What does nail fungus look like: symptoms, types and stages

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

Nail fungus: a description of the disease

Nail fungus(onychomycosis) Is a pathology of an infectious nature and is caused by a variety of mycotic organisms.Fungi affect around 20% of the world's population.

Onychomycosis accounts for 15-40% of all nail diseases and is found in 3% of the adult population, most often males and children suffer from wearing tight shoes. Women rarely encounter this disease because they take more 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 foot;
  • non-compliance with the rules of personal hygiene;
  • immunity dysfunctions;
  • take antibiotics and other medications;
  • endocrine diseases, pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract and HIV infection;
  • vascular disease;
  • sports activities (running, swimming, tennis and gymnastics);
  • life and work in large industrial towns (miners, etc. ).

Infection occurs during cosmetic procedures in beauty salons with non-compliance with hygienic standards. If a person uses common household items, visits public places in the form of saunas, baths and swimming pools, this also contributes to the appearance of fungus. You need to be careful when touching wooden objects, because 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

Symptoms of the fungus depend on the type of pathogen and the extent of damage to the nail plate. The age of the patient influences the cure rate. In children, the nails are affected much less than in adults. The manifestations depend on the type of pathology:

Mushroom shapes Panels
Normotrophic There is a change in the color of the nail with the same thickness and shine. First of all, yellow or white spots and stripes appear on the side surface of the nail plate. If left untreated, they start to grow and the nail plate gradually changes color. In patients, onycholysis may be noticed - the inability of plaque to grow to the nail spoon
Hypertrophic The nail color changes to dark yellow or gray, the plate thickens by 2 mm or more. This is due to the intense growth of the skin flakes under the nail. Patients complain of loss of gloss. The nail begins to crumble and deform. In patients, they take a shape similar to bird claws (onychogryphosis), which causes pain when walking. The side parts lend themselves to the greatest destruction
Atrophic The nail plate turns gray, the shine is lost. As the disease progresses, the plaque collapses. Often the nail bed can be exposed and then skin scales can be seen above its surface. Atrophy occurs slowly from the outer end towards the growing area and crease of the nail
Lateral and distal These two forms occur together and quite often. You may notice a change in the color of the nails to blue-green or black and yellow grooves. It gradually begins to crumble, becomes rough, and the edge is jagged. As the pathology progresses, the plaque begins to deform. Sometimes the appearance of swelling and redness of the rollers is possible. If the patient has a bacterial infection, the pus is released from under him when squeezed
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 growing area
Total The nail begins to crumble, break and collapse
White White spots look like powder

With nail fungus, there are many of the same symptoms:

  • itchy skin around the nail;
  • stratification;
  • crumbling and discoloration;
  • pain in the affected area.


This disease progresses slowly, going through several stages of development:

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

At the first stage, the skin of the feet is affected. Itching, cracks, and blisters appear between the toes. In the future, the fungus penetrates deep into the nail and affects it. The disease can only be detected in the laboratory after scratching.

At an advanced stage, there is an overall lesion of the nail plate. If at this point you do not start to treat the fungus, not only the nail but also the skin can be destroyed. The main symptoms of the advanced stage are:

  • crumbling nails;
  • stratification;
  • deformation.


In the treatment of fungi, drugs are used for topical use.These may be solutions containing antimycotic substances or varnishes. Patches can be used to exfoliate the affected nail.

If a patient has a nail lesion, then these funds are sufficient. If two or more nails are damaged, complex systemic treatment should be performed. The varnish should be applied continuously and the duration of treatment can be up to 12 months.

Antifungal varnishes should not be used by children with hypersensitivity to any component 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 more aesthetic, women can cover this nail with cosmetic polish on top.

Before using antifungal agents, you should spray your feet in water with soda and liquid soap. Then they need to be wiped off with a towel, and ointment is applied to the affected plaque, and an adhesive bandage is applied on top to fix it.

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

This type of physiotherapy therapy can improve plaque nutrition and increase blood circulation. As a result, the applied preparation penetrates deeper into the nail better. To make sure that the treatment is working, you should have tests on the 14th and 30th day after treatment.