The most common place to get a fungal infection is on your feet. Fungus needs a warm, moist, dark area to grow, so inside your shoe makes a great habitat. About 70 percent of people experience foot fungus (also known as athlete's foot or tinea pedis) at some point in their lives 12. If you have fungus on the bottoms of your feet, it's best to treat it right away, before it can spread to other parts of your body such as your toenails or your hands.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
The symptoms of a foot fungus are vary, but may include:
- peeling skin
- dry skin
- painful cracking
- bleeding skin
- thick red patches
- slimy white skin or blisters
The fungus you find growing on the bottoms of your feet is usually a type called Trichophyton, the same organism that causes other fungal skin infections such as ringworm and jock itch. Many people who have foot fungus are genetically predisposed to recurrent fungal infections, and although they may treat infections successfully, the fungus comes back again because their immune systems are not able to recognize it and fight it off.
Use topical antifungal creams or sprays to treat your infection. If these aren't effective, a doctor can prescribe antifungal pills, but you will need to be closely monitored because they sometimes cause serious liver issues.
Foot fungus can be difficult to eliminate once you have it, so you're better off if you can avoid being infected in the first place. Keep your feet dry by wearing breathable shoes and socks to discourage fungus growth, and avoid walking barefoot in public areas so that you don't pick up fungal spores.
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