Foot fungus and warts aren’t exactly a fun topic, but dealing with the effects of it is no walk in the park either. In addition to being uncomfortable, fungal toenails, athlete’s foot and warts cause many people to be embarrassed and suffer in silence. Fortunately, these are common issues that can be successfully treated and prevented.
Understanding Fungal Skin Infections
There are several hundred species of fungi that can cause infections in humans. However, these tiny organisms only become a problem if they are in an environment in which they can thrive, spread rapidly or penetrate your skin. The species that affect us typically thrive in warm and damp surfaces that have little airflow. These conditions are perfect for fungi to grow and cause infections quickly.
Swimming pool decks, various recreational environments such as martial arts and gymnastic studios are typical breeding grounds for fungi. Common areas of infection include the feet, groin and folds of skin. Since most people spend several hours wearing socks and shoes, this becomes an ideal breeding ground for fungal foot infection. That’s why your feet are often the first to be infected. Whether you feel it or not, your feet sweat regularly and more so with tight fitting shoes. Again, this provides the perfect place for fungi to grow and spread.
Athlete’s Foot - Often located between the toes, it produces flaking, dry and/or red skin that is itchy or painful. This contagious condition can spread to others, spread throughout the body and cause blisters if left untreated.
Fungal Toenails - Tiny fungus spores infect the nail bed on the foot or nail causing discolouration, added thickness with an increased chance of cracking and breaking. This can increase the pressure on the toe underneath making it difficult to find comfortable shoes and increase the chance of wounds.
Warts - Typically small, rough lesions on the top layer of the skin that are generally painless unless they are in high-pressure areas, such as the soles of feet. Some warts can be quite large (bigger than toonies) and can also be flush with the skin on the bottom of the feet. Warts are often difficult to differentiate from a callus. But, it’s important that they are correctly diagnosed by a medical professional such as a chiropodist or podiatrist because they are contagious and can grow and multiply if left untreated.
Maintaining proper hygiene is your best defense against athlete’s foot and fungal nails. Washing and drying your feet thoroughly, especially between the toes, is both a practical and proactive approach to dealing with these types of fungal conditions. It is also important to wear footwear whenever possible on public surfaces such as swimming pools and public showers. Other common treatments include anti-fungal creams, sprays and oral medications.
If you are suffering from any fungal skin infection, it’s always best to consult with an expert. A Chiropodist or Podiatrist can help you determine the proper course of treatment so you don’t have to figure it out on your own.
If you haven’t experienced a fungal skin infection or want to avoid another one, here are some simple tips to keep your feet healthy:
Wear breathable clothes and shoes
Avoid shoes that are too tight or restrictive
Protect your feet on moist surfaces like locker rooms, showers and gyms
Use clean towels and thoroughly dry your feet after showering
Speak to your vet if your pet has come into contact with fungi
Regardless of what’s going on with your feet, it’s always a good idea to keep them in good shape. A Registered Chiropodist or Podiatrist can help you get a better understanding of your feet and provide customized treatments as well as footwear recommendations.
DISCOVER THE DIFFERENCE WITH MOBILE HEALTHCARE
Even if you are still embarrassed about your feet, you can get them checked out in the comfort and security of your home. HealthCasa has partnered with certified practitioners who serve the Greater Toronto, Hamilton, Durham, Peel and Barrie Area 7 days a week, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (with Covid-19 precautions). Contact us today to make your first appointment!