Foot fungus: causes, symptoms and treatment

Our feet are probably one of the most important parts of our daily life, and also one of the most overlooked. And it is that this part of our body, in addition to being strongly innervated and connected to the rest of the body, is the base on which our body rests to stand up thanks to the action of our muscles. Thanks to them we can walk and move and as we do, bipedal.

But this part of our anatomy can suffer from various types of issues, including unwanted visits and infection from other beings. This is the case with fungal infection of the feet, Of which we will see the main features throughout this article.

    Mushrooms on the feet

    Fungal infections of the feet or the presence of fungus on the feet occur when the skin or toenail of this part of our anatomy is invaded by a type of fungus. An invasion that generates an infection which in turn has caused symptoms which can be quite diverse depending on the species and the location of the infection. these infections are produced by dermatophyte fungi, which feed on the keratin in our skin and nails.


    When we have fungus on our feet, it settles and grows on different parts of our limb, usually between the toes, on the fingernails, or on the sole or heel. Symptoms can vary, but in general we find that those who suffer from fungus on the feet usually manifest themselves itching and burning in the affected area, possible blemishes and injuries, skin peeling and inflammation.

    The presence of a bad smell can also be indicative (although a bad foot odor does not necessarily equate to a fungus). When the affected part is the nail, deformities, fragmentation or color changes (white, yellow or dark) may exist. They can also get thicker or thinner and break or peel off very easily.

    Among fungal infections, the foot is one of the most common, and among the most common types of fungal infection in this region we can find onychomycosis in the nails, athlete’s foot (Usually in the fingers or between them) or paronychia (in which the infection usually occurs in the cuticle of the nail).

      Causes: how are they transmitted?

      While we don’t usually go barefoot in nature, the truth is that it is relatively easy to catch the presence of fungi on our feet. Many factors can contribute or facilitate this fact, but in general, for these to thrive, they must have a number of conditions that allow the fungus to grow and spread to the skin.

      One of the main and most common is our use and choice of footwear. Fungi grow easily in humid and warm areas, conditions that can be found on our feet, especially if we wear them in shoes that are not breathable and tight. Also, a very common way of spread is by sharing hygiene supplies with an infected person or going barefoot to common areas that are usually humid, such as showers and swimming pools.

      Another factor to consider is that there is conditions that contribute to and allow those who suffer from them to more easily contract fungi on their feet. Examples are found in diabetes (in which the subject must also undergo frequent check-ups to avoid problems such as diabetic foot), hyperhidrosis, or conditions that reduce the ability of the immune system to fight infections.

      Related to the above, we must also keep in mind that fungi are much more common in times of heat, and especially during the summer, therefore a period in which they reproduce very easily. In addition, it should also be borne in mind that there are occupations with a higher risk of contracting them, such as athletes and professional athletes (the name of one of the most well-known infections, the foot of the athlete, is not a coincidence) or these professions. in what remains standing for a long time.


      Fungal infections of the feet will need to be treated differently in each case. In this sense, it is necessary to take into account any alterations that have occurred at the same time as this infection. For example, people with diabetes will be more likely to have fungal and foot problems and will need to be more vigilant in this regard. the same if the infection also spreads to the leg, you should see a doctor to make sure nothing more serious happens

      In general, the treatment to be used is usually antifungal drugs and even antibiotics, often as a topical cream. They can also use laser treatments. However, there are also oral presentations for severe cases or when the fungus appears in the nail area. In some of the latter cases, it may even be necessary to remove the nail.

      Maintain good hygiene in the foot area it is essential both in terms of treatment and prevention: you will have to wash your feet with soap and water and rinse them properly and without leaving traces of soap. The use of shoes and socks that allow perspiration hinders infection and the growth of fungi. You should also avoid walking barefoot on wet ground like swimming pools or sharing toiletries like towels due to the ease with which they have the type of fungus that appears on the feet for infection.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Cavaller Martínez, F .; Jurado Moreno, J. and López Rocha, A. (2005). Guide to good clinical practice in fungal infections. Collegiate Medical Organization of Spain. Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs. Spain.

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