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What Causes Foot Fungus

photo of doctor examining the foot on the presence of athlete’s foot

What Causes Foot Fungus

Posted by American Foot and Leg in Foot Problems 30 Nov 2016

You may have seen the cartoon character ‘foot fungus’ created by advertisers of antifungal creams. While this paints a colorful picture of the frustration that can be created by a fungal infection, it falls short of explaining how this incredibly common and sometimes chronic condition develops. Understanding more about the causes of foot fungus can help to bring a cure within reach.

The sources of foot fungus
The most common type of fungal infection affecting the feet is usually referred to as athlete’s foot. The fungus that causes athlete’s foot, tinea pedis, thrives in damp, warm environments and can infect both the foot and toenails.

Although tinea pedis can affect anyone, it is most often associated with athletes as the damp warm environment of a locker room promotes growth of the fungus. Walking barefoot in a locker room or similar environments allows transmission of the fungus. The risk of an infection taking hold is increased by factors such as the feet remaining damp from any cause or by wearing tight shoes.

Preventing athlete’s foot
Decrease the risk of exposure to contagious foot fungus by wearing sandals in and around public showers, locker rooms and swimming pools. While helpful, these cautionary measures cannot ensure that the feet are never exposed to tinea pedis. Therefore, it is important to also take additional preventive measures to ensure that even if exposure occurs, there is less chance of an infection setting-in.

Daily foot care such as washing and drying the feet with soap and water and removing socks as soon as they become damp can go a long way to preventing infection. Keeping the feet well ventilated with socks and shoes made from breathable materials are also important prevention strategies. Walking barefoot while at home helps ensure the feet have a chance to fully dry on a daily basis.

Foot fungus treatment
Event the best preventive actions do not always keep a foot fungal infection from developing. The symptoms of infection can include blistering, painful cracking of the skin between the toes, itchy rashes on the soles of the feet or toenail discoloration. Even if special nonprescription creams can help relieve certain symptoms of foot fungus or even clear up some infections altogether; infections that become chronic or occur in people with other health problems, such as diabetes or immune disorders, may require professional treatment.

While this article is intended to be informative, it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Contact your local health care provider if you are concerned about a foot fungus infection. In the Atlanta metro area, consider a visit to American Foot and Leg Specialists to learn more about your options for foot fungus treatment.

Visit any of the Atlanta Foot and Leg Specialists four locations in Fayetteville, Forest Park, Locust Grove, and Stockbridge from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday thru Friday. Proud to serve the South Atlanta Metro area including Fulton County, Cobb County, Douglas County, Fayette County, Henry County, and Clayton County; American Foot and Leg Specialists is your local resource for foot and leg health. Learn today how American Foot and Leg Specialists can help you recover from foot fungus and put your best foot forward.

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