Causes Of Foot Fungus
When a person has foot fungus it will usually attack your skin and nails which are referred to as dermatophytes. They cause diseases that are parasitic in nature. Onychomycosis is the scientific terminology for nail fungus. There are many different causes of foot fungus. Many times what the cause is depends on what type of foot fungus you have.
- Candida nail infection what is responsible for this type of foot fungus is yeast called Candida and is the worse type of fungal infection to have.
- Proximal subungual onychomycosis dermatophytes is the main culprit that causes this type of foot fungus.
- Distal subungual onychomycosis this foot fungus infection is caused by an organism called trichophyton rubrum
- White superficial onychomycosis trichophyton mentagrophytes is the organism that causes this type of foot fungus.
Other causes of foot fungus that can affect your toenails can include:
- Have trauma to your toenails
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Wearing underwear that is closed off and tight
- Showering in public places like dressing rooms at public pools, gyms, schools, etc.
- Activities that involve exertion
When To See Your Doctor
If you think you have athletes foot and it hasnt subsided after a week of home treatment, make an appointment to see your doctor. You may need prescription antifungals to get rid of the infection.
You should also make an appointment to see your doctor if you have athletes foot and diabetes. This is especially true if you have signs of a secondary bacterial infection, which can be more dangerous in those with diabetes due to their nerve damage.
Signs of infection include redness, pus, swelling, drainage, and fever. If you have diabetes, you may not feel pain in your feet due to nerve damage.
Your doctor will likely be able to diagnose athletes foot just by looking at it.
Ways You Can Treat Athletes Foot Today
What can you do today to begin treating a foot fungus issue? Here are some practical ideas that you can implement immediately.
Change your shoes. Footwear contributes to the development of foot fungus by providing it the dark, moist environment it likes. Most shoes create heat around the foot because there is no real air flow that can reach your toes. This causes sweating and if there is a foot fungus around, its going to start a party with those conditions. Find a breathable shoe that keeps your foot cool, go barefoot if you can, and use orthotics that are specifically designed to remove moisture for best results.
Wear socks. Wearing shoes without socks causes the moisture from your sweat to remain around the foot for a longer period of time. This increases the risk of athletes foot forming. Throw on a pair of cotton socks and youll instantly reduce that risk.
Keep your toes dry. If wearing socks isnt keeping your toes dry enough, then consider placing some facial tissues between your toes. It feels a bit strange to do at first, but the moisture will be removed from the places on the foot where the fungus likes to grow and that lowers your risk of an infection. You will need to change out your tissues 4-6 times per day.
You can also check out these 10 natural remedies for Athletes Foot from Global Healing Center for more ideas.
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Who Gets Toenail Fungus
Men are more likely to get it than women. The older you are, the better your chances are, too. People who have diabetes, athlete’s foot, or a weak immune system, who smoke, or whose family members have it are also at a higher risk. If you spend a lot of time in the water or you’ve injured your toenail, your odds for getting toenail fungus go up.
What Is The Big Deal With Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus can easily be diagnosed. In fact, you don’t have to be an expert to notice discoloration on your toenails. The fungus often goes deep under your nails, which makes it nasty.
People hate this issue because of the visual effect. However, the fact it is hard to remove makes it so much more troublesome. It also quickly spreads, which means that it needs constant attention.
Unfortunately, antifungal drugs are powerful and can cause various side effects.
Perhaps the biggest issue is how these drugs impact the liver. They are very dangerous for people who have any liver issues, which is why you have to test your blood before taking drugs for toenail fungus. Even if everything looks fine, there is still a chance complications will occur.
As an alternative, doctors will often recommend topical creams. These products are much better as they don’t cause severe side effects. However, they are not as strong as regular oral drugs, which prolongs the whole treatment. Patients usually have to apply topical cream for several months until they notice any progress.
Home remedies are also a popular alternative.
Besides various oils and vinegar, many people use baking soda for toenail fungus.
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How Is Athletes Foot Diagnosed
A doctor may diagnose athletes foot by the symptoms. Or, a doctor may order a skin test if they arent sure a fungal infection is causing your symptoms.
A skin lesion potassium hydroxide exam is the most common test for athletes foot. A doctor scrapes off a small area of infected skin and places it in potassium hydroxide. The KOH destroys normal cells and leaves the fungal cells untouched so they are easy to see under a microscope.
How To Make A Vinegar Foot Soak
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Fortunately, theres a simple solution to your woes, and it can be found in your kitchen.
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Clean Socks And Shoes
Regularly changing your socks and shoes can also cut down on the growth of unwanted foot fungus. Both socks and athletic shoes can also be washed in hot water to rid the growth of yeasts and fungi that may be growing on the fabric. Some shoes can be machine dried. Drying shoes in the sun is another option when cleaning footwear.
Adding a half-cup of baking soda or one cup of vinegar to the washing machine can help eliminate bacteria or fungus on socks or shoes.
Boots and other footwear that are not machine washable could be wiped out with a vinegar and water solution or sprayed with an over-the-counter antifungal spray. Medicated powders are also helpful in treating shoes for foot fungus.
Allowing the feet to breathe by taking off shoes and socks when possible can prevent fungal growth. Protect your feet by wearing breathable footwear and clean socks. Antimicrobial socks and shoes made from bamboo, copper, or specialty fabrics are also available. They can help reduce unwanted bacteria and yeast from growing in your footwear.
A proactive approach to keeping your feet clean and dry can prevent the spread of toenail fungus. You can wash or soak feet with warm soapy water or a foot bath using everyday household items. Soaking your feet in an all-natural, homeopathic concoction can be beneficial in reducing or eliminating toenail fungus.
My Doctor Wants To Remove My Toenail Now What
Whether theres a nail bed fungal infection or just a really bad case of athletes foot, some doctors may choose to surgically remove an infected area instead of treating it. This isnt a common treatment option and is usually reserved for infections that dont respond to other treatments, such as applying high doses of Tinactin in combination while taking proactive prevention measures.
Toenails that are removed are generally quite yellow and extremely thick. They will be difficult to trim at home with clippers, even after a long period of soaking. The toenail remove is generally done as an outpatient procedure at a specialists office. A local anesthesia will be administered around the nail so the area is numb and then the entire nail will likely be removed.
An anti-fungal medication or prescription medications may be ordered after the procedure to prevent the nail from growing back as thick and yellow as before. It generally takes 4-8 months for this procedure to be effective.
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Athlete’s Foot Symptoms And Signs
- Most commonly, athlete’s foot is characterized by cracking and itchy, moist, white, scaly lesions or sores between the toes. It frequently spreads to the sole of the foot.
- Another type of athlete’s foot is a dry, scaly form that causes a reddish “moccasin-like” area over the soles of the feet. This type often affects both feet.
- Less frequently, this infection may involve painful blistering lesions.
How To Prevent Skin Fungi
Of course, you might employ some preventive measures to ensure that your skin remains free of fungi. Here are some useful tips:
- Wash your feet every day to keep them clean, especially between the toes
- Do not walk barefoot in public places.
- Choose cotton/woolen socks so that your feet dont get too sweaty.
- You can apply powder to prevent excessive sweating on your body
- Make sure that the skin around the genitals is dry and clean.
- Change your underwear often if you sweat a lot.
- Avoid tight-fitting clothes.
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How To Get Rid Of Foot Fungus Quickly
Have your toes lost their loving feeling? Instead of comfortable support, do your feet feel itchy? Is there rough or cracked skin between your toes? Or worse do your feet feel like they burn even when you arent having an awesome cardio session?
These are good indications that there may be an underlying foot fungus issue happening to the often sensitive skin of your feet.
Sometimes a foot fungus issue involves the toenails more than the skin of the foot and may not produce any bothersome symptoms but is still an issue that must be addressed so your feet can feel nice. Toenails that curl inward from the sides, are turning yellow, are becoming thicker, or may be consistently brittle could be the result of a fungus.
In most instances, a fungal infection of the feet is not a serious problem as long as you treat it. If foot fungus is left untreated, there is the possibility of an athletes foot problem moving from the toes to the entire foot. Cracks in the skin can grow deeper and cause painful, bleeding sores. Toenails can stop growing and may eventually die.
Knowing how to get rid of foot fungus quickly will help you be able to take proactive measures to make sure your feet are happy and comfortable every day.
Sprinkle On Talcum Powder
Talcum powder wont cure foot fungus, but it could help by keeping your feet clean and dry. This, in turn, could keep the fungus from growing and spreading. Sprinkle talcum powder on your feet or in your shoes daily for a week and see if it helps. Baby powder or even corn starch may have similar effects.
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Baking Soda For Toenail Fungus
People have used Sodium bicarbonate for centuries.
It is a substance that can help us with various conditions, not only with fungus. However, it is especially useful when it comes to skin and nail conditions due to its antifungal and antiseptic properties.
NaHCO is great as it exfoliates surface skin, which in turn destroys layers of fungus located on them. But, that is only a small reason why people use baking soda for toenail fungus. Its alkaline properties are much more important. Sodium bicarbonate creates an acidic environment making it quite hard for fungus to survive.
Baking soda also helps balance the pH level of the surrounding skin. That way, spores are no longer able to reproduce and inhabit the surrounding areas. This localizes the issue, making it easier to eradicate later on.
Another great benefit lies in soda’s ability to absorb moisture. Again, your feet need to be dry at all times. Toenail fungus will affect the whole toenail but is especially persistent beneath them. This area is really hard to dry, unlike surface nail, making it easier for fungus to inhabit. Baking soda effectively puts a stop to it. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should stop paying attention to whether or not your feet are dry. You will also have to do your part in eradicating this nasty condition.
Obviously, there are a lot of pros that should at least persuade you to try it.
Soaking Feet In Vinegar
Vinegar is a fairly acidic substance that strips away microorganisms in otherwise hard to reach places such as the feet. It is in this capacity that vinegar finds a great deal of use in homeopathic cleaning methods intended to save money and do less damage to the environment.
However, in its use in medicine, vinegars acidic properties are very good at dealing with a wide range of microorganisms, including the spores and molds that make up a foot fungus infection. Mixing one part vinegar and two parts water enough to fill a bucket or large bowl and then soaking your feet in it is a great way to purge a fungal infection in the feet.
There are, however, a few warnings that go along with this method. First, people with sensitive skin may find the acid bath on their feet to more painful than theyre comfortable doing with any regularity.
If your skin is sensitive, you may not want to try this more than once, if at all. Additionally, this method must be used on a strict regimen of treatment, meaning that youll want to soak your feet in the vinegar and water mixture for 10 to 15 minutes once a day without stopping until the infection is totally cleared. Only doing this periodically will result in the treatment working poorly, if at all.
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Symptoms Of Athlete’s Foot
Athletes foot can infect one or both of your feet. Although its primarily an infection of the foot, it can spread to your hands if you scratch or pick at the infected areas on your feet. Symptoms of athletes foot include:
- A red or white scaly rash
- A rash that starts between your toes
- Itching, especially right after removing footwear
- Blisters or ulcers
- Chronic dryness and scaling on the soles of the feet, which can also extend up the side of your foot. This is caused by the moccasin variety of athletes foot.
The Danger Of Waiting To Treat The Fungus
The greatest danger of not treating the foot or toenail fungus is that it can spread to other parts of the body, such as the hands and groin.
If for some reason you cant treat your toenails or your feet right away, at least use an antifungal topical cream on the surrounding skin, Dr. Ng says. That will help keep it from spreading and keep the skin intact.
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Take It Easy At First
Athletes foot can come on suddenly and be accompanied by oozing blisters and intermittent burning, says Frederick Hass, MD, a family medicine physician in San Rafael, California. When youre going through this acute stage, baby your foot. Keep it uncovered and at constant rest. Although the inflammation itself is not dangerous, it can lead to a bacterial infection if youre not careful.
Home Remedies: Foot Fungal Infections
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that usually begins between the toes. It commonly occurs in people whose feet have become very sweaty while confined within tight-fitting shoes.
Athlete’s foot is closely related to other fungal infections such as ringworm and jock itch. It can be treated with over-the-counter antifungal medications, but the infection often recurs. Prescription medications also are available.
Athlete’s foot usually causes a scaly red rash. The rash typically begins in between the toes. Itching is often the worst right after you take off your shoes and socks. Some types of athlete’s foot feature blisters or ulcers. The moccasin variety of athlete’s foot causes chronic dryness and scaling on the soles that extends up the side of the foot. It can be mistaken for eczema or even as dry skin. The infection can affect one or both feet and can spread to your hand especially if you scratch or pick at the infected parts of your feet.
Athlete’s foot is caused by the same type of fungus that causes ringworm and jock itch. Damp socks and shoes and warm, humid conditions favor the organisms’ growth.
These tips can help you avoid athlete’s foot or ease the symptoms if infection occurs:
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