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Foot Fungus: What is it, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment


Foot Fungus: What is it, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Foot fungus is one of the common types of infections that can be seen in women and children, especially men. Since fungi thrive in dark and moist environments, they can settle in body folds, groins and between the fingers. Foot fungus also develops on the fingers, between the fingers and on the nail, creating important symptoms for the patient. Since the symptoms of foot fungus can significantly negatively affect a person’s daily life, its treatment should not be delayed.

What is Foot Fungus?

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that occurs on the tops and bottoms of the feet, between the toes, and toenails. Athlete’s foot is an infection caused by fungi, mostly from the Trichophyton or Epidermophyton genera, and is highly contagious. Therefore, to prevent foot fungus, keep your feet clean and dry, choose breathable shoes instead of sweaty shoes, and wear towels, slippers, etc. It is important to avoid sharing items. The treatment process for foot fungus may vary depending on the severity and prevalence of the infection, but generally antifungal creams and medications are sufficient for treatment.

What are the Symptoms of Foot Fungus?

Since the symptoms of foot fungus are often disturbing, they can negatively affect a person’s daily life. Itching in the infected area, which is one of the most common symptoms of foot fungus, should be resisted as itching can cause the infection to spread. Foot fungus symptoms usually appear on the top or bottom of the feet, between the toes, and on the toenails. The most common symptoms of athlete’s foot include:

  • Itching and burning sensation
  • Skin redness and blisters
  • Skin peeling and flaking
  • Cracks in the skin
  • Bad smell
  • Color changes in toenails
  • Thickening, decay or splitting of nails
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Who Gets Foot Fungus?

Although foot fungus is more common in men, it can also be seen in women and children, but it is more common in certain situations. Risk factors that increase the likelihood of foot fungus include:

  • Humid and hot environments: Sweating causes the feet to remain moist, creating a favorable environment for the development of fungus. Therefore, athletes, swimmers and people who are actively moving are at risk of foot fungus.
  • Diabetes: In diabetes, unbalanced blood sugar levels increase the risk of fungal infections in the feet, as well as many diseases.
  • Weak immune system: Since a weak immune system increases the risk of all kinds of infections in the body, it also affects the occurrence of fungal infections.
  • Family history: People with a family history of recurrent athlete’s foot are more likely to have foot fungus.
  • Injuries to the feet: Injuries and cracks in the feet prepare the environment for fungal infections to occur.
  • Old age: As we age, the skin becomes worn, dry and thin. Thus, this wear and tear on the feet creates a suitable environment for fungal infection.

How is Foot Fungus Diagnosed?

Diagnosis of foot fungus is usually made by a dermatologist or foot doctor based on physical examination and symptoms. Most of the time, a doctor can check for signs and spread of a yeast infection by listening for symptoms and examining the infected area. But athlete’s foot can be confused with other skin infections and skin diseases. In this case, the doctor may order a laboratory test to determine the cause of the infection by taking samples, skin and nail scrapings. Tests used to diagnose foot fungus include:

  • Fungal culture: The doctor creates a fungal culture by taking a sample and scraping from the infected area and can use it to determine the cause of the infection.
  • Microscopic examination: The doctor can determine the type of fungi in the infected area by examining a portion of the sample taken beforehand under a microscope.
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What are the Types of Foot Fungus?

There are various types of athlete’s foot because athlete’s foot is caused by infections caused by different types of fungi. The most common types of foot fungus can be listed as follows:

  • Interdigital fungus: Also known as intertriginous, interdigital fungus is one of the most common types of foot fungus that occurs between the toes. It manifests itself with symptoms such as itching, burning, skin peeling and flaking.
  • Plantar fungus: Plantar fungus is a fungus that occurs on the soles of the feet and can cause skin thickening, cracking and pain.
  • Distal subungual onychomycosis: In distal subungual onychomycosis that starts from the tips of the toenails and spreads to the nail; Symptoms such as thickening, discoloration, decay or splitting of the nail are observed.
  • Proximal subungual onychomycosis: This infection starts at the base of the toenails and spreads to the nail bed; It causes conditions such as thickening, discoloration and decay in the nail.
  • Vesicular fungus (Vesiculobullous): Also known as blistering fungal infection, vesiculobullous causes blisters and blisters on the feet and toes.
  • Candidiasis: Candidiasis infection, caused by a fungus called Candida, affects the toenails and between the toes, causing a discoloration towards white and causing cracks and blisters on the skin.

What are the Dangerous Consequences of Foot Fungus?

Although foot fungus is not normally a serious health problem, it can cause long-term discomfort when left untreated. Dangerous consequences of untreated foot fungus include:

  • Chronic infection: If athlete’s foot is left untreated, it can become chronic and much harder to heal.
  • Development of other infections: Since it becomes easier for bacteria to settle in infected skin areas, other bacterial infections may occur as a result of long-lasting athlete’s foot infection.
  • Foot odor: Although foot odor is not actually a dangerous consequence, it is one of the important consequences of foot fungus as it can seriously negatively affect a person’s daily life and social life.
  • Skin lesions: Itching and blisters resulting from foot fungus can spread on the skin over time and cause significant skin lesions.
  • Prolonged healing time: When foot fungus is left untreated or recurs frequently, the healing process of the next foot fungus takes longer.
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Foot Fungus Treatment Methods?

There are different options for foot fungus treatment, depending on the type and severity of the infection. Applications for the treatment of foot fungus can be explained as follows:

  • Topical antifungal cream or ointment: Creams and ointments used in the treatment of foot fungus are applied directly to the infected area. It is generally effective in treating mild and moderate fungal infections.
  • Oral antifungal medications: Oral antifungal medications can often be prescribed along with creams or ointments. Oral medications are needed when the fungal infection is more widespread or severe.
  • Foot baths: Foot baths that you can prepare at home to treat foot fungus; You can add salt, vinegar, tea tree oil or water-soluble antifungal medications.
  • Foot hygiene: Foot hygiene constitutes an important part of the treatment of foot fungus. Airing, washing, cleaning and drying your feet every day significantly reduces the development of foot fungus.
  • Cutting toenails: If you have a fungal infection on your toenails, the doctor may want you to cut the nails or use an antifungal medication applied directly to the nail bed.

What Should Be Done to Prevent Foot Fungus?

Since preventive treatment has a great place in foot fungus, you can avoid frequent foot fungus problems by taking various precautions. Precautions that can be taken to protect against foot fungus can be listed as follows:

  • Keeping your feet clean and dry
  • Not sharing towels, socks, slippers and shoes
  • Choosing shoes that do not sweat
  • Changing socks frequently
  • Feet should be exposed to sunlight and aired regularly
  • Wearing slippers by the pool or in shared shower areas
  • Pay attention to care by cutting your toenails regularly
  • Follow the symptoms of foot fungus and get early treatment


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