Redness, peeling of the skin of the feet, the appearance of blisters and cracks between the fingers are the main symptoms that accompany the fungus of the skin of the legs. Only a dermatologist can recognize the causative agent of a fungal infection and prescribe adequate treatment, therefore, when the first signs of the disease appear, you should seek the help of a doctor. Timely therapy helps to avoid complications and the development of a chronic form of the disease.
What is foot skin fungus
Diseases caused by pathogenic microscopic fungi are called in clinical practice mycoses. The skin fungus on the legs belongs to the group of dermatomycoses, caused by pathogenic microorganisms from the genus trichophytons, candida, yeast. The causative agents of mycoses live in nature (in soil and plants), on the body or in the body of animals, and remain active while living in clothes or shoes of an infected person.
What does the fungus on the legs look like?
Fungal infection causes inflammation of the skin at the sites of localization of the fungal infection. The main types of dermatomycosis of the legs are:
- Fungus of the sole of the foot of a squamous form, in which the affected area reddens, flakes, cracks appear on the skin. The patient often does not feel any discomfort, which contributes to the widespread occurrence of this type of disease.
- The fungus of the feet of a dyshidrotic form is localized on the arch of the feet that are not in contact with the floor surface. In the places of the foci of infection, small blisters form, which extend to the inner and outer parts of the foot, open up, forming erosion and intertrigo on the skin surface. The process is accompanied by a sensation of itching and burning. After opening the vesicles (vesicles), the disease becomes squamous.
- The fungus on the skin of the legs, affecting the interdigital space, is called the inter-religious form of the disease and is its most common form. It appears in the form of cracks, the edges of which are covered with a white rim of exfoliating epidermis. As a rule, this form has a long chronic course and is difficult to treat.
- The fungus on the lower leg or ankle appears in the form of round spots of pink or red color, covered with skin scales. As the infection develops, the foci of inflammation grow, the process is accompanied by severe itching.
Depending on the form of the disease and the localization of inflammation, the infection is accompanied by different symptoms with a number of the following common symptoms:
- peeling of the skin;
- slight or severe redness of the skin at the site of the lesion;
- burning sensation;
- bubble rashes or cracks in the skin.
Blisters between toes
The main symptom of foot mycosis caused by a fungus of the genus Candida is the appearance of blisters between the toes, usually between the fourth finger and the little finger. The course of the disease is accompanied by swelling of the skin adjacent to the fingers, pronounced areas of redness with small vesicles on their surface. The focus of inflammation surrounds the rim of the exfoliated epidermis.
Disease of the skin of the legs is always accompanied by a number of common signs, the appearance of which indicates infection of the skin with spores of harmful microorganisms. Seek help from a dermatologist in the following cases:
- the appearance on the skin in the folds of the feet or between the toes of cracks or blisters;
- coarsening and significant thickening of the skin of the skin of the feet;
- redness of the skin, peeling;
- burning sensation or itching.
Infection occurs for a number of reasons after direct or indirect contact of the patient with the carrier of the infection or his personal belongings, household items. Risk factors for contracting foot dermatomycosis include:
- impaired leg circulation and related diseases (varicose veins);
- weakened general or local immunity;
- non-compliance with hygiene rules;
- weakening of the body's defense systems after taking antibiotics;
- excessive sweating of the skin of the feet;
- the presence of minor lesions on the skin (abrasions, scratches).
The main methods of infection
The fungus of the skin on the toes, legs and feet is transmitted from the carrier of the pathogen to the carrier by direct and indirect contact. Direct contact involves interaction with a sick carrier (human or animal) infected with soil or plants. With indirect contact, infection occurs through the patient’s personal belongings - his clothes, shoes or personal hygiene items.
Types of Mycosis
Only a dermatologist can accurately determine the type of fungus by visual inspection, the data of which is refined using laboratory tests. Depending on the causative agent of a fungal infection (yeast, mold, fungi of the genus trichophytons or candida) on the skin of the legs, several main types of the disease are distinguished, which include:
- candidiasis of the feet;
- epidermophytosis of the feet;
- trichophytosis (or rumbicosis) of the feet;
- onychomycosis (nail fungus).
What to treat
Treatment of skin fungus on the legs is a long-term complex therapy, in severe cases involving the use of systemic agents for oral administration. With minor lesions, the emphasis is on local therapy with the use of antibacterial and antiseptic agents. In acute forms of the disease, warm baths are necessarily prescribed to relieve inflammation and remove dead skin cells. In some cases, it is necessary to treat the patient’s shoes and clothes with special compounds to avoid relapse.
Systemic agents for oral administration are prescribed in cases of ineffectiveness of topical preparations and in severe advanced forms of the disease. The course of oral antifungal drugs is indicated for fungal infections of the deep layers of the skin, help not only to treat the acute stage, but also prevent the transition of the disease into a chronic form. The dosage regimen, course duration and dosage are selected by the attending physician.
The best means for systemic treatment of foot fungus, doctors recognize the antifungal drugs Terbinafine, Fluconazole, Itraconazole. They have an active fungicidal (destroying) and fungicidal (inhibiting the reproduction of bacteria) action, their active active components can accumulate in the upper layers of the epidermis, nails and hair. Before taking, it is necessary to familiarize yourself with the instructions for use, since these agents have contraindications.
Therapy with topical drugs includes not only the use of antifungal creams and ointments, but also the use of special sprays, aerosols and lotions. The form of the drug is recommended by a dermatologist, depending on the type of pathogen, the severity of the lesion of the skin of the legs, the stage of the disease and the individual characteristics of the patient's body. The duration of treatment with a local drug can be from 2 weeks to 3 months.
With foot fungus and other forms of foot mycosis, Econazole aerosol, a suspension for applying to the skin of Natamycin, a solution for topical use of naphthyne hydrochloride can be prescribed. Means are either applied directly to the skin damaged by the fungus, or wet swabs moistened with a medicinal solution are applied. All necessary recommendations for use can be obtained from your doctor.
In the treatment of fungus of the skin of the legs in most cases, an antifungal ointment is prescribed, for example, Lamisil cream or its analogues. Apply preparations in the form of an ointment or cream on dry skin of the heels or other places of localization of inflammation, previously carefully cleaned of dead epidermal cells, any other plaque. With different types of disease, the duration of treatment can be from 2-3 weeks to 2-3 months.
Ointments Exoderil, Lamisil, Clotrimazole, Zalain - experts consider effective means to combat the fungus of the feet of various forms and stages. The active components of the drug locally fight against fungal infection, inhibiting the reproduction of its pathogen. Ointment is applied two to three times a day on washed affected skin for several weeks or months, depending on the degree of damage to the skin.
The use of folk remedies is possible only with the consent of the attending physician. The main means for baths, compresses and applications against fungus on the skin of the feet are vinegar, propolis, baking soda, decoctions of medicinal plants, laundry soap. The following procedures are practiced:
- Baths with a solution of soda and salt. For 3 liters of water with a temperature of 36-40 ° C use 3 tbsp. l salt and 3 tbsp. l soda. The duration of the procedure is 10-15 minutes, after the bath, rinse your feet under a stream of warm water. Used in acute forms of the fungus for 7-10 days twice a day.
- Lotions with herbal decoction. To prepare the broth, mix in equal proportions the dried oak bark, calendula flowers, medicinal verbena leaves. For the preparation of broth 3 tbsp. l pour the mixture with a glass of boiling water, keep on low heat for 10-15 minutes. Make a compress with the resulting broth three times a day for 20-30 minutes.
The main way to prevent mycosis of the legs is to observe basic hygiene rules in public places such as swimming pools, baths and saunas, gyms. Maintaining general and local immunity after serious illnesses includes a balanced diet, vitamins, proper rest and sleep, as well as measures to prevent fungal infection.
Attention! The information presented in the article is for guidance only. Materials of the article do not call for independent treatment. Only a qualified doctor can make a diagnosis and give recommendations for treatment based on the individual characteristics of a particular patient.