What does a toenail fungus look like: symptoms, types and stages

Toenail fungus is an infectious disease. This pathology occurs in children and adults and goes through two stages of its formation. As a rule, people apply when they have a neglected form, which makes the treatment process difficult. There are several types of mushrooms, each of which differs in additional symptoms: the main manifestations of the disease are the same regardless of the form. When the first signs of fungus appear, you need to contact a dermatologist. In order to prevent the development of a disease, it is necessary to carry out regular examinations and observe personal hygiene measures.

Toenail fungus: a description of the disease

Toenail fungus(Onychomycosis) Is a pathology of an infectious nature and is caused by a wide variety of mycotic organisms.Mushrooms affect around 20% of the world's population.

Onychomycosis accounts for 15-40% of all nail diseases and occurs in 3% of the adult population. Most of the time, males and children suffer from tight shoes. Women rarely encounter this disease because they take more careful care of their feet.

The fungus occurs against the background of the following factors:

  • Trauma;
  • constant contact with chemicals;
  • wear tight shoes;
  • Obesity;
  • increased sweating;
  • Flat feet;
  • Failure to observe the rules of personal hygiene;
  • Malfunctions of immunity;
  • Taking antibiotics and other medicines;
  • endocrine diseases, gastrointestinal disorders and HIV infections;
  • Vascular disease;
  • sporting activities (running, swimming, tennis and gymnastics);
  • Living and working in large industrial cities (miners, etc. ).

Infection occurs during cosmetic procedures in beauty salons that do not comply with hygiene standards. If a person uses ordinary household items, visits public places in the form of saunas, baths and pools, then this also contributes to the appearance of fungus. You should be careful when touching wooden objects as wood has a porous structure and it is almost impossible to remove the infection. Nail fungus looks like this:

Manifestation of fungus on the nails

Main manifestations and types

The symptoms of the fungus depend on the type of pathogen and the extent of damage to the nail plate. The age of the patient affects the rate of recovery. In children, nails are affected much less often than in adults. Manifestations depend on the type of pathology:

Mushroom shapes character
Normotrophs With the same thickness and shine, the color of the nail changes. First of all, yellow or white spots and stripes appear on the side surface of the nail plate. If left untreated, they will start to grow and the nail plate will gradually change color. Onycholysis can be detected in patients - the inability of the plate to grow into the nail spoon
Hypertrophic The color of the nail changes to dark yellow or gray, the plate thickens by 2 mm or more. This is due to the intense growth of flakes of skin under the nail. Patients complain of loss of gloss. The nail begins to crumble and deform. In patients, they take on a shape similar to that of birds' claws (onychogryphosis), which cause pain when walking. The side panels are suitable for the greatest destruction
Atrophic The nail plate turns gray, the shine is lost. As the disease progresses, the plate collapses. Often times, the nail bed can be exposed and then flakes of skin can be seen over its surface. The atrophy occurs slowly from the outer end towards the growth zone and the nail fold
Laterally and distally These two forms come together and quite often. You may notice a change in nail color to teal or black and yellow grooves. It gradually begins to crumble, become rough, and the edge is uneven. As the pathology progresses, the plate begins to deform. Sometimes the appearance of swelling and redness of the rollers is possible. If the patient has a bacterial infection, pus is released under him when pressed
Proximal The skin fold is affected. This form of the disease occurs when the cuticle is removed. The nail begins to turn white in the growth area
total The nail begins to crumble, break and collapse
White White spots that resemble powder appear

Toenail fungus has several of the same symptoms:

  • Itching of the skin around the nail;
  • Layering;
  • Crumbling and discoloration;
  • Pain in the affected area.


This disease progresses slowly and goes through several stages of development:

  1. Early (initial) stage.
  2. Started.

In the first stage, the skin of the feet is affected. Itching, cracks, and blisters appear between the toes. In the future, the fungus will penetrate deeply into the nail and attack it. The disease can only be detected in laboratory conditions after scraping.

At an advanced stage, there is a global lesion of the nail plate. If you do not start treating the fungus at this point, it can destroy not only the nail, but also the skin. The main symptoms of the advanced stage are:

  • crumbling nails;
  • Layering;
  • Deformation.


In the treatment of fungi, drugs for topical application are used.These can be solutions with antifungal substances or varnishes. Patches can be used to exfoliate the affected nail.

If a patient has a lesion on a nail, then these means are sufficient. If two or more nails are damaged, systemic, complex treatment should be carried out. The varnish must be applied constantly and the duration of therapy is up to 12 months.

Antifungal varnishes should not be used by children with hypersensitivity to any of the components of the drug during pregnancy and lactation. Before using it, you need to remove the damaged nail, degrease its surface with a solution of water and alcohol, and then spread the varnish. To make the nail look more aesthetic, women can cover this nail with a cosmetic varnish over it.

Before using antifungal drugs, you need to steam your feet with soda and liquid soap in water. Then they need to be wiped with a towel and ointment is applied to the affected plate, and an adhesive plaster is applied to it to fix it.

Doctors prescribe drugs in tablet form at an advanced stage of the pathology.

This type of physical therapy can improve the nutrition of the plate and increase blood circulation. This allows the applied preparation to penetrate deeper into the nail. To ensure the effectiveness of the course of treatment, you need to pass the tests on the 14th and 30th day after therapy.