Foot fungus can affect the skin and nails on your foot, causing itching, burning, cracking, stinging and blistering. Overall, it can create an uncomfortable experience for you — and others if passed along. With Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates, you can learn what foot fungus is, how it is treated and how to best prevent it in the first place.
A foot fungus is an infection caused by germs that live in the dead cells of your skin, nails and hair. There are several forms of foot fungus — more than 80, which is more than other parts of the body. This is because your feet are more susceptible to being in areas where fungi grow — dark, warm, moist places like your shoes.
Foot fungal infections can spread through tiny cracks in your skin if your bare feet come into contact with fungi. This can happen in locker rooms, public pools, showers or other common areas. Bedsheets and towels also pose a risk.
Various characteristics can identify different types of foot fungi. Skin infections can have symptoms other than nail fungus.
Of foot fungal skin conditions, athlete’s foot is the most common. Up to 25% of people will get this infection at some point in their lives, and given its name, it is found mostly among athletes. If you are experiencing itching or burning sensations between your toes, dry or scaly skin that cracks or discolored toenails, you may have a foot fungal infection.
Toenails with a fungus may start to look yellow and can get buildup underneath, separating the nail from the nail bed. If left untreated, an itchy, burning rash can form on the surrounding infected skin of your toe.
Very mild cases of athlete’s foot can be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) ointments and creams, but there can come a point when you need to seek professional help to manage the foot fungus. The following are among the top reasons to reach out to a podiatrist:
Follow these tips for the general prevention of foot fungal infections:
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