Fungal Feet Infections 101

What you need to know about Athlete’s Foot and how to treat it

If you think of the word Fungus, it doesn’t sound pleasant at all and you might be thinking that it grows in soiled areas around your yard or outdoor shed.  Well, let me tell you that fungal infections do occur in our own bodies.

Believe it or not, but about 20% of the population are likely to be affected by a fungal infection at some point in their lifetime.  There are over 100,000 species of fungi and Athlete’s Foot is the most common type of infection that occurs in our feet.

You’re probably thinking where exactly on my foot can a fungal infection occur, well you would be surprised!  Fungal infections can occur on your toe nails, your skin and in between your toes because fungus strives in warm, dark and moist areas especially when you’re in socks and shoes.

Do your feet sweat when you’re in your work boots?  The added moisture increases your risk for Athlete’s foot.  Infections are more common in the summer compared to the winter.  Transmission is through contact that usually occurs in public swimming pools, public showers, locker rooms or being barefoot on floors.  Some people with medical conditions (for example Diabetes) are more susceptible of getting a fungal infection.  Trauma to the nails is another cause.

You’re probably thinking, how can I be certain if I have a fungal infection in my feet or not.  Let me break the signs and symptoms for Athlete’s foot down for you:

  • Itchiness or burning at the bottom of your feet
  • peeling and scaling of the skin
  • redness and/or blisters that may lead to a breakdown of the skin

Fungal infections occur in our Toe nails as well.  Be cautious if you start noticing a discoloration of your nail followed by abnormal thickening.  If left untreated, your nails will become very brittle with a possibility of losing your nail as it may just fall off.  Cross-contamination between people’s nails can occur.  Therefore be aware if you’re having your nails done at a Pedicure salon, that the instrumentation being used are sanitized or are one-time use only.

Another thing to check for, is in between your toes, make sure there is no maceration or breakdown of the skin that may cause a burning sensation

If you have any of these signs or symptoms please see your Chiropodist and have your feet assessed as soon as possible.

Treatments include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Topical treatments include anti-fungal creams, anti-fungal sprays and toe nail lacquers.  In addition to manual treatments done to your nails and skin by your Chiropodist
  2. Oral medication treatment is available if indicated, but a liver function test is required as it may cause some damage to your liver

Other things you can do to prevent the infection from spreading further are to:

  1. change your socks every day, cotton socks preferred
  2. clean/air out your shoes or replace your worn down shoes
  3. if you’re moisturizing your feet, don’t put cream in between your toes
  4. clean out your shower after use to prevent cross-contamination to other family members

These are just some of the tips recommended.  Our feet are an essential part of our body that require extra care.


If you have any questions that you would like answered please feel free to contact or drop by your Chiropodist at Head to Foot Oasis Wellness clinic.  We are always ready to attend to your feet’s needs.