Fungal Infections

  • Fungal infections are common on the foot
  • They can occur on the skin or in the nail
  • The cause may be direct contact with active fungi – floors around swimming pools or in showers. Alternatively normal fungus on the skin may overgrow – where immune resistance is poor or in systemic conditions such as diabetes
  • A damaged nail is more likely to get a fungal infection
  • Shoes and socks are a warm, moist and dark environment and provide an ideal breeding ground for fungus
Fungal Infections of the Nail:
  • Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of a nail
  • Fungal infections of the nail can be very difficult to treat
  • The fungus gets under the nail at the end where you trim your nail. It spreads from the skin to the nail and then under the nail plate and into the nail bed
What do Fungal Infections of the Nail Look Like?
  • In the early stages there may be superficial white plaques on the nail
  • In the more complex cases the nail will be thickened with yellow or brown discolouration. There may be a build up of dead skin under the nail also
Treatment by a Podiatrist:
  • Early treatment greatly improves the chances of good outcomes
  • Antifungal nail lacquers from the Pharmacy. Your Podiatrist can recommend the best one for you to try
  • Oral antifungals – prescribed by your general practitioner
  • Your Podiatrist can trim and burr the fungal nail to reduce the thickness and improve comfort. This can also aid in the nail absorption of the antifungal nail lacquers.

Fungal Infections of the Skin:
  • Tinea pedis is a fungal infection of the skin
  • What do Fungal Infections of the Skin look like?
  • The skin may have patches of itchy skin on the sole of the foot or between the toes. The instep of the foot is a common place for these patches to occur
  • The entire sole of the foot may be scaly, red and irritated
  • White soggy skin, or maceration, between the toes

Treatment by a Podiatrist:
  • Antifungal creams or sprays from the Pharmacy. Your Podiatrist can recommend the best one for you to try
  • Some antifungals may be combined with cortisone to help reduce the itch and inflammation in the skin.