Fungal infections on the skin of the feet are referred to as tinea pedis or commonly, Athlete's Foot. When fungus spreads to the nail, this is called onychomycosis.
Risks for Fungal Infection
Nails that are exposed to moisture and warmth a lot are more likely to get infected by a fungus. This can happen from wearing sweaty shoes often and from walking barefoot on shower floors. Or it can happen if you share personal things, such as towels and nail clippers. Genetics also play a role in the risk of developing a fungal infection; if mom or dad developed fungal infections, you are at a higher risk of developing the same infection.
A nail that is infected by a fungus usually turns white or yellow. As the fungus spreads, the nail turns a darker color and gets thicker. And the nail edges start to turn ragged and crumble. A bad infection can cause pain, and the nail may pull away from the toe or finger.
It's hard to treat nail fungus. And the infection can return after it has cleared up. But medicines can sometimes get rid of nail fungus for good. If the infection is very bad, or if it causes a lot of pain, you may need to have the nail removed.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Athlete's foot is an itchy rash on the foot caused by an infection with a fungus. You can get it by going barefoot in wet public areas, such as swimming pools or locker rooms. Many times there is no clear reason why you get athlete's foot. You can easily treat athlete's foot by putting medicine on your feet for 1 to 6 weeks. In some cases, a doctor may prescribe pills to kill the fungus.
Tinea Pedis frequently presents with a dry, scaling rash on the bottom of the feet.
How can you care for yourself at home?
Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you have any problems with your medicine.
If your doctor gave you a cream or liquid to put on your nail, use it exactly as directed.
Wash your hands and feet often, and wash your hands after touching your feet.
Keep your nails clean and dry. Dry your feet completely after you bathe and before you put on shoes and socks.
Keep your nails trimmed.
Change socks often. Wear dry socks that absorb moisture.
Don't go barefoot in public places.
Use a spray or powder that fights fungus on your feet and in your shoes.
Don't pick at the skin around your nails.
Don't use nail polish or fake nails on your nails.
Don't share personal things, such as towels and nail clippers.
Wear flip-flops or other shower sandals in public locker rooms and showers and by the pool.
Dry between your toes after swimming or bathing.
Wear leather shoes or sandals, which let air get to your feet.
Change your socks as needed so your feet stay as dry as possible.
Use antifungal powder on your feet.
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