Fungal infection of the feet is one of the most common fungal infections, and is particularly characteristic for developed countries. Although it does not present a difficult or dangerous condition, it can still result in unpleasant symptoms that can take a turn for the worse and give a hard time to the infected person.
These infections belong to the group of cutaneous mycoses, i.e. fungal infections of the skin, nails and hair. These types of infections do not spread to other tissues (as opposed to some other fungal infections, such as gastrointestinal or urinary tract infections), but they secrete enzymes that break down the components of the keratinized tissue and can also cause allergic reactions and inflammatory responses. The name that is commonly used for this type of infection is Tinea pedis.
Poor personal hygiene and bad habits are the most common primary causes of fungal infections on the feet.
- Toenails need to be kept clean and short, and regularly cut with disinfected utensils
- Foot hygiene – avoid tight shoes and regularly change socks. Swelling that occurs in tight shoes increases the chances of infection.
- Avoid walking barefoot in common areas, especially in damp places such as swimming pools, changing rooms in sports halls and gyms, and the like.
- Some people are more susceptible to fungal infections than others, so genetic predisposition is an important factor.
- Weakened immunity is also one of the risk factors.
- Women are less prone to this type of infection because they usually take better care of their feet.
Since the development of the infection is often propelled by moisture (sweat), the most affected areas are between the toes. The symptoms are almost always related to the skin and include skin damage such as:
- wounds on the skin or even cracked skin
- skin peeling
- unpleasant smell
Secondary bacterial infections may occur as a consequence of the wounds, and they might endanger the overall health of a person.
The symptoms are often chronic and long-lasting, so a methodical approach to treatment is required, and that includes:
- Local application of antifungal medications – some of these medications can also be obtained without prescription in pharmacies, but it is advisable to consult with the pharmacist about the mode of administration and the duration of the therapy
- Keeping your feet clean – be sure to protect your feet from excessive moisture by sticking to the aforementioned tips
- Good nutrition, strong immunity and avoiding stress can largely help in the treatment
Natural Treatment of Foot Fungus
There are simple methods you can include in your treatment, which can help you remove the unpleasant fungi.
- Powder – use powder to soothe the irritated skin and keep it dry, especially after showering
- Disinfection of the tub and/or shower
- Boiling and washing socks at a high temperature, regular shoe cleaning – in the case of infection with the fungus, the fungi accumulate in socks and shoes
- Mixture of baking soda and vinegar – baking soda has fungistatic properties (it prevents fungus growth) and vinegar has fungicidal properties (it kills fungi sensitive to low-pH)