Symptoms and treatment of fungus on feet
Fungus infection is a disease that affects different parts of the body. It occurs when a microscopic fungus penetrates the skin, usually through a tear, and develops there. Let’s consider the most widespread type of fungus – toenail fungus, also known as Athlete’s foot or onychomycosis, that affects toenails, toes and sole.
Causes and transmission of the infection
The reason that makes fungus on feet such a common disease is that it is likely to develop in warm and moist environment that often occurs in socks and in shoes. Here where the name “Athlete’s foot” derives from.
A person can pick up the infection in places where people walk barefoot, like public gyms, swimming pools, public showers, and saunas. It also can spread from the foot to some other part of the skin. It also passes among members of family. Elderly people usually suffer from this disease, while children are rarely infected.
Symptoms of feet fungus
Fungus causes a range of unpleasant and uncomfortable symptoms. Severity of the symptoms depends on the type and stage of the infection. At first patients experience light swelling and yellowing of sole and toenails. Skin becomes hard and dry, nails become thickened and turn yellowish or greenish. Those who don’t keep personal hygiene may even not notice these symptoms. But with the lapse of time the it becomes more obvious, that results in crumbling and cracking of the nails and heels, or even in complete loss of a toenail. However, this infection is not accompanied by pain, except from the most severe cases.
Diagnosis and treatment
If you experience any of fungus symptoms, visit your podiatrist. In order to diagnose the infection, visual examination together with several laboratory tests are performed. The treatment usually involves applying the following medications:
- oral antifugal drugs, such as terbinafine, itraconazole, miconazole nitrate, clotrimazole, and nystatin;
- topical drugs, like ciclopirox or amorolfine;
- in severe cases a nail or its part may be removed.
The choice of the medicine depends on the type of fungal infection and on the stage of the disease.
During the treatment hygienic rules should be practiced to prevent further spread of the infection and to improve recovery process. Thus, you should wash your feet regularly, dry it thoroughly, and avoid sweating. Treatment of feet fungus is a long process, and it may take several months or a year to get rid of the infection. It is recommended to continue applying medicines within a month after recovery. Among alternative medicines are oil of tea tree and extract of grapefruit seed.
As causes and ways of transmission of the infection is completely understood, it is easy to prevent it by keeping the following safety measures:
- Do not walk barefoot in places, where fungus is likely to be picked up;
- Do not share your socks or footwear with other people;
- Wash your feet and cut your nails regularly;
- Wash sweaty and damp feet as soon as is possible after activity;
- Always dry your feet after washing it;
- Avoid wearing too tight footwear.
People are often ashamed of this disease and practice self-treatment, instead of going to the hospital. However, you may choose inappropriate medicine and the treatment would be done in vain. There is nothing to be ashamed of, as fungus on feet is a common disease and any person may be infected with it.
These articles can be used for informational purposes only. To get an accurate diagnosis consult your doctor!