The case of the fungus cannibals

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In summer, it is necessary to wear open shoes and show off a pedicure. Ideally! But in reality, from 5 to 10% of people are ashamed of their feet, because they have on the nails … fungus.

  • Holmes, why Barrymore such terrible toenails?
  • Because he has foot fungus.
  • But how did you know?
  • Elementary, Watson, and a week ago on a golf course I’ve seen it in the shoes Mrs. Hudson…

Between the disease and crime have much in common? There is a criminal, there is also a victim. So try to understand the problem of foot fungus in terms of criminology.

Dermatologists call this disease onychomycosis (from the Greek nachos — nail, makes — fungus), because its cause — a fungal infection that primarily affects the nail plate

So, there is, or rather on their feet, the offense: applying human physical and moral damage. On the one hand, disfigured nails spoil the appearance of the foot. From such people shy around, not allowed to work in the service sector and are not allowed in the gyms, swimming pools and saunas. On the other, to introduce into living tissue fungus poisons the body products of their livelihoods, and ultimately causes a decrease in immunity; it activates an allergic reaction, and in severe cases — affects not only the skin and nails, but also the internal organs.

Examination of the crime scene

Set for fingerprinting is not required, the loop too. The fact that his feet were attacked, eloquently testify next.

Skin: cracks in the interdigital folds, usually between the third and fourth or between the fourth and fifth fingers; constant itching at the site of injury; redness, irritation, and flaking.

The case of the fungus cannibals

Nails: become dull and opaque; change color (color variation of the cat: white, red, gray, brown, black); deformed; thicken (and the nail and nail bed) and crumble; the surface becomes rough; in tight shoes start to hurt.

Of course, the crime scene must conduct a professional, in our case, a dermatologist. He — Sherlock Holmes, skin diseases, eye he could distinguish the fungal infection from the traumatic, but in order to establish an accurate diagnosis yet recovered patient for analysis, so to say …

Laboratory forensic

Here, take a piece of the damaged nail or scraping do with suspicious skin area: clean off a few scales and placed in an appropriate culture medium. If the cause of the disease is a fungus, then a few days in the sample will increase the whole mycelium, which can be examined under a microscope. That is, to know the name of the offender, or at least to outline the circle of suspects.


According to statistics, 50% of all nail diseases are fungal in origin. The other half is the result of chronic injuries, dermatitis, lichen, eczema, and psoriasis. To distinguish one from the other can only be a specialist, but mere mortals need to know that the fungus is not seen: the nail damage only on the hands; simultaneous damage to the entire nail; related skin diseases.

For example, the analysis revealed a fungal infection. We have before us three of the main suspects: Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Epidermophyton floccosum (not cause about 60-80% of all fungal diseases). Moreover, the defeat of the nail can cause a yeast-like Candida albicans (2%) and mold Scopulariosis brevicaulis, Scytalidium dimidiatum and Aspergillus (9%). However, these details do we know to what they need at the sentencing, sorry, when considering treatment options.

Speech for the defense

«Gentlemen, my ward is not to blame! The victim itself provoked him to criminal activities! Firstly, he did not hesitate to do a pedicure at beauty salons with a dubious reputation (no aseptic technique!). Secondly, it is not shod rubber slippers (personal!), when I went to the pool and enjoyed the beach cabanas; in baths, saunas, fitness clubs also let he go barefoot; shamelessly took it the wrong shoes without socks. Finally, he wore close air-tight shoes, from which his feet were constantly wet and rubbed! Could my ward pass such easy prey?

Well, what with the fact that the accused is contagious? He had a difficult childhood, no one loved … He grew up as a street kid; he had to look for food…

In the end, the incident cannot be blamed only fungus, do not forget about those who could have prevented the crime, but not prevented. I am referring to the immune system and circulation.

If the victim of these systems functioned normally, disaster would not have happened. Not for nothing at risk for fungal diseases of the foot fall: the elderly; Patients with impaired peripheral circulation, lowered immunity, dysfunction of the hormonal system, varicose veins, obesity, and atherosclerosis. And those who take cytotoxic drugs, antibiotics, hormonal contraceptives, and corticosteroids. »


(Drum roll) Fungus sentenced to capital punishment: death by antifungal agents (local and / or general acts). The verdict is final and not appealable.

For the prevention of fungal diseases can be used in a series of baths, chamomile or sage. A tablespoon of chopped dried plant per cup of boiling water is half an hour to insist.

Unfortunately, the reality is much more complicated. The patient (who is also the victim) should be adjusted to the fact that the damaged areas of the nails have to be removed: surgically or by using catalytic blurring and patches. Otherwise, local products on the fungus simply will not work. Treatment will take a day or even a week: to completely recover will require several months to several years.

And no need to buy all the anti-fungal medicines that advertise on television around the clock. They must be selected individually dermatologist, depending on the type and form of fungal infection, the prevalence of the process, the speed of nail growth, the general condition of the patient and his financial capabilities.

Well, if you’re from it will be easier: to date, the most effective pills are considered to be from a fungus terbinafine, itraconazole, fluconazole…

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