What does toenail fungus look like: Symptoms, types and stages

Toenail fungus is an infectious disease. This pathology is found in children and adolescents and goes through two stages of its formation. Usually people turn when they have a neglected form, which complicates the treatment process. There are several types of fungi, each with different symptoms: The main manifestations of the disease, regardless of form, are the same. When the first signs of fungus appear, you should contact a dermatologist. To prevent the development of the disease it is necessary to conduct regular examinations and observe personal hygiene measures.

Toenail fungus: a description of the disease

Toenail fungus(Onychomycosis)) Is a pathology of infectious nature and is caused by various fungal organisms.The fungus affects about 20% of the world’s population.

Onychomycosis accounts for 15-40% of all nail diseases and occurs in 3% of the adult population, most often in males and children suffering from tight-fitting shoes. Women rarely experience this disease because they care more about twisting their legs.

The fungus occurs against the background of the following factors:

  • Trauma;
  • Constant contact with chemicals;
  • Wearing tight shoes;
  • Obesity;
  • Increased sweating;
  • Flat feet;
  • Non-compliance with the rules of personal hygiene;
  • Immune dysfunction;
  • Taking antibiotics and other medications;
  • Endocrine diseases, gastrointestinal pathologies and HIV infection;
  • Vascular disease;
  • Sports activities (jogging, swimming, tennis and gymnastics);
  • Living and working in large industrial cities (miners, etc. ).

Infection occurs during cosmetic procedures in beauty salons, in violation of hygiene standards. If a person uses household items, visiting public places in the form of saunas, baths and pools, then it also contributes to the formation of fungus. You have to be careful when touching wooden objects, as the tree has a porous structure and it is almost impossible to get rid of the infection. Nail fungus looks like this:

Detection of nail fungi

Main manifestations and types

Symptoms of fungi depend on the type of pathogen and the size of the nail plate damage. The patient's age affects the speed of recovery. Affects nails much less often in children than in adults. Manifestations depend on the type of pathology:

Mushrooms form Signs
Normotrophic A change in the color of the nail of the same thickness and shine is observed. First, spots and streaks of yellow or white appear on the lateral surface of the nail plate. If left untreated, they begin to grow and the nail plate gradually changes color. Onycholysis may be observed in patients - impossibility of plate growth up to 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 caused due to the intense growth of flakes of skin under the nail. Patients complain of loss of gloss. The nail begins to disintegrate and deform. In patients, they take on a bird-like shape (onychogryphosis) that causes pain when walking. The lateral parts cause the greatest destruction
Atrophic The nail plate becomes gray, the shine is lost. As the disease progresses, the plate disintegrates. Often, a nail bed can be exposed, and then scales of skin can be seen above its surface. Atrophy occurs slowly starting from the outside in the direction of the growth zone and the nail fold
Lateral and distal These two forms are found together and quite often. You may notice a change in nail color with blue-green or black and yellow grooves. It gradually begins to break down, becomes rough and the edge is uneven. As the pathology progresses, the plate begins to deform. Sometimes roller swelling and redness are possible. If the patient has a bacterial infection, then pressing will remove the pus from it
Proximal The skin fold is affected. This form of the disease occurs when the cuticle is removed. The nail in the growth zone begins to whiten
all The nail begins to crumble, break and disintegrate
White White spots appear that look like powder

Toenail fungus has several of the same symptoms:

  • Itching of the skin around the nail;
  • Stratification;
  • Disintegration and discoloration;
  • Pain in the affected area.


The disease progresses slowly, going 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 fingers. In the future, the fungus will penetrate deep into the nail and act on it. The disease can be detected only after grinding in the laboratory.

The advanced stage is marked by global damage to the nail plate. If you do not start treating the fungus at this point, then not only the nail but also the skin can be destroyed. The main symptoms of the advanced stage are:

  • Collapsing nails;
  • Stratification;
  • Deformation.


Medicines for the treatment of fungi are used for topical use.These may be solutions containing antifungal substances or stains. Patches can exfoliate the affected nail.

If the patient has a single nail injury, then these funds are sufficient. If two or more nails are damaged, systemic, complex treatment should be performed. The varnish should be applied constantly, and the duration of therapy is 12 months.

Antifungal stains should not be used by children with hypersensitivity to any of the components of the drug during pregnancy and lactation. Before use it is necessary to remove the damaged nail, rinse its surface with a solution of water and alcohol and then spread the varnish. To make the nail look more aesthetically pleasing, women can cover this nail with cosmetic varnish.

Before using any anti-fungal agent, you need to steam your feet in soda water and liquid soap. Then you need to clean them with a towel and apply the ointment on the affected plate, and to fix it, apply adhesive plaster on top.

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

This type of physiotherapy therapy can improve plate nutrition and increase blood circulation. As a result, the resulting drug penetrates better into the nail. To be sure of the effectiveness of the course of treatment, you should take tests on the 14th and 30th day after therapy.