Your feet are the perfect setting for fungus to grow and cause skin infections, especially when they’re often in moist or contaminated environments.
This condition, which can be painful, tends to come up as a result of neglecting this part of the body. It’s important but is often left out of people’s beauty routines.
The severity and type varies among individuals, and some may get it sporadically while others may deal with a reoccurring situation.
While it may not be a serious health issue, if it’s hard to treat it may be a sign of a weak immune system. In some cases, it even causes skin issues that then lead to cracking, burning, and other bothersome and painful symptoms.
That’s why it’s important to know how to identify it in a timely manner and, of course, treat it in a way that will send it packing for good.
Find out how!
What is foot fungus?
Foot fungi are infections that come from the growth of microorganisms in the skin.
They generally begin between the toes and move towards the sole of your foot and nails.
They can cause skin issues and symptoms such as:
- Excessive dryness
- Yellowish hard spots
- Burning sensation
- Unpleasant odors
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What types of foot fungi are there?
There are two kinds of fungal infections that affect the feet.
Athlete’s foot, or tinea pedis
This is one of the most common infections. Because of how easily it spreads, it can be hard to treat if not detected in time.
It mainly hits athletes due to the heat and sweating that happens in shoes during exercise, creating an ideal environment for the growth of fungus.
However, anybody can get it, especially if you don’t take preventative measures to prevent its growth on your feet and shoes.
Here are some signs that can help you distinguish it from other fungal infections:
- Your feet, especially between your fourth and fifth toes, are red.
- You feel burning and itching between your toes as well as on the soles of your feet.
- There are small cracks on your toes and sole.
- You see scabs or blisters on your skin.
- There is a strong odor, even after washing your feet.
Onychomycosis, a kind of nail fungus, is another fungal infection that is common in the feet.
While it can also affect fingernails, it is more common with toe nails because of the moist, warm environment that wearing certain shoes creates.
Take note if you notice that your toe nails:
- Turn yellowish or grayish.
- Crack or get white marks.
- Get too hard, especially with your big toe.
- Start to get deformed.
- Tend to break easily.
- Have a bad odor.
How do I fight a foot fungus?
Treating foot fungus depends on the severity of the infection.
However, generally speaking, it is advisable to keep the skin dry and as well-ventilated as possible.
In addition, you can use natural remedies that will not only help control fungal growth but also relieve the itching and irritation.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is acidic, and with its pH-regulating effect on your skin, it will help with fungal and bacterial infections.
Regular use gets rid of dead skin cells and fights the burning sensation.
- Add it to warm water and soak your feet for 20 minutes.
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Tea tree oil
Well-known for its antifungal and antibacterial properties, tea tree oil is an effective ingredient for fighting infection.
- Add a small amount to warm water and soak your feet for 15 to 20 minutes.
- If the infection is in the nails, smooth it over the surface with a cotton ball.
The exfoliating and antiseptic effects of baking soda speed up the healing of skin affected by fungus.
- Create a paste out of baking soda and water and rub it into your feet with gentle massaging motions.
- Let sit for 10 minutes and then rinse.
Garlic contains sulfuric compounds that give it antifungal and antibacterial powers.
- Mash one raw garlic clove and smooth the paste onto the areas affected by the fungus.
- Let sit 20 minutes and rinse.
Fresh lemon juice is an effective way to fight fungal infections of the feet and nails.
Its natural acids regulate skin pH and alter the environment that these microorganisms need to grow.
- Apply the lemon juice to the affected areas and let sit 20 minutes.
Do you have a foot fungus? If you just found out you do, try to take care of it as soon as possible so you don’t get complications. Use the remedies mentioned above and also wash your shoes and socks well to keep it from reappearing.