Which doctor treats nail fungus

Many people face diseases that affect the nails. But not everyone knows which doctor treats nail and hand fungus. Refusal of treatment leads to the development of dystrophy. This can be dangerous, because the infection is constantly progressing and "capturing new territories". It is important to immediately seek help from specialists when the first symptoms of a lesion appear. The choice of a doctor largely depends on the general condition of the patient.

nail fungus

Symptoms of mycosis

In the early stages, the fungal infection does not manifest itself in any way. The appearance of the first symptoms goes unnoticed. A healthy nail is pink and shiny. When infected, it fades, turns dirty gray.

Gradually, the nail plate thickens, it becomes difficult to cut the free edge with scissors. In later stages, hyperkeratosis develops, the nails become yellow and brittle. Over time, the plate moves away from the nail bed. As a result, the resulting voids are filled with pathogenic microorganisms that are part of the skin microflora. Immunity drops. There are complications in the form of attachment of a bacterial component. In advanced stages, the fungus spreads to the periungual ridges and the foot becomes infected. The skin is very itchy and bursting, the toes are covered with painful cracks.

Symptoms of onychomycosis

What should be done to cure mycosis

You can restore your nails to their former healthy look by applying a complex antifungal treatment. Patients are prescribed oral antimycotics in the form of tablets. They act on pathogenic microorganisms located in the deepest layers of the stratum corneum. Active substances of topical preparations cannot reach them, therefore, treatment of the affected nail plates with creams and ointments, solutions and varnishes with antifungal properties, without systemic preparations, does not allow to achieve thedesired therapeutic effect.

There are several groups of antifungals. Some of them are active against dermatophytes, others against molds and yeast-like fungi. The appointment is made after identification of the causative agent of nail fungus. For these purposes, scraping is performed from the affected area. The biological material is sent for microscopy and bacteriological culture. They also make it possible to determine the sensitivity of pathogenic microorganisms to a particular group of antifungal drugs.

Which doctor should I contact if there is a nail fungus

To conduct an examination and make a correct diagnosis, you need to contact a dermatologist, mycologist or podiatrist.

  • A dermatologist is a general practitioner who treats all types of skin diseases caused by various provoking factors. It is to him that you should turn for first aid, if necessary, he can refer the patient to a mycologist.
  • A mycologist is a specialist with a narrow profile. He is engaged in the treatment and prevention of infections, the development of which occurs after infection with fungi. He knows everything about these pathogenic microorganisms, so he can easily identify the type of infection and select the right drugs to suppress it.
  • A podiatrist is a master pedicurist with medical training. It treats aesthetic defects whose development can cause deformation of the foot. Its task is to detect and identify any pathological changes in the early stages of development and produce a therapy that can be implemented in a beauty salon (removing an ingrown toenail, cleaning the stratum corneum, removing corns and cracks). If problems are identified that he cannot cope with, the doctor writes a referral to a narrow specialist (dermatologist, surgeon or mycologist).
Medical examination of nails affected by fungus

Initial examination by a doctor

Whoever the recipient, the first examination is the same everywhere:

  1. First, the doctor interviews the patient, collects all complaints, describes the history of the pathology in the story.
  2. Then a visual inspection of the affected nails is carried out, the condition of the skin surrounding the infected nails is assessed.
  3. According to the patient's complaints, according to the features of the course of the disease, according to the symptoms, the specialist tries to formulate a preliminary diagnosis and differentiate a fungal infection from psoriasis, lichen.
  4. Then he necessarily writes a direction for laboratory tests. They allow you to confirm the diagnosis, identify the pathogen and indicate its degree of sensitivity to existing drugs.

Only according to the results of a laboratory study are treatment tactics developed. In each case, the treatment regimen may be different: it all depends on the stage at which the disease is.

Treatment of nail fungus in the initial stage

The initial stage of the infection develops without visible symptoms.

The initial stage of nail fungus

But it is also easy to diagnose if you pay attention to minor changes in the structure of the nail plate.

  1. First, the free edge of the nail turns slightly yellow.
  2. The thickness of the stratum corneum increases, which becomes noticeable compared to the thickness of healthy nails.
  3. If the feet sweat, a characteristic sour odor appears.

When one or three of the listed signs are detected, you should make an appointment with a mycologist. If there is no such doctor in the clinic, a consultation with a dermatologist will be useful. At this stage, the infection can be treated with folk remedies and antifungal drugs intended for topical treatment. The treatment regimen in this case is as follows:

  1. Every day, the legs are pre-welded in baths with the addition of decoctions of chamomile or potassium permanganate. They disinfect the skin and prevent the attachment of the bacterial component. It is better to do them in the evening.
  2. After the nails are thoroughly dried with a towel, a cotton ball is applied to the affected plates, abundantly moistened with a solution of apple cider vinegar, vodka and glycerin (the first two ingredients are mixed in half, a spoonful of the thirdcomponent is added to them). After half an hour, the compress is removed. The fungus does not tolerate an acidic environment, so it stops multiplying.
  3. In the morning, a few drops of iodine (5%) are applied daily to the affected plaque.
  4. Every other day for the first month, you should coat your nails with antifungal varnish. In the second month, the varnish is used twice a week, the following months once every seven days.

Experts recommend that the treatment be carried out until the healthy nail plate completely grows back (about three to four months). Periodically it is useful to consult with your doctor and monitor the effectiveness of the therapy used with him. If necessary, a dermatologist or mycologist can make changes to the treatment regimen by adding antifungal ointments or disinfectant solutions.

Advanced mycosis therapy

If a full treatment regimen does not overcome mycosis, the specialist may decide to remove the affected nail. This can be done in several ways.

Surgical operation can solve the indicated problem in the shortest possible time. For its implementation, the patient receives a referral to the surgeon. The doctor removes the nail with a scalpel, then stitches and an antiseptic dressing are applied to the wound. The recovery period lasts two weeks. The patient follows an antibacterial treatment, will daily bandage the operated finger. After being sent home.

If there are contraindications to surgical intervention, the nail is removed using special patches. They are glued to the plates and left there for five to six days, after which the condition of the nail is assessed. If necessary, the procedure is repeated. The composition of the patches contains substances that soften and dissolve the stratum corneum. The remnants of the nail are then removed with scissors.

To remove the plaque, the patient may be offered laser therapy. With the help of a special light pulse, the stratum corneum is burned. This procedure is painless, it is performed under local anesthesia and there is no postoperative period. To achieve a therapeutic result, it is necessary to perform eight procedures. Many people are unhappy with this.

Preventive measures for the patient and his family members

The fungus reproduces by spores, they disperse over long distances with air currents and inseminate any surface. The infection is transmitted indirectly through contact with contaminated objects. Therefore, if there is a sick person in the house, his family members should take special precautions. It's forbidden:

  • putting on the shoes of a barefoot patient;
  • use his bath accessories and tools with which he does a pedicure;
  • walk barefoot in the house;
  • neglect the rules of personal hygiene.

It is useful when entering the bathroom, bath or sauna to put on spare shoes on your feet. It is important to take good care of the feet, constantly strengthen the immune system and enrich the diet with foods rich in vitamins and minerals. At the first signs of infection, consult a doctor.