Recognizing Fungal Infection of the Feet & Its Treatment and Prevention

Fungal infection of the skin is one of the most common problems that affect people. Skin infection occurs when microscopic bacteria or fungi attack the upper dermis of your skin and the most common of it is fungal infection. Some of the common places of your body that can get affected with fungal infections are areas like your groins, underarms, palms and very commonly your feet. Hence those skin parts that are covered or kept in close contact with adjoining body skin or which are exposed to touching various surfaces of the outer environment are more susceptible to acquire the condition of fungal skin problems.

Fungal Skin Infections of the Feet

It has been seen that the human feet are the most common place where fungal infections attack human skin. This is because your feet are often exposed to various surfaces and public platforms like the common washroom floors, the community pool floor, locker rooms which could be infested with various types of harmful bacteria and fungi1. Adding to this whole scenario, the long hours in tight shoes and sweaty soggy socks and improper foot hygiene and care can also contribute to the breakout of skin problems on your feet. Hence skin infections like jock itch, athlete’s foot, yeast infections, and ringworms happen to be more than common. These infections are more prone in an area that has a hot, humid and moist climate making it much more suitable for the growth of the fungi that causes such feet skin infection1.

How to Recognize Fungal Skin Infection of the Feet?

Understanding the symptoms of common feet skin infections like yeast infections, athlete’s foot, and jock itch is never quite easy. There are at least four different types of fungi that can cause athlete’s foot and it is needless to say that the symptoms in each of this different athlete’s foot caused due to different fungi can be quite different.

The symptoms which help in recognizing fungal skin infection of the feet1,2 are:

Changes in the Feet Skin: One of the most important symptoms that can be signs for any sort of feet skin infection are scaling, cracking and peeling of the feet skin. These are symptoms that something is not right with the immediately upper layer of your skin. You can try first-hand lotions and creams, however, if there is no improvement seeing a doctor is the best thing to do.

Skin Breaking: The next level of symptoms will come from skin breakage of the feet. You can see the formation of blisters, red patches and even breaking down of the skin leading to the formation of blood and even slight pus formation.

Itching and Burning of the Feet as a Sign of Fungal Skin Infection: One of the first signs of feet fungal infections comes through the sensations of itching and burning of the feet. Either one of the symptoms can persist or both the symptoms can occur at the same point of time.

Pain: The other most common and unmistakable symptom is the existence of pain and swelling. In most of the cases with the worsening of the symptoms, the pain and the color of the skin become all the more prominent. In certain case, a yellowish or greenish patch formation is seen which is an indication of pus formation.

Treatment of Fungal Skin Infection of the Feet

Treating fungal skin infections of the feet as soon as possible is the best thing to do. Otherwise, it can really affect your quality of life and can make matters really problematic for you. Hence one must see a doctor for getting proper advice and medication. Some of the treatment methods for fungal skin infection of the feet2 are:

Over-the-counter Medicines of Fungal Skin Infections of the Foot: The market, in general, has a large number of creams, ointments, and lotions that can be used for tropical application or administration. In many cases, these creams are mild steroids that fight the fungal infection to restore original skin.

Oral Medicine: If the situation is not brought under control with proper tropical medication, then there might be a requirement that certain oral medicines are given to the person. These medicines are quite common and are easily available over-the-counters with a proper doctor’s prescription. Generally, a course for five days to a week is required so that the fungal foot infection is completely eradicated and the chances of recurrence are reduced.

Feet Care to Treat Fungal Skin Infection of the Foot: It must be remembered that various types of feet fungal infections often happens when we fail to take proper care of our feet. It is only common that your feet will come in contact with different forms and types of surfaces. Often the shoes one wears is also not clean enough and that can affect your feet skin to a great extent. Hence proper care of the feet must be taken so that it is kept clean and healthy on a regular basis.

Prevention of Fungal Skin Infection of the Feet

Prevention is always better than cure. When it comes to your feet and the fungal skin infections of the feet this is a rule that one has to follow. Hence the below mentioned measures of prevention can be followed to keep fungal skin infections of the feet at bay.

No Tight Shoes: Try to abstain from tight shoes as much as possible. This makes your feet soggy and sweaty over a while. This is a condition that is the most conducive for the growth of fungal infections.

Change Socks Daily: It is important that you wear clean socks on a daily basis if you want to prevent fungal skin infections of the feet. Try to wear cotton socks that also help your skin to breathe.

Leave your Feet Open for a while: At least for some stretches in the day leave your feet open so that the skin can breathe.

Wash your Feet Regularly: At the end of the day, before you go to sleep, wash your feet every day. If possible apply a mild scrubber and exfoliating cream to remove all the dead cells. Apply some light cream to keep your feet properly moisturized.

Clip Nails to Prevent Fungal skin Infections of the Feet: Your nails are the place where a majority of dirt and infectious fungi may take refuge3. Hence clipping your nails from time to time and scrubbing your toes is a good idea for the proper health of your feet3.

Conclusion

On a closing note, it must also be said that the diet that you eat on a regular basis affects the health of your feet skin to a great extent. Try to eat as much fruits, vegetables, and greens as possible. This will provide the required vitamins and minerals for your skin and hence will keep your feet skin supple and healthy. A proper lifestyle, hygiene, and a little care can help you prevent various fungal skin infections and can make your feet beautiful and attractive like never before.

References:

  1. Johnson, J. (November, 2018). “What you need to know about fungal infections”. Medical News Today. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317970.php
  2. Masucci, N. and Jones, L. (August 2017). “Management and Treatment Options for common foot conditions”. The Pharmaceutical Journal. Retrieved from https://www.pharmaceutical-journal.com/learning/learning-article/management-and-treatment-options-for-common-foot-conditions/20203233.article?firstPass=false
  3. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.(June 2017). Fungal nail infection. Clinical Knowledge Summaries. Retrieved from https://cks.nice.org.uk/fungal-nail-infection#!scenario

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