With the holidays comes the time to show our feet and slip on our shoes. Sometimes we find yellowish toenails; small cracks in the foot plant or between the fingers … and this, besides constituting an aesthetic problem can affect the health of our feet. Athlete’s foot or tinea pedis is also a fungal infection that caused by dermatophyte fungi that can spread between the toes, plant, and edges.
WHAT TYPES OF FUNGAL INFECTIONS CAN APPEAR ON THE FEET?
These fungi could be live on the dead tissues of the hair and nails and in the outer layers of the skin.
Ringworm of the nails (tinea unguium or onychomycosis ) is an infection that affects keratin nails caused by the same type of fungus athlete’s foot. It can partially or totally damage the nail, affecting to the root.
One-third of people who have athlete’s foot also develop onychomycosis since the fungus easily spreads if the infection of the skin is not treated.
WHY DO THEY OCCUR?
The fungi that cause these infections can grow favorably in hot and humid environments, so their presence is more common in summer.
When your feet get wet for a long time that will be ideal for the proliferation of the same habitat is created, such as the use of closed shoes, which cause excessive sweating of the feet.
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Another factor that favors the spread of foot fungus is the use of public facilities, such as swimming pools, gyms, public bathroom floors, etc.
They are a highly contagious infection that can be transmitted from one person to another very easily, as well as from one area of the foot to another.
There are also certain factors that increase the risk of developing toenail fungi, such as previous damage to the nails or nearby skin or diabetes or psoriasis.
WHAT SYMPTOMS DO THEY PRESENT?
The most common signs and symptoms of athlete’s foot include cracking, peeling, redness, itching and/or burning of the skin of the feet. Sometimes blisters or small scales appear on the sole of the foot, together with bad smell.
The onychomycosis develops slowly and causes brittleness, discoloration, thickening and deformation of the nail that can become white, black or yellow. Usually, no pain is felt, but the problem is more at the aesthetic level.
HOW TO PREVENT THEM?
To prevent foot fungus, it is important to wear bath slippers in public areas, wear open shoes or allow breathability of feet, good daily hygiene with soap and water, deep drying and use of foot deodorant powders to remove excess sweat.
The main sources of contagion are other people with this problem since the fungi are transmitted very easily.
HOW TO TREAT THEM?
They deal mainly with antifungal topical, that is medication in cream, powder or solution is applied directly to the affected area.
These medicines usually contain active substances such as clotrimazole, miconazole, tioconazole, or tolnaftate, and treatment should continue one to two weeks after the infection has subsided to prevent relapse.
As an additional measure, the feet should always be kept clean and dry, so wash them with soap and water at least twice a day and dry them thoroughly (using a blower if necessary).
In 65% of the cases, the infection does not disappear completely, appearing again in less than two years. In these relapses, new antifungal agents are used, but in this case oral.
It is important to follow the prescribed treatment thoroughly, applying the necessary doses daily, as well as prolonging the necessary time stipulated by the doctor, although at first glance the infection is no longer observed.
In addition, it is usually applied to both feet, since although the symptoms have manifested only in one of them, it is very likely that the other foot is also infected.