Athlete’s foot is a common infection caused by a fungus and it usually occurs between the toes. The fungus most commonly attacks the feet because footwear creates a warm, dark, and humid environment that encourages fungus growth.
The sign’s of athlete’s foot, singly or combined, are drying skin, itching scaling, inflammation, and blisters. Athlete’s foot may spread to the soles of the feet and to the toenails.
Podiatry treatment – This is is not a serious condition and can be treated with antifungal cream. However, not all skin infections are athlete’s foot. Other conditions, such as disturbances of the sweat mechanism, reaction to dyes or adhesives in shoes, eczema and psoriasis may also mimic athlete’s foot. It is advisable to see a podiatrist if the condition persists.
Fungal Nail Infection
Fungal infection of toenails is a common foot health problem. A fungal nail infection is four times more likely to develop in a toenail than a fingernail. Many people ignore the infection because it can be present for years without ever causing pain.
A fungal infection in the skin is prone to spreading to the nails and the nail bed. This causes the nails to become thickened and discoloured, they may be yellow, brown, or black. The nails become unsightly, difficult to cut and sometimes painful, due to the pressure from the thickened nail. The nail itself provides a perfect environment for the fungus to thrive since they spend most of the day in shoes where it is dark, warm and sometimes moist. Injury to the nail bed may make it more susceptible to all types of infection, including fungal infection. Those who suffer chronic diseases, such as diabetes, circulatory problems, or immune-deficiency conditions, are especially prone to fungal nails. Other contributory factors may be a history of athlete’s foot and excessive perspiration.
Podiatry treatment – A fungal nail infection is not serious, but it will not clear up on its own and requires treatment. The podiatrist will discuss different treatment options after having excluded other possibilities which may have led to nail deformity, discolouration, or crumbling such as disease processes or trauma.