Treatment of Fungus (Fungal Skin Infection)

Гінекологія Dermatology
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Fungal infections and mycoses are very common pathology. Treatment of nail or skin fungus is necessary for every fifth inhabitant of our country due to the high contagiousness of fungi, the variety of pathogens, and the difficulties of treatment.


In order to achieve effective treatment of the fungus, it is necessary to consult a dermatologist. At the Universum Сlinic, wet will help you find the cause of the pathology, establish its causative agent and choose the optimal therapy scheme. In this way, we will restore the health of nails and skin, and protect the patient's family members from infection.


The spectrum of fungal infections includes two broad categories of diseases: skin lesions and onychomycosis (pathology of fingernails and toenails). Most often, dermatologists encounter onychomycosis.
Nail fungus has the following clinical variants:

  • distal-lateral, the side surfaces (on the side of the cuticle), and the distal edge (where the nail is clipped) are affected.
  • white superficial, fungi penetrate deep into the nail plate from its surface;
  • subungual proximal, the infection of the nail starts from the side of the finger;
  • the total dystrophic form has a course with damage to all areas of the nail plate.

Each of these types of nail fungus has three variants:

  • with preservation of the thickness of the nail plate (neurotrophic);
  • with its thickening (hypertrophic);
  • with a decrease in thickness (hypertrophic).

Mycoses of the skin, as a rule, are classified according to the distribution and depth of the lesion. Here, conditionally, superficial and deep options are distinguished.


In dermatology, the classification of mycoses by pathogens is used separately:

  • dermatophyte infection;
  • yeast lesions (candidiasis also belongs to this category);
  • damage by microorganisms originating from molds.

This is necessary for doctors to choose the right therapy since different pathogens need to be affected by different drugs. The stage of the process must also be taken into account.

Pathogenesis and stages of development

Fungi live on our bodies all the time, but for many people, they do not cause any problems. In order for a person to develop fungal skin diseases, a combination of two factors is necessary: favorable conditions for the reproduction of pathogens and weakened immunity.

Provocative factors

The development of nail and skin fungus is promoted by:

  • high humidity;
  • microtraumas (tight, uncomfortable shoes);
  • chronic diseases (diabetes);
  • age (the body's ability to resist infections weakens over the years);
  • irrational use of antibiotics;
  • immunodeficiency states (taking hormones, cytostatic, HIV).

The presence of at least one of the above mentioned factors can start the reproduction of pathogenic microorganisms and mycosis.

Stages of the process

As a rule, everything starts with a small focus on the skin. Even when a patient comes to the doctor with mycosis of the nail, often the doctor finds the primary areas of damage somewhere nearby: on the foot, in the spaces between the fingers, etc.

The division of fungal lesions of the skin and nails into stages is somewhat conditional:


  • a localized focus on a separate part of the body;
  • damage to a relatively large area, for example, the entire hand or foot, two or more nails at the same time;
  • multifocal process, when the infection spreads to several parts of the body;
  • stage of complications – gross violations, complete nail destruction, eczematous skin lesions, cracks, etc.

If only strips are visible at the first stage of mycosis of the nail, then at the last stage, the nail plate falls off or crumbles completely. The same with the skin: staging from superficial spots to deep ulcers.

Clinical manifestations and symptoms of nail fungus

In principle, signs of fungus on fingernails or toenails do not differ much. Of course, there are certain features of symptoms that depend on the causative agent. We will list the main signs that should be a reason to consult a dermatologist and start treatment for foot fungus



Typical symptoms of onychomycosis:

  • white, yellow, gray spots or stripes, furrows appear on the nail, in any part of it;
  • the nail plate is deformed, becomes uneven, and its thickness changes;
  • the edge begins to crumble, elasticity is lost;
  • peeling occurs in some places (subungual keratosis).

In the final stages, the fungus leads to complete loss or destruction of the nail plate. Under it, the skin affected by mycosis remains: inflamed or with scarring.


You should seek medical help in case of any suspicion of onychomycosis or skin fungus. Universum Clinic will make a diagnosis of the process with clarification of the causative agent.


The following methods are used to diagnose nail fungus:

  • examination of the affected area and determination of the clinical form of the disease;
  • microscopy of a sample from the lesion (shows the forms of fungi, mycelia);
  • cultural research - inoculation of tissue fragments on special nutrient media;
  • determination of the sensitivity of the causative agent to certain drugs

Microscopy is usually enough to establish a diagnosis. An experienced laboratory technician determines the causative agent by appearance, and the dermatologist already knows which drugs should be used against this particular pathogen. This is important because yeast and mold pathogens are sensitive to completely different agents.


Full-fledged, recurrence-free treatment of the fungus can only be comprehensive: fight not only the infection but also its causes.

As a rule, the following are prescribed:

  • topical preparations - ointments, creams, plasters, and varnishes for affected nails or skin;
  • antimycotics (antifungal agents) of systemic action;
  • immunomodulatory and immunostimulating drugs;
  • certain means for better penetration of antifungal components deep into tissues;
  • physiotherapeutic methods
  • drugs for the prevention of complications

If the patient comes in an advanced stage of nail fungus, sometimes it is necessary to remove the affected nail plate.

It is also necessary to consider that the mycelium of pathogens penetrates deep into tissues that outwardly have a healthy appearance. 


Therefore, the treatment of nail fungus should be continued, at least until a healthy nail grows back. Or completely healthy skin on the previously affected part of the body will not be restored.


It is impossible to avoid infection with fungi: their representatives are widespread and often live on the human body. But reducing the probability of the fungus carrier becoming a disease is possible.

For the prevention of mycoses, it is recommended:

follow the rules of personal hygiene, but without excessive diligence, so as not to destroy the natural protection of the skin;

  • avoid microtraumas of hands and feet;
  • demand sterile instruments from the beautician;
  • do not use other people's objects in the bath, or sauna;
  • wear shoes according to size, dry them if they are wet;
  • prevent the epidermis from drying out;
  • avoid injuries during nail trimming;
  • eat a full and balanced diet;
  • avoid provocative factors: control blood glucose and maintain immunity.

It will not be superfluous to get the advice of a gastroenterologist to make a balanced, vitamin-rich menu.

And with the appearance of the slightest signs of a fungal infection - contact a dermatologist at the clinic. The sooner treatment is started, the lower the risk that a massive fungal invasion will cause illness in loved ones and family members.


  1. Nenoff P, Mayser P, Uhrlaß S. Pilzinfektionen der Haut und Nägel [Fungal infections of skin and nails]. Hautarzt. 2021 Oct;72(10):843-846. German. doi: 10.1007/s00105-021-04886-2. Epub 2021 Sep 23. PMID: 34554287; PMCID: PMC8459583.
  2. de Hoog S et al. Skin Fungi from Colonization to Infection. Microbiol Spectr. 2017 Jul;5(4). doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.FUNK-0049-2016. PMID: 28721846.
  3. Hay RJ. The skin and systemic fungal infections. Clin Exp Dermatol. 1979 Sep;4(3):365-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2230.1979.tb02656.x. PMID: 389494.
  4. Burstein VL et al Skin Immunity to Dermatophytes: From Experimental Infection Models to Human Disease. Front Immunol. 2020 Dec 2;11:605644. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.605644. PMID: 33343578; PMCID: PMC7738607.
  5. Panthagani AP, Tidman MJ. Diagnosis directs treatment in fungal infections of the skin. Practitioner. 2015 Oct;259(1786):25-9, 3. PMID: 26738249.

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F. A. Q.
How to cure a fungus on the skin?
  • determine the type of pathogen and clinical characteristics of the process;
  • use an antimycotic to which the pathogen is sensitive;
  • combine methods of local and systemic therapy;
  • use physiotherapeutic methods, UV radiation;
  • continue treatment until symptoms disappear completely and normal skin is restored.
How can you get rid of fungus?
  • go to the clinic for an examination and selection of treatment;
  • lead a healthy lifestyle, strengthen immunity;
  • avoid factors that provoke the development of infection (we listed them in the article above);
  • refuse to use methods of non-traditional medicine without consulting a doctor;
  • carefully follow the dermatologist's recommendations.
What does a fungus look like on the skin?
  • the appearance of mycosis depends on the causative agent and the depth of the lesion;
  • spots of different colors appear on the epidermis;
  • the process is accompanied by dryness, cracks, or, on the contrary, wetting (depending on the causative agent);
  • hair falls out or breaks off;
  • the epidermis is sometimes covered with white plaque, gray scales;
  • there are both single and multiple foci;
  • can be separated from each other or merge into a lesion of a large area;
  • symptoms are different: from the complete absence of unpleasant sensations to severe itching, burning, pain;
  • unpleasant symptoms can be aggravated by heat, exposure to sweat, bathing in salt water;
  • if a bacterial infection joins, acute inflammation occurs pain, redness, and wetting.
What are fungal skin infections?
  • superficial, keratomycosis - ringworm, trichosporia, shingles;
  • dermatophytes (dermatomycoses) - epidermophytia, rubrophytia, trichophytia, microsporia, scabies;
  • candidiasis;
  • various diseases can damage only the skin, only the nails, only the hair, and there are those that affect all of the above.
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