Fungal infections in the feet are a common issue that affects millions of people annually. While skin and nail fungus are both caused by fungi, they differ in several ways, including their symptoms, causes, and treatments.
Types of Foot Fungus
Nail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a fungal infection that affects the nails on the hands and feet. The infection usually begins as a small white or yellow spot under the nail, and as it spreads, it can cause the nail to thicken and become discolored.
Nail fungus is typically caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes, although other types of fungi, such as yeasts and molds, can also cause the infection. Factors that increase the risk of developing nail fungus include age, diabetes, wearing tight-fitting shoes and trauma to the nail plate.
Skin fungus, commonly referred to as athlete’s foot, is a fungal infection that affects the skin on the bottom of the feet and between the toes. Skin fungus on a moist, sweaty foot typically appears as a red, itchy, and scaly rash and like toenail fungus, can be caused by several types of fungi, including dermatophytes, yeasts, and molds. Skin fungus on dry skin of the foot, often the heels, typically appears as rough, sandpaper like skin texture with superficial cracks. Factors that increase the risk of developing athlete’s foot type skin fungus include excessive sweating, prolonged periods in socks and shoes, and a weakened immune system. Factors that increase the risk of developing a rough, sandpaper like skin fungus include dry skin that is not moisturized on a regular basis and wearing shoes like flip flops.
Foot Fungus Treatment
To properly assess a client’s feet, it’s not only important to be knowledgeable about all potential foot conditions and related symptoms, but also to be able to recognize healthy feet and nails. A healthy nail is always completely attached to the nail bed, slightly pink, translucent, and free of any spots or discoloration.
The treatment for toenail fungus and skin fungus varies depending on the severity of the infection and where on the foot the infection is.
In most cases of toenail fungus, an over-the-counter anti-fungal/anti-microbial product such as the Footlogix Nail Tincture Spray can be effective. In prolonged, severe cases the nail fungus may require prescription medication combined with the topical anti-fungal/anti-microbial.
A variety of factors can influence how quickly a nail infection will resolve. Consider if the infection is just at the edge of the toenail, or has it progressed further towards the base of the nail? Clients who are diabetic, taking medications, are immunocompromised or clients who are inconsistent in application of anti-fungal products will take longer to see resolution. Consistency of application wins the fungal infection race!
In contrast, athlete’s foot type skin fungus can often be treated with over-the-counter anti-fungal/anti-microbial products such as the Footlogix Peeling Skin Formula and dry, sandpaper like skin type of fungus infection can be resolved with the Footlogix Rough Skin Formula. Mild cases of skin fungus can resolve in a few days/weeks whereas more severe cases can take time to fully resolve.
Foot Fungus Prevention
Preventing nail fungus and skin fungus can be challenging, but there are several steps that people can take to reduce their risk of developing these infections. These include keeping nails trimmed and clean, wearing breathable shoes and socks, and keeping the skin dry and cool, particularly in warm and moist areas. For those with excessive foot sweat, products such as Footlogix Sweaty Feet Formula can help combat this extra moisture.
In conclusion, toenail fungus, athlete’s foot skin fungus and rough skin foot fungus are three distinct types of fungal infections that affect the feet. While they share some similarities in their causes and symptoms, the treatments for these infections differ significantly. It is important for people to be aware of the signs and symptoms of these infections and to take steps to prevent them from occurring in the first place.
Foot care professionals can be confident recommending these home-care solutions to literally anyone because they are safe for use by everyone, including people with diabetes, seniors, and immune-compromised clients.