When you don’t properly care for your feet, they can become a magnet for fungus and infection. This is because a fungus is attracted to warm, moist environments and feeds off the tissue of your feet. Read the following article to get a better understanding of some common fungal infections.
If you experience peeling, itching, burning, blisters or general redness in your feet, you may have athlete’s foot. This condition is caused by at least four types of fungus, but more commonly the trichophyton rubrum fungus is to blame. The fungus is attracted to moist areas and lives on the dead tissue of the skin and toenails. An experienced podiatrist can prescribe anti-fungal creams to treat the area and prevent the infection from spreading. However, it is important to keep your feet clean and dry for medicine to be most effective and to avoid further infections.
The same strains of fungus that cause athlete’s foot also can be responsible for toenail fungus. In these cases, the fungus attacks the area around or the toenail itself. The symptoms include the nail turning an unusual color, such as yellow, black or white. The nail also can separate from the skin, crumble and split. Without medical treatment, this problem won’t disappear. It also can spread to other people. Your podiatrist can prescribe medicated anti-fungal cream or an oral medication to treat this condition. In addition, toenail fungus now can be successfully treated with a laser.
This is by far the most serious foot infection. The fungus is able to enter your tissue through small cuts in the feet. It is characterized by a gradual and painless destruction of soft foot tissue. Cases of eumycetoma are most commonly found in the tropical and subtropical regions.
Tips for Preventing Nail Fungus
Nail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is an overwhelmingly common affliction. One out of every two Americans will experience nail fungus before the age of 70. While this foot problem sends many people to the podiatrist each year, that doesn’t mean that it’s inevitable! Here are some tips for reducing the odds of a nail fungal infection:
Tend to your nails often
Keep your nails clean, dry, and short. Trim and file your nails regularly to ensure that they are entirely clean. Don’t pick at the skin on your fingertips, which can increase the risk of infection. Fungi love damp, dark places, so make your nails as inhospitable as possible by washing your hands and feet with soap and drying thoroughly afterward. Try to avoid using nail polish or wearing artificial nails, as they lock in humidity and block light that might otherwise reach the fungus and help kill it.
Don’t go barefoot in public
Always wear some sort of protective footwear in public, especially in wet places such as locker rooms, public baths, and swimming pools. Shower shoes work great, so you should always keep a pair in your gym bag. When you’re done at the gym or pool, make sure your feet are completely dry before you put on clean, absorbent socks. It’s important to make sure your socks and shoes are always clean and dry. It may be beneficial to keep an extra pair of socks in your gym bag just in case.
Be vigilant about fungus symptoms
If you notice anything that could be fungus, take immediate action. Use antifungal sprays or powders on your feet and the insides of your shoes, and visit the podiatrist if your symptoms persist. The faster you respond to any signs of a fungal infection, the safer you’ll be.
For top-of-the-line podiatric care for a wide range of foot issues, call and set up an appointment with the friendly professionals at Austin Podiatry. Contact us today for more information.
How to Prevent and Treat Foot Fungus
Fungus infections, especially on the bottom of the foot, can happen regardless of your cleanliness or hygiene habits. Get more information by watching this video.
The video elaborates on fungal infections, explaining that fungi thrive on the dead skin on the bottom of your feet, as well as the warm, moist environment inside your socks. You will also learn how to prevent foot fungus by exfoliating to remove dead skin and using a powder inside your shoes and socks to remove moisture.
Looking for More Information on Nail Fungus and Other Foot Ailments? You Can Find Them Here
The health of your feet is one of the most important aspects of your overall well-being. Our feet carry the entire load of our bodyweight, so small injuries can quickly become more serious if not properly addressed. Take a look at these links to learn more about how to deal with some common foot ailments:
- The Mayo Clinic gives an excellent overview of treating toe fungus including information on how to prevent a fungal infection from reoccurring.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides interesting information on foot problems caused by diabetes.
- On this website, you will find some great tips to treat an ankle sprain
- This article from the American Podiatric Medical Association gives you more information about foot health.
- The University of Maryland Medical Center lists the causes as well as treatments for the many different types of foot pain.