April 20, 2009

Types of Foot Fungus Infections

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Fungal foot infection can be broadly classified as two types – the infection of the skin known as athlete’s footor tinea pedis and the infection of the nails known as onychomycosis. Out of these two, athlete’s foot is a more common occurrence and is also easier to get rid of. A nail infection is much more difficult to treat. A fungal infection usually sets in when the feet are subjected to warm and moist conditions. For example, wearing shoes for prolonged periods will allow the sweat from your feet to accumulate. This provides fungus with the perfect breeding ground which is both moist and warm. Additionally, if your feet sweat a lot the chances of fungal infection is even higher. The skin fungal infection usually shows dry scaly skin sometimes accompanied by an itching or burning sensation. You will also find the skin peeling off and cracks appearing. This type of fungal infection usually attacks the areas between the toes. The nail fungal infection causes thick and dark colored nails, which are brittle. The infection usually causes pain around the nails and is often accompanied by a foul odor.

Whatever be the type of fungal infection of the foot, you should follow certain precautionary steps to prevent them. Always keep your feet clean and dry. Scrub your feet lightly with an antiseptic soap to keep them free of all infections. After every wash, you should also take care to wipe your feet completely dry. Any residual moisture in the feet can promote a fungal infection. Additionally, to avoid nail fungus infection you should keep your nails short and clean. Repeated use of the same socks can induce dampness and fungal growth. Keep multiple pairs of shoes and wear a clean pair of socks everyday. Do not wear the same pair of closed shoes everyday as the moisture inside them will not get a chance to dry up each day. Do not share your shoes or socks with others as the fungal infection may also spread through skin contact.

Fungal infections are better treated in consultation with a doctor. Antifungal medicines and ointments should get rid of the infection quickly and effectively. Rub your infected skin with apple cider vinegar or tea tree oil. Washing the feet with spirit or dilute hydrogen peroxide solution may also help. Use boric powder or baking soda powder on the feet before wearing your socks. These will help absorb the extra moisture and keep your feet dry.