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What Are The Symptoms Of Foot Fungus

How Does This Condition Affect My Body

Causes, Symptoms And Treatment For Foot Fungus

Athletes foot commonly affects the skin between your toes. Your skin may change color, crack, peel and flake. Your skin may also turn a lighter color and become thicker and swollen.

Athletes foot can spread across the bottom of your foot or feet. This is moccasin athletes foot. In feet with moccasin athletes foot, the skin on the bottoms, heels and edges of your feet are dry, itchy and scaly.

In severe cases of athletes foot, you may develop fluid-filled blisters or open sores. Blisters often appear on the bottoms of your feet, but they may develop anywhere on them. Open sores often appear between your toes, but they may also appear on the bottoms of your feet. Your feet might also smell bad, too.

When To Get Treatment

Cellulitis is always a medical emergency. If you see a red streak moving up your foot, get immediate medical help.

Cellulitis is typically caused by a break in the skin. It’s especially common in people with diabetes or poor blood circulation. S. aureus and Streptococcus are the most likely causes.

Simple cases may be treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics for between five and 14 days. Serious cases may require hospitalization with intravenous antibiotics and fluids.

Home Remedies: Fighting Foot Fungus

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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Pathogen Species Of Athletes Foot

  • Filamentous fungi : dermatophytes are the most common pathogens of the disease. They cleave human keratin and feed on this horny substance. They spread mainly in the cornea, hair, and nails.
  • Molds : They prefer moist, warm environments, such as those found in skin folds, on mucous membranes, or on the toes. They can also infest the internal organism .
  • Yeast fungi : They cannot cleave keratin but can settle on an already existing fungal infection.

Fungi and pathogens feel most comfortable in moist and warm conditions. This is why feet are so susceptible to infection. Usually, the skins acid mantle can fight off the fungus well, and no disease develops.

However, when minor injuries occur, such as cracks in the skin of the feet or blisters on foot caused by pressure, the pathogen can easily penetrate the upper layer of the skin.

An athletes foot often develops between the toes, as this is where skin lies on the skin and can thus form and hold moisture particularly easily.

The moist environment on the feet and toes causes a slight swelling or softening of the skin, and this provides the ideal growth conditions for the skin fungus.

The fungi can easily penetrate the softened skin and slowly spread.

What Will Happen If Athletes Foot Is Left Untreated

What is Toenail Fungus?

Athletes foot doesnt typically go away on its own. If its left untreated, it can spread to other areas of your body, including your:

  • Nails: Fungal nail infections can be more difficult to treat. They are often more resistant to many treatments.
  • Hands: A similar fungal infection can spread to your hands. This happens when you scratch your infected feet or use the same towel to dry off your infected feet and hands.
  • Groin: The same fungus that causes athletes foot can also spread to your groin. Its a condition called jock itch. The fungus typically spreads from your feet to your groin after using a towel to dry off after bathing or swimming.

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Prevention Of Athletes Foot

  • Keeping feet clean and dry
  • Washing your feet with soap after exercising
  • Avoiding wearing heavy, closed shoes or thick socks
  • Changing socks often
  • Making sure socks are washed between uses
  • Using antifungal foot powder on feet and in shoes
  • Wearing flip-flops in gym showers or locker rooms to avoid contact with fungi
  • Airing your feet out by taking your shoes off, or wearing sandals, as often as possible
  • Avoiding public swimming pools and public showers
  • Not sharing with others items used during exercise

Try wearing only cotton socks, which are more effective at absorbing sweat. If possible, choose footwear made with breathable materials, such as leather. Shoes made of vinyl and similar materials can retain sweat and create an environment for fungi to grow. When youre doing laundry, consider using hot water and bleach, which can kill fungi in ways detergent cant.

What Does Athlete’s Foot Look Like

Fungal athlete’s foot may cause a rash on one or both feet and even involve the hand. A “two feet and one hand” pattern is a very common presentation of an athlete’s foot, especially in men.

  • Hand fungal infections are called tinea manuum.
  • Fungal athlete’s foot may also be seen along with ringworm of the groin or hand.
  • It is helpful to examine the feet whenever there is a fungal groin rash called tinea cruris, or jock itch.
  • It is important to treat all areas of fungal infection at one time to avoid reinfection.
  • Simply treating the soles and ignoring the concurrent fungal infection of toenails may result in recurrences of athlete’s foot.

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See A Dermatologist To Pinpoint The Problem

Foot fungus wont just go away on its own, Dr. Ng says. If you think you have foot or toenail fungus, see your dermatologist, she says. There are several tests that your dermatologist can perform to identify exactly whats going on.

Its important to be aware that there are other diseases which can cause nail changes, she says. For example, we do see things like squamous cell skin cancers in the nail beds and even melanomas, which have a brownish or blackish discoloration.

Signs And Symptoms Of A Fungal Nail Infection

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A fungal nail infection may not cause any obvious symptoms at first.

As it progresses, the infection can cause:

  • discolouration of the nail it may turn white, black, yellow or green
  • thickening and distortion of the nail it may become an unusual shape or texture and be difficult to trim
  • pain or discomfort particularly when using or placing pressure on the affected toe or finger
  • brittle or crumbly nails pieces may break off and come away completely

Sometimes the skin nearby may also become infected and be itchy and cracked or red and swollen.

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How Do I Avoid Athletes Foot

  • Keep your feet dry. The athlete’s foot fungus loves warm and moist conditions.
  • Avoid sharing towels and communal bathing.
  • Wash socks and shoes regularly.
  • Use antifungal sprays to beat stubborn cases.

If persistent or if you feel unwell, see a doctor.

The following tips may prevent athlete’s foot recurring:

  • Wash your feet daily, and dry the skin between your toes thoroughly after washing. This is perhaps the most important point. It is tempting to put socks on when your feet are not quite dry. The soggy skin between the toes is then ideal for fungi to grow.
  • Do not share towels in communal changing rooms. Wash towels frequently.
  • Change your socks daily. Fungi may multiply in flakes of skin in unwashed socks. Cotton socks and leather footwear are probably better than nylon socks and plastic footwear, which increase sweating.
  • Ideally, alternate between different shoes every 2-3 days to allow each pair to dry out fully after being worn.
  • Ideally, wear flip-flops or plastic sandals in communal changing rooms and showers. This prevents the soles of your feet coming into contact with the ground, which may contain flakes of skin from other people.
  • Ideally, when at home, leave your shoes and socks off as much as possible to let the air get to your feet. However, this may not be practical for some people.
  • If athlete’s foot keeps coming back, you may be able to prevent this by using one of the antifungal sprays or creams regularly as a precaution.

What Is The Best Cure For Athletes Foot

Over-the-counter and prescription antifungal creams, ointments, gels, sprays or powders effectively treat athletes foot. These products contain clotrimazole, miconazole, tolnaftate or terbinafine.

Some prescription antifungal medications are pills. These pills contain fluconazole, itraconazole or terbinafine.

Its important to finish your full course of medicine. If you stop too soon, your athletes foot may come back and be harder to treat.

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What Are The Best Solutions For Fungal Infections

Fungal infections are common, contagious, prone to reinfection, and very uncomfortable. So how do you get rid of them for good? The right home treatment can let you address it directly, privately, and effectively. In more severe cases, you may need to seek a doctors advice.

Lets check out these antifungal problems for athletes foot and other skin conditions.

Foot Fungus Symptoms: How To Get Rid Of Foot Fungus

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Foot Fungus, otherwise known as onychomycosis is a common fungal infection that affects the toes. It is generally spread by two methods: direct and indirect. Direct spread happens when the affected individual breaks or crumbles a pair of socks, or enters a public shower where the spores have been introduced by dirty water.

Indirect spread occurs when fungi are living on or in clothes or on items brought into the home, such as towels and clothing stored in closets. The first step in catching an athletes foot fungus is to check your shoes for signs of an infection.

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How Is Athletes Foot Treated

Athletes foot can often be treated with over-the-counter topical antifungal medications. If OTC medications dont treat your infection, your doctor may prescribe topical or oral prescription-strength antifungal medications. Your doctor may also recommend home treatments to help clear up the infection.

Risk Factors That Favor Athletes Foot

Certain factors favor the development of an athletes foot. In general, it can be said that people with poor circulation and people who sweat a lot on their feet are more at risk.The risk groups include especially smokers, diabetes, people with circulatory disorders, and lack of exercise.

Weakened health and poor circulation in the feet promote the development of the athletes foot.

But athletes are also often affected by an infestation of the fungus due to the tight sports shoes in which a lot of sweating occurs.

The same applies to people who have to wear air-impermeable shoes for professional reasons .

Foot deformities such as flat feet, splay feet, hammertoes, or a genetic predisposition also play into the hands of an athletes foot.

Men are more often affected than women, and infections occur more quickly in older people than younger ones.

Athletes foot is contagious. As with many other infections , the fungi are spread through contact infection through infected skin flakes or direct physical contact with an infected person.

People who have athletes feet spread the pathogen unintentionally through their skin scales.

Since the fungus can survive well for a long time without its host, the risk of infection lurks significantly often in public places where people walk barefoot.

Examples of places with an increased risk of infection are swimming pools, hotel rooms, or changing rooms.

Furthermore, the infection can also happen through direct skin contact with the feet.

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What Is Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is a type of fungal skin infection. Fungi are microscopic plant-like organisms that thrive in damp, warm environments. They’re usually not dangerous, but sometimes can cause disease. When they infect the skin, they cause mild but annoying rashes. Fungal skin infections are also known as tinea infections.

When fungus grows on the feet, it is called athlete’s foot . It got this name because it affects people whose feet tend to be damp and sweaty, which is often the case with athletes. But anyone can get this infection.

Other fungal skin infections include jock itch and ringworm .

These infections are caused by several types of mold-like fungi called dermatophytes that live on the dead tissues of your skin, hair, and nails.

What Are The Symptoms Of Athletes Foot

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Your symptoms depend on the type of athletes foot that you have.

  • Toe web infection: A toe web infection is the most common type of athletes foot. It typically affects the skin between your fourth toe and fifth toe . Your skin may change color, crack, peel or flake.
  • Moccasin-type infection: A moccasin-type infection affects the bottoms of your feet, your heels and the edges of your feet. Your feet may be sore for a few days. Then, the skin on the bottom of your feet thickens and cracks. In rare cases, your toenails may get infected. They can thicken, break into small pieces and fall out.
  • Vesicular-type infection: A vesicular-type infection typically affects the bottom of your feet, but it may appear anywhere on them. A vesicular-type infection features bumps or fluid-filled blisters .
  • Ulcerative infection: An ulcerative infection is the rarest type of athletes foot. Open sores often appear between your toes. Open sores may also appear on the bottom of your feet.

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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.

Treating Fungal Nail Infection

Treatment may not be necessary in mild cases of fungal nail infection. For more severe or troublesome cases, antifungal medication may be recommended.

A fungal nail infection is unlikely to get better without treatment, but if you’re not bothered by it you might decide it’s not worth treating because treatment can take a long time, may cause side effects, and isn’t always effective.

Whether or not you decide to have treatment, you should still follow the self-help advice below to help stop the condition getting worse or spreading to others.

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What Kind Of Doctor Treats Athlete’s Foot

Dermatologists specialize in the treatment of skin disorders, including athlete’s foot. You may find a board-certified dermatologist through . Additionally, family medicine physicians, internal medicine physicians, pediatricians, podiatrists , and other practitioners may also treat this common infection. Most primary care physicians can treat athlete’s feet successfully.

Causes Of Foot Fungus

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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
  • Diabetes
  • Showering in public places like dressing rooms at public pools, gyms, schools, etc.
  • Activities that involve exertion

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Are There Any Home Remedies For Athletes Foot

There are a few home remedies that may help prevent or treat athletes foot.

Some essential oils can prevent or stop the growth of bacteria. These include tea tree, bitter orange, peppermint and eucalyptus oils. However, they may not completely get rid of a fungal infection.

Garlic contains a compound called ajoene. Ajoene can prevent or stop the growth of bacteria. But, like essential oils, it may not completely get rid of a fungal infection like athletes foot.

Burows solution can reduce moisture in an area and help dry out blisters or soft, wet and wrinkly skin .

If youre allergic to essential oils, garlic or Burows solution, dont use them to treat your athletes foot.

Images Of Athletes Foot Classification Of Symptoms

You can see the athletes foot between the toes on the left of the first picture, the so-called interdigital expression. This type can be easily recognized in the early stages by itching or burning the feet.

In addition, the spaces between the toes are reddened, the skin is often swollen and sometimes already torn.

The middle picture shows the squamous-hyperkeratotic form of the fungal infection. Symptomatic is dry and scaly skin in the sole, often on the heel. In addition, the edge of the feet and the tips of the toes may be affected.

In this type of disease, it is usually difficult to interpret the symptoms correctly. Dry skin on the feet is often ignored.

The dyshidrotic form of the athletes foot is visible in the picture on the right. Typical for this type are small itchy blisters, which are perceived as red spots. These often occur in the arch or the outside of the foot.

Various forms of athletes foot:

  • Interdigital: Dry, scaly, swollen skin.
  • Squamous-hyperkeratotic: Especially foot edges, toe tips, and heels are affected
  • Dyshidrotic: Itchy blisters, especially in the arch of the foot
  • Moccasin: Mostly dry, scaly, white, or slightly reddened skin on the soles of the feet in the form of a moccasin
  • Oligosymptomatic: slight redness of the spaces between the toes, scaling on the heels and edges of the feet, often accompanied by nail fungus

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