Fungal Foot Infections
Fungal skin infections on the feet are caused by a group of fungi called Dermatophytes. They like warm, humid conditions where they can multiply and cause conditions such as Athlete’s Foot (Tinea Pedis).
Fungal foot infections can affect people of all ages and genders, but they are particularly common among adolescents and young adults. They can affect one or both feet and spread easily from one person to another via direct contact. This may be from sharing a towel or simply walking barefoot on a shared floor.
Other contributing factors can include:
- Wearing thick, heavy footwear
- Excessive sweating
- Diabetes or other disorders affecting immunity
- Use of Systemic Corticosteroids & Immunosuppressant medication
- Poor peripheral circulation
Symptoms Fungal Infections
Whilst Athlete’s Foot typically occurs between the toes, it can also affect the soles and sides of your feet.
- Skin discolouration – turning white, powdery, sometimes red
- Thickened, flaking, peeling, and/or cracked skin
- Itching, stinging, or a burning sensation
- Unpleasant smell
- Fluid-filled small blisters
Getting a Diagnosis
Left untreated, a fungal foot infection can spread to one or more toenails and cause a fungal nail infection. It’s also possible for the palms of hands and the groin to be affected.
Diagnosis can usually be made via clinical observation. However, if an infection is resistant to treatment, skin scrapings can be taken and tested for a specific infection to enable more targeted treatment.