Regardless of how clean you are, your feet are always in contact with fungus and bacteria that can cause infection. Because this week is Fungal Disease Awareness Week, in today’s post Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen of greater Philadelphia’s Your Next Step Foot and Ankle Care Center are sharing information regarding a couple of the most common fungal infections known to affect the feet.
Fungal foot infections are uncomfortable and unattractive, but toenail infections and athlete’s foot are some common infections that affect the feet. Let’s look at them in more detail.
Toenail fungus is a widespread foot condition. Typically located beneath the nail, it can penetrate the toenail itself.
When toenail fungus is ignored, it usually spreads and affects your ability to walk, stand, or run comfortably. In our office, we have found that the first symptom most patients observe is the toenail changing color.
This fungal foot infection is a skin disease caused by a fungus that typically develops between the toes.
Symptoms of athlete’s foot include:
- Dry skin
In some cases, athlete’s foot spreads to the bottom of the feet and the toenails. If you scratch the infected area and touch other parts of your body, such as the armpits or face it can also affect those other parts of the body.
This type of fungal infection can happen anywhere that feet come in contact with fungi, such as in locker rooms, dressing rooms, and showers. It can also grow and thrive in areas of the body that are commonly damp, such as sweating of the feet or underarms.
We recommend our patients follow these approaches to prevent athlete’s foot:
- Wear shower shoes in public areas
- Choose socks that wick moisture away, and change them often
- Don’t walk barefoot
- Wear airy shoes
- Apply talcum powder to soak up perspiration.