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Fungal Infection Facts (Fungal Infections)
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Fungal Infection Facts

Richard Thomas, MD, FRCPC

Fungal infection, colloquially known as Athletes’ foot, is commonly transmitted in public facilities such as locker rooms, and gyms. Fungus prefers moist conditions, in areas that lack oil glands, and feed off of hair, nails, and the dead surface skin. Fungal infections are extremely uncommon in people who do not wear shoes regularly. People who are diabetic, have HIV, or are undergoing chemotherapy are at special risk of fungal infections due to their reduced immune defences.

Here are some facts about fungal infections:

  • Fungus can spread to other areas of the body such as the nails or groin through contact
  • Cracking of the skin may allow the fungus to spread to the feet
  • Recurrence is extremely common
  • Fungus has adapted and evolved to live on the human feet where it is moist

Other feet ailments:

  • Allergic contact dermatitis can occur when your feet react to common allergens, often in a product within the shoes, such as formaldehyde, dye, glue, or rubber.
  • Eczema can occur on the feet, and is very common, especially among children, forming blister-like rashes on the instep, which can be very itchy
  • Hyperhidrosis is the condition where the soles of the feet produce excessive sweat. This can lead to an environment that is ideal for fungal growth.
  • Juvenile planter dermatosis is common among atopic children and appear as infections on the forefoot.

Identification and Effective treatment:

  • The toes of the infected feet will often be mushy and red
  • Tiny blisters, like eczema will appear on the in-step
  • The soles of the feet will often be dry and scaly, often cracking
  • Skin, and toenails will often be affected
  • Antifungal creams can be applied to the affected area
  • Descaling moisturizers can bring back lost moisture
  • Oral antifungal medication may be prescribed for infected nails, or chronic infections

Related:

athletes’ foot,   fungal infections,