Ill-fitting shoes, excessive sweating...
Your feet are often put to the test. And sometimes it's your toenails that show their dismay by changing color. But this funny coloring can hide a mycosis… Some adequate care can improve the situation.
Two to 6 million French people would have unwanted hosts on their nails and could spread a particularly contagious disease, onychomycosis. Microscopic fungi that proliferate in hot and humid environments feed on the keratin of the nails until they are completely destroyed.
About 5% of the French population suffer from mycosis of the nails, hands or feet. And according to experts, the frequency of this disease is constantly increasing.
Symptoms sometimes overlooked
Among the first victims, the big toe is the first sacrificed following contamination by walking barefoot on contaminated ground such as a bathroom mat, a judo mat, a gym...
Indeed, the frequency of 5 to 10% is valid for the general population. Athletes, soldiers, minors are more exposed to this disease.
“An American study revealed, after having followed two teams of basketball players, that nearly 70% of the players examined suffered or had suffered from onychomycosis” specifies Dr. Baran, dermatologist, nail specialist.
In this case, the nail takes on a yellow or brown color or a white spot, deteriorates and thickens. Complications such as an ingrown toenail and pain may appear. These symptoms are not sufficient, only a doctor is authorized to diagnose and a laboratory analysis will confirm the origin of the disorder. Result: half of the victims are unaware of their condition and only one in three consults their doctor…
How to protect yourself from such parasites?
Founder of the national onychomycosis observatory created in 2002, Dr Baran explains the missions of this association: “Informing, raising awareness and better understanding the epidemiology of this disease are our main objectives. To do this, we have published various information brochures available in the practice of general practitioners and dermatologists”. For those who have not had it in their hands, here are some means of protection to know on the tips of their nails:
Use an individual towel;
Dry your feet well, especially between the toes;
Disinfect with alcohol at 70° the instruments used for cleaning the nails;
Avoid walking barefoot;
Do not lend your shoes;
Wear sandals at the pool;
Prefer leather shoes to limit maceration.

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