How Heel Foot Fungus is spread
The itch, concern, and embarrassment the heel foot fungus can cause to a person’s toes can be quite painful. Heel foot fungus is popularly referred to as athlete’s foot. It usually develops between the little toe and the toe next to it and it becomes an issue that calls for immediate treatment to avoid its spread to other parts of the body. The statistics are, in fact, alarming.
In North America, it was noted by MedBroadcast that 1 in 10 people have athlete’s foot. About half of this population experiences a recurrence of the fungi infection as the fungus spores survive in skin cracks between the toes.
From research, I have been able to discover the forms this infection can take, the causes, the symptoms, prevention, and treatment. Many things we overlook in our day to day activities cause athlete’s foot. We may have to take more precaution to prevent it or avoid recurrence. Ways to treat the infection with recommended creams will be discussed below.
What Causes an Athlete’s Foot?
The first step in solving a problem entails knowing the causes. Athlete’s foot is caused by fungi that affect the human feet and live on skin protein called keratin. Its openings into the skin are the cuts and blisters on the feet which makes it easy for the organisms to cause infection.
There could be infection through direct skin contact with infected skin or through contact with flakes of skin with the infection. Those who stay in large hostels where they have to share a communal shower or those who walk barefooted near the pool can easily step on infectious flakes of skin without knowing. Gym locker rooms are also places people go barefooted and the chances of contagion cannot be ruled out. The same fungi can further lead to fungi nail infections.
The fungi have been discovered to thrive in hot and tropical conditions. This is why wearing tight and non-breathing footwear can allow the fungi to grow and cause athlete’s foot. As an aside, heel foot fungus got its name from the warm sweaty insides of an athlete’s shoes.
It is not impossible that personal things like socks, shoes, and towels are shared among close friends or family but this can lead to infection for both persons if one of them is infected.
According to Cleveland Clinic, the fungi infection may be more serious with people diagnosed with diabetes. Dermatologist Pamela Ng, MD noted that “for patients who are diabetics and those who are immune-compromised, it’s important to address those issues. The fungi infections can cause breakdown of the skin and lead to conditions like cellulitis or foot ulcers.”
Other causes are a genetic predisposition, allergies, and eczema, having sweaty feet, weak immune system, and involvement in sports activities like running.
What Are the Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot?
Heel foot fungus, known as athlete’s foot, is common between the little toe and the toe next to it. It can cause the skin to redden and crack and the affected areas are flaky and sometimes itchy. The toes also become white and soggy. The itch can be worse after taking off your socks and shoes.
If it is the case that the entire sole and heel become dry and flaky with loose, white scales, it is the moccasin-type athlete’s foot and it doesn’t cause itching or inflammation. This can be mistaken for skin conditions such as eczema.
How to Prevent Athlete’s Foot?
It is better to prevent infection with the fungi than to be infected and start seeking a solution. Here are precautions you can take to prevent infection.
Try to keep your feet dry: it is beneficial if you can remove your shoes when possible to allow air dry your feet. When you are home, try going around barefooted or with flip-flops. Dry between your toes after shower or bath.
Avoid sharing shoes: it is good to be nice and friendly but it is not nice to be infected. The person with whom you want to share shoes with may not be aware yet of contagion.
Protect your feet in common places: in places like swimming pools, general bathrooms, gym locker rooms, ensure you have something on your feet like shower shoes, flip-flops, and waterproof sandals.
Don’t forget to change your socks regularly: if you went for jogging or any exercise, you must have sweated on your face, don’t wear the same socks out. Wash it and get clean socks. If you get sweaty, it is advised you change your socks at least twice a day. You can wear socks that wick out moisture.
Use some powder or anti-fungal: you should use powder on your feet daily. The antifungal powder will be a great choice.
Alternate pair of shoes: wearing the same pair of shoe every day may not be good for your feet. You should give time for your shoes to dry before you wear them again.
Wear shoes that give room for air: as much as you can, wear light shoes that can allow air. Shoes made with synthetic materials are examples.
Avoid sharing nail clippers: nail clippers are used on fingernails and toenails and you don’t know where they have been. As much as possible, avoid sharing them with people.
Wash your feet with soap: this you should do regularly and ensure that you dry them thoroughly with a clean towel.
How to Cure Heel Foot Fungus
See a dermatologist: you can never be too sure until a certified dermatologist runs several tests on your feet to confirm the problem. The situation may be less or worse than what you are thinking and for safety’s sake, you need to confirm exactly what the process is. Other diseases which may not be athlete’s foot can affect the nails.
Use antifungal cream: There are creams which contain antifungal; you can apply this to the affected area. Creams are preferable because they will coat the skin and treat the affected area entirely. You have to ensure they get in-between your toes as they are mostly warm and moist. Some creams are to be applied daily while others are to be applied weekly; the cream should have information on this. Whatever the prescription, it can be more efficient if you trim your toenails well before you apply them. This will help the medicine reach deeper into the nail bed.
Herbacin Kamille with Glycerine cream is very beneficial.
Trim infected nails: you should trim your toenails straight across the toe line. You can use large toenail clippers or nail clippers; razors can be dangerous as they have the tendency of cutting your skin. You should thin nails by gently scraping away the nails the flaky debris under the nail with a file. This will get rid of some fungi and alleviate pain by reducing pressure on the nail bed and toes. You can do this after taking a shower or soaking your toes. You can apply a very soothing cream afterward. This all-natural cream made with vegan ingredients can be helpful.
Some home remedies can help: there are a lot of home remedies that have been in use for the treatment of heel foot fungus. You can consider soaking your toes in a vinegar solution. You can apply poultices with baking soda, or diluted tea tree oil every morning and evening. These herbal foot baths are recommended as they have been reputed to have stopped the growth of fungi and even killed them.
Antifungal combination: it has been discovered by some studies that taking antifungal pills and applying antifungal to your nails can be more effective together than using either of the treatments alone. However, consult your doctor before trying this as some prescription can be given. Normally, oral medication will treat toenail fungi in three months. The combination can be advised in complicated cases.
Don’t delay: delay can be dangerous and this situation is an example. If you don’t start treating the foot or toenail fungus, it can spread to other parts of the body, such as the hands and the groin. If due to a reason or the other, you can use an antifungal topical cream for the meantime because you can’t consult a dermatologist.
Your toes can go back to their natural healthy form if you follow the advice given above!
The human body is not immune to infections. However, this is not an excuse to stay infection and unwell. Be protective of your skin and when you detect an infection or a condition, use helpful medication, and preferably, consult your doctor.
Are you trying to fight with feet fungus?