Which doctor treats toenail fungus

Many people are faced with diseases that affect the nails. But not everyone knows which doctor treats toenail and nail fungus. Refusal of treatment leads to the development of dystrophy. It can be dangerous as the infection is constantly progressing and "capturing new territory". It is important to immediately seek help from specialists when the first symptoms of an injury appear. The choice of a doctor largely depends on the general condition of the patient.

nail fungus

Ringworm symptoms

In the early stages, the fungal infection does not manifest itself at all. The appearance of the first symptoms goes unnoticed. A healthy nail is pink and shiny. When infected, it disappears, 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 turn yellow and brittle. Over time, the plaque moves away from the nail bed. As a result, the resulting voids are filled with pathogenic microorganisms that are part of the skin's microflora. Immunity drops. There are complications in the way of fixing a bacterial component. In the 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 in painful cracks.

Symptoms of onychomycosis

What needs to be done to cure ringworm

You can return your nails to their previous healthy appearance by applying complex antifungal therapy. Patients are prescribed oral antifungal pills. They act on pathogenic microorganisms located in the deeper layers of the stratum corneum. The active substances of topical preparations cannot reach them, therefore, treating the affected nail plates with creams and ointments, solutions and varnishes that have antifungal properties, without systemic preparations, does not allow to achieve the desired therapeutic effect.

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

Which doctor should I contact if I have a toenail fungus

In order to carry out an examination and make a correct diagnosis, you need to contact a dermatologist, a mycologist or a podiatrist.

  • A dermatologist is a generalist who treats all types of skin conditions caused by various provoking factors. It is to him that you need to turn for first aid, if necessary, he can redirect the patient to a mycologist.
  • A mycologist is a narrow-profile specialist. He is involved in the treatment and prevention of infections, the development of which occurs after a fungal infection. 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 pedicure with a medical background. It treats cosmetic defects, the development of which can lead to foot deformities. His task is to detect and identify any pathological changes in the early stages of development and produce therapy that can be implemented in a beauty salon (remove an ingrown toenail, clean the stratum corneum, eliminate calluses and cracks). If problems are identified that he cannot handle, the doctor writes a referral to a narrow specialist (to a dermatologist, surgeon, or mycologist).
Medical examination of toenails affected by a fungus

Initial examination by a doctor

To whom the patient turns, 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 history.
  2. Then, a visual inspection of the affected nails is performed, the condition of the skin around the infected nails is assessed.
  3. According to the patient's complaints, according to the characteristics 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. So he necessarily writes a direction for lab tests. They make it possible to confirm the diagnosis, identify the pathogen and indicate the degree of its sensitivity to existing drugs.

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

Treatment of nail fungus at the initial stage

The initial stage of the infection develops with no visible symptoms.

The early stage of nail fungus

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

  1. First, the free edge of the nail is slightly yellowed.
  2. The thickness of the stratum corneum increases, and this becomes noticeable when compared to the thickness of healthy nails.
  3. If the feet sweat, a characteristic sour smell appears.

When one or three of the listed signs are detected, you need to make an appointment with a mycologist. If there is no such doctor in the clinic, a consultation with a dermatologist will be helpful. At this stage, the infection can be treated with folk remedies and antifungal drugs intended for topical treatment. The therapeutic 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's best to do them at night.
  2. After the nails are completely dried with a towel, a cotton pad 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 spoon of the third component is added to them). After half an hour, the compress is removed. The fungus cannot 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 need to cover your nails with antifungal nail polish. During the second month, the varnish is used twice a week, in the following months once every seven days.

Experts recommend that treatment be carried out until the healthy nail regrows completely (about three to four months). Periodically, it is helpful to visit 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 disinfecting solutions.

Advanced ringworm therapy

If a comprehensive treatment regimen does not help to overcome the ringworm, the specialist may decide to remove the affected toenail. This can be done in several ways.

A surgical operation allows solving 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 for two weeks. The patient is undergoing a course of antibacterial therapy, he goes to bandage the operated finger daily. After being discharged home.

If there are any contraindications to surgical intervention, the nail is removed using special adhesives. 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 resumed. The composition of the patches contains substances that soften and dissolve the stratum corneum. The remains of the nail are then removed with scissors.

To remove the plaque, the patient may receive 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 carry out eight procedures. Many people are not happy with this.

Preventive measures for the patient and their families

The fungus reproduces by spores, they spread 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 must take special precautions. It's forbidden:

  • putting on a sick person's shoes barefoot;
  • uses her bath accessories and pedicure tools;
  • walk around the house barefoot;
  • neglect the rules of personal hygiene.

It is useful, when entering the bathroom, bathtub or sauna, to wear changeable shoes on your feet. It is important to take proper 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, see a doctor.