Fungus.  It’s a common skin and/or nail infection that chiropodists treat and we get all sorts of questions about it!

Here are some quick tips and facts about these annoying foot invaders.

Fungus is a type of dermatophyte that lives off the keratin in our hair, skin and nails. A fungal infection can occur when broken skin or injury to a nail causes the invading organism to infect and colonize the keratin. Skin infections like Athletes foot usually manifest in symptoms such as itchiness, scaling skin and redness. Nail infections are the toughest to treat and usually present with a yellowing or darkening of the nail plate, a pungent odor, and debris underneath the nail.

Fungal infections have a high recurrence rate, so it is important to have infections properly assessed and treated. Here are a few tips, which may help prevent fungal infections of the skin and nails.

  • Wash and properly dry your feet daily. Fungus thrives in warm moist environments so don’t forget to dry in between those toes!
  • Change your socks daily. If you tend to sweat a bit more, try changing your socks twice a day!
  • Opt for absorbent cotton or wool socks
  • Spray inside of your shoes with antifungal sprays or powders. Take it a step further and wash and dry the removable liners of your shoes.
  • After being in your shoes all day, try doing an Epsom foot soak. This will help to dry out your feet and reduce foot odour.
  • Discard old shoes or slippers and refrain from sharing footwear with others.
  • Avoid walking barefoot in communal areas such as gyms, locker rooms, saunas and public pools. Opt for wearing slippers or stand on a towel.
  • When cutting your toenails, avoid using the same nail clippers on abnormal nails.

If you have a persistent fungal rash or infection, don’t hide your toes in the sand! Consult your local chiropodist/foot specialist for treatment!