Top Two Types of Foot Fungus

There are a few different types of foot fungus that can affect humans, but two of them seem to be the most common in both children and adults: athlete’s foot and fungal nail infections. Although neither of these conditions are glamorous, they are definitely popular and, in some case, highly contagious. The good news is that they are both treatable and fungal nail infections aren’t generally painful or directly harmful to one’s health. Read on to learn a bit more about these conditions and how they can be treated.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot, or tinea pedis, is a condition nicknamed for is penchant of affecting athletic individuals. In reality, it doesn’t actually have anything to do with being an athlete and has everything to do with providing the ideal environment for the fungi that is responsible for this condition. Athlete’s foot is a type of dermatitis that can affect the feet, groin, and palms of the hands and it can be spread from one of these areas to another on the same person or another person. It is highly contagious and is often transmitted in public showers, pools, and by sharing footwear.

The main symptoms of athlete’s foot include itching or burning on the foot, especially between the toes, redness, and skin flakiness, peeling, and cracking. The two main types of athlete’s foot are called moccasin and interdigital. Moccasin athlete’s foot generally affects the sole and the sides of the foot—basically resembling the appearance of a moccasin. Interdigital athlete’s foot is more common and tends to affect the area around and between the toes. Regardless of the type of athlete’s foot that one is infected with, the fungi can be spread to other parts of the body.

The most widely used treatment for athlete’s foot is over the counter topical creams such as Lotrimin, Tinactin, and Lamisil. The cream typically needs to be rubbed into the skin twice a day for about four weeks. If these over the counter medications do not solve the problem, which is very common with notoriously persistent athlete’s foot, then you may have more success with a prescription-strength athlete’s foot cream.

Onychomycosis

Onychomycosis, or better known simply as a nail infection, is one of the most persistent types of foot fungus and is known for being hard-to-treat. More specifically, this type of fungus finds its way underneath the toenail and affects the bed of the nail itself. Although there usually isn’t much pain associated with onychomycosis, it can make the toe more sensitive and it almost always compromises the strength of the nail.

The symptoms of a fungal nail infection include yellowing of the nail or a brownish tint emanating from under the nail, and white colored debris under the nail that may appear powdery, especially when the nail is trimmed or lifted away from the nail bed. In most cases, this type of infection causes the nail to separate from the skin of the bed, although there typically isn’t any pain associated with this symptom. In fact, it is usually possible to trim away or file down the nail of the affected area without any pain whatsoever. The nail will usually become weak and may easily split or crack when stubbed or clipped; it may also become crumbly at the edges, thickening of the toenail, and lack of luster or shine.

If you have this condition, then you may be wondering how you stumbled upon a fungal nail infection. You might be surprised to learn that a large percentage of the population will experience some type of fungal nail infection by the time they reach age 70. The reason it’s such a common condition is because fungus is attracted to environments that can offer darkness, dampness, and warmth. Even if you live in flip flops for most of the year, your feet can still become warm and, yes, sweaty; and the area underneath your toenail is the ideal protective area for the fungi to settle and spread. All it takes is a crack in your toe nail or clipping just a little past the quick of the nail to allow fungus to access the nail bed.

Onychomycosis can be treated using over the counter creams or oils, but these often require weeks and even months in order to show any improvement in the condition and, in most cases, they are ineffective at completely eliminating the fungi. Your doctor can prescribe an antifungal treatment that works like nail polish. You simply apply the liquid liberally to the nail and the surrounding skin every day or as directed. As one of the most persistent types of foot fungus, don’t be surprised if the fungus doesn’t go away or if it goes away for a short time only to return at a later point. It’s just one of the few conditions that have proven to be extremely resistant to treatment simply because of the location of the infection. It’s very difficult to get medication to penetrate the toenail, which is why some people opt to remove the nail and apply the treatment to the affected nail bed so that the new nail grows in fungi-free.

There are a few other types of foot fungus that could be the source of your discomfort. If you have any worries about the health of your skin then you might want to see your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.