The Ins and Outs of a Fungal Foot Infection
Itchy Scaly Toes?
Have you ever wondered why your feet often itch or become red and scaly? You may be suffering from a fungal skin infection. Fungus commonly attacks the feet because shoes create a warm, dark, and humid environment that encourages fungus growth. The warmth and dampness of areas around swimming pools, showers, and locker rooms, are breeding grounds for fungi.
The fungus causes redness, cracking, itching and sometimes blisters on, around or between the toes. Drying your feet thoroughly, wearing protective flip flops in the shower room, and applying talcum powder regularly can help prevent the fungus from spreading. In many cases a prescription topical medication is necessary to cure the infection.
However, not all fungal conditions the same! Other conditions, such as disturbances of the sweat mechanism reaction to dyes or adhesives in shoes, eczema, and psoriasis, may also mimic a fungal infection.
Symptoms of a fungal skin infection
The signs and symptoms of a fungal skin infection can occur singly or in combination:
- Drying skin
Blisters often lead to cracking of the skin. When blisters break, small raw areas of tissue are exposed, causing pain and swelling. Itching and burning may increase as the infection spreads. Fungal skin infections may spread to other parts of the body, notably the groin and underarms, by those who scratch the infection and then touch these areas of the body. The organism causing athlete’s foot may persist for long periods of time. Consequently, the infection may be spread by contaminated bed sheets or clothing to other parts of the body. Yuck.
Hot to prevent a fungal skin infection:
- Practice good foot hygiene
- Avoid walking barefoot; use shower shoes or flip flops
- Wear light and airy shoes
- Wear socks that keep your feet dry, and change them frequently if you perspire heavily.
If an apparent fungus condition does not respond to proper foot hygiene and self care, and there is no improvement within two weeks, make an appointment for a routine foot care check up and let us help you put your best feet forward in the Summer of ’17.