Beautiful nails look well-groomed. Are a sign of vitality. Discolored or brittle nails are unpleasant to most people. A fungal infection is often behind these nail problems. Learn how to recognize nail fungus symptoms here.
Typical nail fungus symptoms include:
// Lackluster, dull nails
// White or yellowish spots at the edges of the nail
// Whitish, yellowish or brownish-gray spots in the nail plate
// Significantly thickened nails
// Brittle nails or a nail plate with a crumbly texture
Nail fungus: recognizing first symptoms
Nail fungus is a disease that is usually only recognized at a very late stage. During Athlete's foot can be clearly identified by Itching, redness, scaly skin, weeping spots or the formation of blisters becomes noticeable, the nail fungus symptoms are difficult to recognize for a long time, because a nail fungus does not cause any symptoms for a long time.
The typical attack surfaces for the fungal pathogens are located at the nail edges in the nail fold or at the front cut edge, where the fungi can easily settle into the nail. Accordingly, the first nail fungus symptoms appear in these areas. The nail edge shows slight whitish or yellowish discoloration. In the course of infection, the fungus spreads to the center of the nail and towards the nail root. Spots appear in the nail plate, which may be white, yellowish, or brown-gray in color.
The longer the infection persists, the further the fungus spreads in the nail plate and the nail bed, in the end it also affects the nail root. The nails appear dull and lackluster and are significantly thickened. The nail plate is brittle or has a crumbly consistency. Usually at the beginning of a Nail fungal infection (onychomycosis) only one nail affected. If left untreated, the fungus gradually spreads to the other nails as well.
Is a discolored nail a sure sign of nail fungus?
Discoloration of the nails is in many cases more than a cosmetic problem, but does not always have to be the work of fungal pathogens. The disorder shows different manifestations. Goes back to different triggering factors. Causes include:
// External influences acting on the nail surface
// Processes inside the body, which are already noticeable in the growth zone of the nail
// Changes on the skin underneath the nail. The color and shape of a nail change provide further information about the possible background
Discolored nail due to external influences
Influencing factors that act on the nail from the outside and lead to discoloration include:
Slight injuries caused by mechanical damage to the nail growth zone, which can lead to white spots (Leukonychia punctata) (for example, due to careless nail care)
Severe traumas that cause a bruise with dark coloration under the nail
Drugs that are applied externally and cause a coloring of the cells (for example silver nitrate)
Contact with certain chemicals, such as woodworking or hair dyes, which stain the nails a brownish color
Discoloration due to processes inside the body
Various diseases or unhealthy lifestyle habits can also be the cause of discolored nails:
// A yellowish coloration occurs in heavy smokers.
// In the course of chemotherapy to fight cancer, the color of the nails may change.
// Disorders of the cardiovascular system can lead to a bluish coloration of the nail bed.
// Chronic respiratory diseases in some cases result in yellowish-gray-green color changes.
Discolored nail due to diseases of the skin
The skin underneath the nail can also be affected by disorders that result in color changes.
// In its most common form, fungal disease spreads through the germ layer of the skin under the nail into the nail plate. In the initial stage, whitish-yellowish or brownish discolorations up to a clouding of infected areas appear.
// In rare cases, benign or malignant tumors of the skin lead to an altered appearance of the nails.
Seek the advice of a specialist if a discolored nail points to a fungal disease but you are unable to classify your symptoms precisely. A mild to moderate fungal disease can be treated with over-the-counter medications from the pharmacy Treat.
Nail fungus shows different forms of disease
Medicine distinguishes between different types of nail fungus, each with typical symptoms and courses. In over 80 percent of cases, the cause is filamentous fungi (dermatophytes), but occasionally yeasts and molds are also involved in the development of the infectious disease.
Distolateral subungual onychomycosis
Distolateral subungual onychomycosis is the most common manifestation of nail fungus. In the beginning, there is an infection of the surrounding skin with the filamentous fungus Trichophyton rubrum and forms the starting point of the disease. From there, the fungal pathogens make their way through the germ layer of the skin below the nail plate into the horny cell layers of the nail. The infestation progresses slowly from the free nail edge towards the nail matrix.
Proximal subungual Onychomycosis
Proximal subungual onychomycosis appears comparatively rarely. Starting from an infection of the nail wall, the fungal pathogens spread to the cuticle. They penetrate from the nail fold laterally into the underside of the nail plate. On their way they work their way in the direction of growth to the free edge of the nail.
White superficial onychomycosis
White superficial onychomycosis affects the toenails and is caused by fungal pathogens from the Trichophyton interdigitale (mentagrophytes) family. The characteristic feature of this form of the disease is the spread of the fungal pathogens in the upper layers of the nail plate.
Onychia et Paronychia candidosa
This form of nail fungus, usually caused by yeasts, spreads around the nail along the upper and lateral nail walls. Chronic inflammation of the skin with redness and swelling occurs. In the later course, damage to the structure follows and transverse grooves appear in the nail plate. If bacteria also colonize the site of infection, the nail becomes discolored, and narrow, greenish-brown discolorations in the area of the nail wall can indicate the disease even in its early stages.
Risks for infection with nail fungus
If you suffer from Athlete's foot If you fall ill, there is always a risk that the fungus will spread to your nails. Therefore, treat athlete's foot immediately and consistently with suitable preparations. In your pharmacy you receive a competent consultation. Observe your toenails closely in the following weeks in order to recognize the first nail fungus symptoms right away. If you frequently go swimming or visit a gym where you walk barefoot, you are also at increased risk of suffering from Nail fungus become ill. Certain diseases can also make the body susceptible to nail fungus. These include:
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Inflammation of the nails
A weakened immune system due to old age, chemotherapy or an immunodeficiency disease such as z. B. AIDS or multiple sclerosis
Treat nail fungus thoroughly and effectively
In case of light to moderate fungal infestation on the nails, you can easily carry out the treatment at home with a modern nail set from the pharmacy. The nails are treated with an ointment that combats the symptoms of nail fungus with two active ingredients at the same time. Urea, a substance produced naturally in the body, dissolves the parts of the nail affected by the fungus so that they can be removed without pain, and the anti-fungal active ingredient bifonazole simultaneously combats the fungal pathogens. After just two weeks, all parts of the nail affected by the fungus are removed. Now continue the treatment for another four weeks with a cream containing bifonazole to reliably fight all remaining fungal pathogens. Because the damaged nail still offers fungal pathogens a large attack surface. Already after six weeks the treatment of the nail fungus is completed. You can now watch your healthy nail grow back. Show your nails again without shame.
Canesten ® EXTRA nail set
With the Canesten ® EXTRA nail set you have the nail fungus already after 2 weeks visibly under control. A nail fungus infection begins insidiously. Hardly noticeable at the beginning. Only minor discolorations at the nail edges indicate that a parasite is at work here, which – if no countermeasures are taken – will inexorably multiply and spread further.
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Canesten® GYN Once Combi, Canesten® GYN 3-Day Combi, Canesten® GYN 3-Day Therapy Vaginal Cream/ Tablets
Active ingredient: clotrimazole Indications for use Combination packs: For infectious discharge caused by yeasts; inflammation of the vagina and labia caused by fungi – mostly yeasts of the genus Candida – and superimposed infections (superinfections) with clotrimazole-susceptible bacteria.
Indications 3-Day Therapy Vaginal Cream/ 3-Day Therapy Vaginal Tablets: For infectious discharge caused by yeasts; inflammation of the vagina caused by fungi – mostly yeasts of the genus Candida – and superimposed infections (superinfections) with clotrimazole-sensitive bacteria.
Note for cream: Contains benzyl alcohol and cetylstearyl alcohol. Follow package insert!
Canesten® EXTRA Nail Set
Active ingredients: Bifonazole / Urea. Indications: For the nail-detaching treatment of fungal diseases of the nails on hands. feet with simultaneous anti-fungal (antifungal) action. Note: Contains lanolin. Please see package insert!
Canesten® EXTRA cream, EXTRA cream with CanesTouch® applicator
Active ingredient: bifonazole Indications: For fungal diseases (mycoses) of the skin caused by dermatophytes, yeasts, molds and other fungi such as Malassezia furfur, as well as infections caused by Corynebacterium minutissimum. These can be z. B. Fungal diseases of the feet and hands and treatment of an exposed nail bed as part of nail fungus therapy; fungal diseases of the remaining body skin and skin folds; sog. Lichen caused by Malassezia furfur (Pityriasis versicolor); skin diseases caused by Corynebacterium minutissimum (Erythrasma) and superficial Candidiasis. Note: Contains benzyl alcohol. Cetylstearyl alcohol. Please see package insert!
Canesten® EXTRA Spray
Active substance: Bifonazole Indications: Fungal diseases (mycoses) of the skin caused by dermatophytes, yeasts, molds and other fungi such as Malassezia furfur, and infections caused by Corynebacterium minutissimum. These can be z.B. Fungal diseases of the feet and hands; fungal diseases of the rest of the body skin and skin folds; sog. Kleienpilz lichen, caused by Malassezia furfur (pityriasis versicolor); disease of the skin caused by Corynebacterium minutissimum (erythrasma) and superficial candidiasis. Note: Do not spray the spray against flames or on glowing objects. Keep away from ignition sources – do not smoke. The spray solution is highly flammable due to the ethanol content.
Active ingredient: clotrimazole Indications: For the treatment of fungal diseases (mycoses) of the skin and mucous membranes caused by dermatophytes, yeasts, molds and others, such as Malassezia furfur, and skin infections caused by Corynebacterium minutissimum. Application also in Candida vulvitis and Candida balanitis. Note: Contains benzyl alcohol. Cetylstearyl alcohol. Please see package insert.