affecting

What is the reason for the increase in the incidence of mycosis of the feet?

What are the possible consequences of athlete's foot?

Mycoses of the feet (MS) are fungal diseases (dermatophyte, yeast, mold) affecting mainly the skin and nails of the feet (hands), similar in clinical, epidemiological, pathogenetic and therapeutic respects.

Their treatment is an urgent problem in medicine, primarily due to their wide distribution.

At least 20-30% of patients suffering from the most common dermatoses (eczema, neurodermatitis, psoriasis), and almost every second patient with somatic and neuroendocrine pathology have MS. In the general population, their frequency ranges from 5-10 to 15-20%.

The increase in the incidence of MS is currently due to unfavorable socio-economic and environmental conditions of life, the growth of immunodeficiency states, the lack of medical care, and the deterioration of epidemiological control.

Acute forms of MS with hyperemia, edema, vesicle-pustules, fissures and erosions (Fig. 1) are painful, make it difficult to wear shoes and move around, and when complicated by lymphangitis, lymphadenitis, mycids - poor general health, fever, adynamia.

Figure 2. Hypertrophic type of nail lesion. Nails are thickened, crumble, look like bug-eaten wood

Chronic MS cause disfiguring changes in the nails of hyper-, normo- and atrophic (onycholytic) types (Fig. 2, 3, 4). In 15-25% of patients with MS, the fungal process spreads primarily to large skin folds (Fig. 5, 6), then to other areas of the skin (Fig. 7 a, b).

Along with fairly superficial mycotic rashes, deep skin-subcutaneous nodules may form. They are localized more often on the skin of the legs (Fig. 8), less often - on the face (Fig. 9), even more rarely - on the scalp. In such patients, vellus or long hairs of the ectothrix or endo-ectothrix type are often affected.

The consequences of MS, especially long-term ones, are quite serious.

Firstly, under the action of fungi and their metabolic products (enzymes, antibiotics, pigments, toxins) polyvalent sensitization is formed. This affects the increase in the frequency of allergic changes in the skin, mucous membranes and blood vessels: occupational allergic and eczematous complications, drug intolerance, especially antibiotics of the penicillin series, are three times more frequent; vasculitis and polynoses become more pronounced. Superinfection and mycogenic sensitization aggravate the course, provoke more frequent relapses of seborrheic and atopic dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis, hemoderma and dermatoses with impaired keratinization processes.

Figure 3. Normotrophic type of nail lesions. Stripes and spots in the nails. Maintains normal shape and consistency of nails

Second, ubiquitous bacteria easily enter through erosions and fissures in the macerated, loosened stratum corneum of MS patients (the "gate of infection"). Almost three times more often in patients with MS, bacterial complications occur - from pyoderma to recurrent erysipelas of the legs with severe complications - lymphostasis and elephantiasis in 40% of them. Bacterial complications are resistant to therapy, as bacteria under the action of antibiotic substances produced by fungi acquire increased resistance to antibiotics.

Figure 4. Atrophic (onycholytic) type of nail lesions. Nails are separated from the nail bed

Thirdly, in MS, the frequency of plantar warts increases fourfold compared to the general population (from 0.6 to 2.4%). Almost always, in areas where mycotic rashes are located, especially in places of pressure, calluses and hyperkeratosis are formed. This is facilitated by aflatoxin-like substances of the fungi themselves, as well as their enhancement of the growth and development of papillomaviruses, the causative agents of palmoplantar and anogenital warts.

Treatment of patients with MS should be comprehensive and include general (systemic) and external antifungal drugs, as well as pathogenetic agents.

Administration of systemic antimycotics to MS patients with onychomycosis triples the effectiveness of treatment.

Figure 5. Iris-like foci of mycosis

Currently, practical mycology has three effective systemic antimycotics - azole compounds: itraconazole (orungal) and fluconazole (diflucan), as well as an allylamine derivative - terbinafine (lamizil). Daily and course doses of each of the drugs are given in Table 1. Most often, lamisil and orungal are used in the treatment of patients with MS. Both drugs have fungicidal and fungistatic activity against dermatophytes, yeasts and molds. The use of both drugs allows you to achieve success in 80-94% of cases in the treatment of MS patients with multiple onychomycosis in an outpatient setting and not subject patients to painful nail removal procedures. Both drugs have keratinotropy, lipophilicity, quickly enter the stratum corneum of the skin and nails and remain in them for a long time, allowing for relatively short courses of therapy.

Preference, especially in the treatment of patients with dermatophytic MS with onychomycosis, should be given to lamisil due to the greater selectivity of its action against fungi and fewer adverse reactions and complications.

Differences are related to the mechanisms of action of drugs. Although both of them interfere with the synthesis of ergosterol in the cytoplasmic membranes of fungal cells, this occurs at different levels of sterol metabolism.

Lamisil acts early, at the level of the squalene epoxidase cycle, inhibiting the fungal squalene epoxidase enzyme, which is 10,000 times more sensitive than the analogous human enzyme. Orungal acts at the later stages of sterol metabolism, inhibiting the enzyme 14-a-dimethylase, which is involved not only in the synthesis of fungal ergosterol, but also in cholesterol, steroidogenic hormones, enzymes, and some vitamins. In this regard, even with a sparing regimen of orungal, a decrease in libido is possible in 0.2% of patients, and in 0.2% - potency. Lamisil showed no negative effect on the endocrine organs.

Both drugs are metabolized in the liver by cytochrome P-450, but orungal also interacts with this enzyme, disrupting the metabolism of many drugs that it affects in one way or another (Table 2). Hepatic complications from elevated liver enzymes to the possibility of developing hepatitis are higher in orungal than in lamisil (0. 3-5% versus 0.1%, respectively).

Table 1. General purpose antifungals for foot fungus

One cannot ignore the different possibilities of absorption of antimycotics in the gastrointestinal tract. If Lamisil does not require any special conditions for this, then the acidic pH of the gastric juice is necessary for optimal absorption of orungal.

The lipophilicity of lamizil, its secretion by the sebaceous glands, pronounced antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, along with antifungal properties, as well as its association with chylomicrons and lymphatic transport, determine its special effectiveness in patients with complicated forms of dermatophytosis - infiltrative-suppurative, follicular-nodular with the formation of mycotic granulomas, neutrophilic abscesses.

Table 2. Possible interactions of antifungal and other drugs

Therapy with lamisil at a daily dose of 250 mg cures MS patients with skin lesions in 2 weeks in 100% of cases, mycoses with damage to the nails of the hands in 6-8 weeks in 94% of cases. With damage to the toenails, the results of treatment depend on the nature, severity, area of ​​the lesion, and the duration of therapy. If single nails are changed from the distal and / or lateral edges, the cure occurs after 9-12 weeks of therapy in 94-100% of patients. There was an increase in the percentage of cured from 88% after 12 weeks of treatment to 94% when they are followed up for 48 weeks after completion of treatment. The total defeat of many nails according to the hypertrophic type requires a longer course of therapy, up to 22-24 weeks, to cure 80-94% of patients.

We proposed a slightly different regimen of lamisil, taking into account its long-term intake into the nails, the stability of the concentration in them, despite continued use for more than 8-12 weeks, the need for sanitation of the deep tissues of the matrix and the nail bed. It is advisable, in our opinion, to take Lamisil until completely healthy nails grow back. At a constant daily dose of 250 mg, Lamisil is taken daily only in the first month, in the next month - every other day, in all subsequent months once a week. At the same time, the nails are sanitized with a variety of fungicidal-keratolytic agents. We studied the effectiveness of therapy using this method for two years on the example of 36 somatically aggravated patients with multiple total lesions of the nails. The cure occurred in 80.6% of them. No side effects were noted, except for complaints of weakness and drowsiness in some patients. The transfer of Lamisil intake to the evening hours leveled these phenomena. The proposed scheme for the use of lamisil deserves further study, as it allows obtaining a high percentage of cure at a reduced course dose, avoiding adverse reactions and complications.

Figure 7. Common foci of mycosis in the same patient

Orungal is currently administered on a pulse basis - two capsules (200 mg) in the morning and evening followed by a three-week break for a week each month.

After 3-6 cycles of therapy in this regimen, recovery is observed in 70-85. 6% of patients with MS, including those with multiple onychomycosis caused by a combined dermatophyte-yeast flora.

Adverse reactions from lamisil therapy occur in the first weeks of administration and are little dependent on the daily dose. They are 10.4% at 250 mg per day and 11% at 500 mg per day. Adverse reactions and complications from orungal range from 7 to 12.5%, depending on the dose and duration of administration.

Most often, both drugs cause dyspepsia, abdominal pain, discomfort, nausea, rarely vomiting. Some patients taking Lamisil report taste disturbances.

The second most common place is occupied by pruritus and skin rashes (erythematosquamous, urticarial, eczema-like, acneiform, extremely rare Stevens-Johnson syndrome).

Figure 9. Infiltrative-suppurative lesion

Some patients experience minor headaches, dizziness, malaise, decreased alertness, weakness, and drowsiness when taking either drug.

In addition to the above antifungal agents, the bistriazole drug fluconazole (Diflucan) is used to treat MS patients with onychomycosis. He is prescribed 150 mg once a week for 8-24 weeks with onychomycosis of the hands, 20-36 weeks with onychomycosis of the feet. The drug is well tolerated and highly effective, it provides a cure in 83-92% of cases.

Systemic antimycotic therapy should be supplemented with topical fungicidal-keratolytic agents, especially in nail lesions.

In case of contraindications to the appointment of systemic antimycotics, as well as in case of damage only to the skin and single nails from the distal or lateral edges, one can limit oneself to external antifungal drugs.

To treat affected nails, keratolytic and fungicidal agents are usually alternated. For example, they clean the nails after softening them with a 20% urea patch (ureaplast), and then impregnate them with fungicidal solutions (5% tincture of iodine, ioduxun No. 1-3, 1% solution of exoderil or clotrimazole, fitex, nitrofungin ).

Noteworthy antifungal varnishes: batrafen (8% ciclopiroxalomine) and loceryl (5% omorolfine). Antifungal action in them is combined with penetrating properties. This is important, since the causative agents of onychomycosis not only penetrate the entire nail, but also penetrate into the deep parts of the nail bed. The use of varnishes for 3-6 months provides a cure for 53-66.7% of MS patients with onychomycosis. The release form and mode of application of medications for the treatment of nails are given in Table. 3.

Table 3. Preparations for the treatment of fungal infections of the nails

For the treatment of the skin of patients with MS, both old, well-proven agents (iodine, sulfur, tar, chinosol, undecylenic, salicylic, lactic, benzoic acids) and new drugs are widely used azole, allylamine, morpholine series. They are used in the form of solutions, lotions, powders, aerosols, creams, ointments, collodion compositions. Domestic multicomponent formulations often include dimethyl sulfoxide (dimexide) penetrant.

In case of acute inflammation in the form of edema, hyperemia, exudation and eczematization, lotions with disinfectants and astringents are prescribed. For these purposes, you can use a combination of antimycotics with corticosteroids (creams triderm, lotriderm, travocort, pimafucort, mycosolone, pivazon), salts or metal oxides (dactosin, zincostatin). Well stops acute inflammatory phenomena lamisil-spray. The pronounced anti-inflammatory effect of lamisil is enhanced by the rapid evaporation of the propellants. The drug does not cause irritation when applied to cracks and erosion formed after the opening of the bubbles and pustules. Foci of mycosis are resolved after 7-10 days of daily irrigation with lamisil spray, fungi cease to be detected microscopically.

We must not forget that MS patients, especially common forms, are a constant mobile source of fungal dispersion in the environment. Therefore, persons suffering from MS are not allowed to visit sports and sanatorium-resort institutions, as well as sports and recreation centers. If the skin and nails of the hands are affected, work in any area of ​​public service is unacceptable (order of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation of 14.03.96)

In patients with squamous manifestations of MS, as well as after the subsidence of acute inflammatory phenomena, various fungicidal agents are used. Along with the above, medications based on clotrimazole (kanesten, clotrimazole, candide, fungicide, canison), econazole (pevaril, ecodax, ecalin), miconazole (dactarin, mycotar), ketoconazole (nizoral), isoconazole (travogen) are widely used.

Allylamine derivatives deserve high praise - powder, 1% solution and cream of naftifine (exoderil), as well as 1% cream and aerosol of terbinafine (lamizil).

Of the active antimycotics of other groups, which also have penetrating properties, one can name powder, 1% solution and cream of tolnaftate, 1% solution and cream of batrafen, 0.5% cream of omorolfine.

MS patients often develop plantar warts. For their destruction, electro-laser-cryolysis, cauterization with potassium permanganate and trichloroacetic acid are used, two to six times treatment is performed with a 30% hydrogen peroxide solution in one or two days, with a 25% podophyllin solution once a day, three days in a row, five to ten minutes treatment (until uniform yellow coloration) with ampouled Solcoderm preparation. You can use the milky juice of celandine or dandelion, which is applied to the wart (protecting the surrounding skin) up to 20 times during the day.

Pathogenetic agents of therapy, on the one hand, increase the effectiveness of treatment with systemic and external antimycotics in patients with MS, on the other hand, reduce adverse reactions and complications. These remedies are as diverse as the pathology against which MS occurs.

To correct immunological disorders in patients with MS, five-day courses of therapy with methyluracil 0.5 g three times a day are used; diucifon 0.2 g twice a day; three-day cycles of therapy with levamisole 150 mg with weekly breaks; 10-day courses of taktivin, 1 ml of a 0. 1% solution daily, subcutaneously; thymalin 5 mg or thymogen 100 mg in a 0.25% solution of novocaine intramuscularly every other day; polyoxidonium 6 mg in a 0.25% novocaine solution twice a week, for a course of 10 injections. A combination of immunocorrectors with adaptogens and antioxidants is advisable: ginseng, eleutherococcus, zamaniha, dibazol, sea buckthorn oil, linetol, vitamin E, essentiale. Food supplements are useful: stimulin with pantocrine, ginseng, pink radiola, leuzea; apilactin with royal jelly and pollen; propovite with propolis and citric acid; mumivit with purified mumiyo.

Patients with exudative forms of MS are prescribed hyposensitizers: calcium preparations, 30% sodium hyposulfite solution, 1 tbsp. spoon three times a day; 10-day courses of histoglobulin injections from 0.25 to 2 ml every other day. It is effective to introduce small doses (no more than 1 ml) of autologous blood intramuscularly every other day, in five-day cycles with three-day intervals, for a course of 2-3 cycles.

Given the frequent vascular pathology, patients with MS are indicated for angioprotectors and drugs that improve tissue trophism: nicotinic acid preparations, including prolonged ones (enduracin), andecalin, trental, troxevasin; physiotherapy procedures: inductothermy of sympathetic ganglia, electro- and iontophoresis with iodine preparations, ultrasound on the region of regional lymph nodes. Useful self-massage of the lower extremities, "stretching" gymnastics of the spine.

To eliminate dystrophic changes in the nails, monthly courses of therapy with zinc oxide 50 mg three times a day or 1% copper sulfate 8 drops three times a day are indicated in combination with vitamin-microelement complexes such as complivit, vitrum, unicap, duovit, multitabs, endura.

The lack of sulfur and sulfur-containing amino acids is replenished with the help of foods rich in these substances (eggs, cottage cheese, herbs, as well as mineral waters containing them).

Lack of gelatin and pectin, which causes brittleness and splitting of nails, is compensated by fish and meat aspic, fruit and berry jellies, marmalade, fortified drinks with pectin.

With dry, ichthyotic skin, the appointment of vitamins A in the form of retinol acetate, retinol palmitate, aevit, or betacarotenes in the form of 2% water-soluble vetoron 10-15 drops per day, or carinate 1 tab. twice a day. Food supplements such as rialam, splat-klamin, spirulina VEL are useful.

More complete information on various aspects of mycosis of the feet can be found in the book of VM Rukavishnikova, candidate of medical sciences.

The monograph deals with the epidemiology of mycoses of the feet in modern conditions, the mechanisms of their development; typical and, most importantly, atypical variants are described in detail. Much attention is paid to skin and nail lesions in eczema, psoriasis, lichen planus, pyococcal infections, scabies, syphilis and their differences from fungal infections.

The book details effective antifungal agents and new dosage forms in the form of varnishes and shampoos, considering their properties, mechanism of action, tolerability, compatibility with other medicines, adverse reactions and complications.


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