Are you here because you are experiencing dry, cracked feet?
As a podiatric physician (foot doctor) that sees this on a daily basis, I know that I can successfully aid you in putting a stop to this annoying condition!
This post will address exactly what foot fungus is as well as what causes foot fungus, the risk factors for foot fungus, the symptoms of foot fungus and how to prevent foot fungus.
I will also discuss the treatment of foot fungus AND direct you to my all-time favorite treatment for foot fungus!
Ready, Set, Go…
What is Foot Fungus?
Have you ever heard of the term “Athlete’s Foot”? What exactly is foot fungus?
Well… foot fungus (a.k.a. “Athlete’s Foot”) is simply a contagious fungal infection that affects the skin on the feet.
More specifically (and in medical terminology) foot fungus, or Athlete’s Foot, is called tinea pedis and is very common with over 3 million cases reported in the United States every year!
Wow! That is a LOT of foot fungus!
And no… you don’t have to be an athlete to contract it as this ailment commonly occurs in boys, girls, men and women of all shapes, sizes and ages.
Are you wondering yet just how foot fungus got the name of Athlete’s Foot? Keep reading… I will explain!
What Causes Foot Fungus?
If you are wondering what causes foot fungus, then you are in the right place.
We do have to get a little scientific, but no worries… we can walk through this together.
While Athlete’s Foot can be caused by a variety of different fungi, most of the time the culprit is in the dermatophyte class of fungi.
These are the same types of fungus that cause toenail fungus, jock itch and ringworm. Rarely, we can see this annoying ailment result from non-dermatophytes such as candida (yeast).
Still wondering how you contract foot fungus? Let me explain.
While fungi can be found everywhere, it thrives in dark, warm, moist environments and is contagious.
Whether we come into direct contact with it OR come into contact with skin particles from an infected individual that are left behind on things such as towels, shoes or floors, this fungus is always searching for a new host.
Once contact is made (either directly or indirectly), our bodies naturally have what it needs to survive.
What do I mean by this?
Fungus feeds off of something called keratin. Keratin is a protein that is naturally found on our bodies. It is predominantly found in our hair, nails and skin.
Do you see now how our feet can be the optimal place for fungus to set up shop? It has everything here that it needs… the perfect environment and plenty of food!
Risk Factors for Foot Fungus
Now that you know exactly what foot fungus is AND what causes it, you can probably guess some of the factors that can put you at an increased risk to develop this disease and… you may even begin to be able to speculate how it developed the alternative name of “Athlete’s Foot”.
Some actions/conditions that put you at an increased risk of developing foot fungus include the following:
- walking barefoot in public places, especially swimming pools, spas, showers and locker rooms,
- having wet feet for extended periods of time whether it is due to excessive sweating, wearing close-toed shoes for an extended amount of time, swimming, etc.,
- sharing towels, foot products, socks and/or shoes with an individual that is already infected with foot fungus (this is where Shoe Sterilizers can come in handy) and
- having a decreased immune system and/or decreased circulation (click HERE to see an easy remedy to improve foot circulation).
Back to the term “Athlete’s Foot”… do you see it? Athletes typically meet many of the risk factors associated with foot fungus!
Symptoms of Foot Fungus
Athlete’s Foot can present in many different ways and can look completely different from one individual to the next. In fact, some people may even have foot fungus and not even realize it… just thinking they are experiencing dry skin.
It can affect only one foot or both, be isolated to between the toes OR can profoundly affect the entirety of the foot and/or feet.
Some most common symptoms of foot fungus can include the following:
- Itching, stinging and/or burning between the toes and/or on the soles of the feet.
- Red patches of skin between the toes that usually has a scaly appearance and itches.
- Multiple, small blisters that are usually red in color and located either in between the toes, on the soles of the feet, or both. These may or may not itch.
- Excessive dryness (and sometimes scales) on the soles of the feet that usually (but not always) extends up the sides of the foot. This may present as cracking, peeling and/or raw skin.
- Small sores (termed ulcers) that are red in color, leak fluid and sometimes have a foul odor.
Keep in mind that foot fungus is completely different from toenail fungus even though it is often caused by the same types of fungi!
If your problem is toenail-related (thick, yellow, discolored toenails), feel free to read my posts: What is Toenail Fungus? and Symptoms of Toenail Fungus.
This will definitely help you in determining if toenail fungus is what you are indeed suffering with AND give you insight on the best treatment options for toenail fungus.
Treatment of Foot Fungus
While there are a multitude of prescription treatments that your doctor can prescribe, Athlete’s foot can usually be successfully treated with over-the-counter, topical antifungal medications.
This is where I come in… I am here to help. You can read more about me by clicking HERE.
There are many different antifungal products on the market.
If you are searching for treatment products with active ingredients that include medicinal drugs, they are all essentially equally effective in eliminating foot fungus when used as directed twice daily.
Some of the most commonly used over-the-counter products containing active chemicals proven to eliminate foot fungus include the following:
However, if you are searching for a more superior and natural way to alleviate foot fungus (along with many other skin conditions), then you will benefit greatly from reading my review on Puriya Wonder Balm.
This is a totally amazing product that is composed of 100% natural ingredients and it works so much faster than the commonly purchased products listed above.
It is all that I recommend to my patients for their foot fungus and works better than any other product on the market… topical prescriptions included.
This stuff is the real deal with faster results! Read more about this “wonder balm” by clicking HERE!
No matter which over-the-counter product you choose to tackle your Athlete’s Foot with, you should definitely see some form of improvement within a four-week time period (I witness MUCH faster results with Puriya Wonder Balm).
Should your condition not improve with treatment over the course of four weeks of twice daily usage OR should your condition worsen at any time during treatment, a visit to your doctor is highly recommended.
How to Prevent Foot Fungus
As with any type of disease, prevention is key!
If you can eliminate risk factors, you can exponentially decrease the odds of contracting this dreadful disease.
Some things that you can easily do to decrease the chances of contraction of foot fungus include:
- Avoid sharing socks, shoes and towels with others. If it is necessary, or desirable, to share shoes, invest in a shoe sterilizer. Click HERE to read all about the most effective shoe sterilizer!
- Wear sandals or shower shoes in public places where you would normally go barefoot such as shared showers and swimming pools.
- Wear socks and shoes that are made of breathable materials that wick moisture away from your skin.
- Change socks immediately when your feet get sweaty.
- Ensure you are doing all that you can to prevent decreased circulation to your feet. Some things that will aid in the maintenance of proper circulation include a well-balanced diet, exercise and circulation boosters. Read my review of the absolute best circulation booster by clicking HERE!
Foot Fungus – My Conclusion
What is foot fungus? You now have your answer!
While this is a relatively minor disease, the symptoms of foot fungus can be both annoying and embarrassing.
With a multitude of successful over-the-counter treatment options available, there is no reason not to treat Athlete’s Foot.
CLICK HERE NOW TO READ MY REVIEW OF PURIYA WONDER BALM… MY RECOMMENDED TREATMENT FOR ATHLETE’S FOOT!
If you are currently suffering with foot fungus and have any questions OR if you would like to share your experience with this condition, please feel free to comment below!
4 thoughts on “What is Foot Fungus? – Athlete’s Foot Fully Explained”
This was really helpful. I have a toenail fungus on one of my toes, but it doesn’t seem to bother me. It is on the smallest toe and causes it to be really thick. My doctor wouldn’t prescribe anything for me because he told me that the prescription didn’t work well and was really expensive.
Hello Melinda! I am so glad that you found my post on “What is Foot Fungus? – Athlete’s Foot Fully Explained” beneficial.
However… while often caused by the same particular fungi, toenail fungus is a little bit different than foot fungus. I think that you would enjoy reading my posts directed more specifically about toenail fungus. Here are just some of the articles that I have prepared regarding nail fungus: “What is Toenail Fungus? – I Need Answers“, “Symptoms of Toenail Fungus – Do You Have It?” and “Treatment Options for Toenail Fungus – How Do I Get Rid of This?“.
You will definitely find some awesome treatment recommendations that really work and don’t break your bank! ((: Hope this helps!
Let me know if you have any questions. I truly am here to help!
I’ve had foot fungus for years – right foot only (hoping that my left foot doesn’t find out about it). And, I have tried a number of antifungal creams including 3 of 5 you listed: Clotrimazole, Lotrimin, and Lamisil.
None of them worked for the foot fungus – which has recently spread to my toenails. I do have to say that, at least Clotrimazole was most effective several years ago when I contracted ringworm on my arm after doing some of outside yard work.
My current treatment is a “full prescription strength” Terginafine Hydrochloride Cream”, 1%. But, the doctor tells me that once contracted, the fungus never completely disappears. This cream has minimized the cracked, sore skin on my sole but, there is no effect on the toenails.
I was really impressed to see your natural remedy, Puriya Wonder Balm! Do you think that it can actually eliminate the problem? Or, would it be just another “band-aid” and just minimize the effects?
Good morning Jim and thank you for visiting my post “What is Foot Fungus? – Athlete’s Foot Fully Explained“! I am so sorry to hear that you have been suffering for this condition for years now!
I see this literally ALL of the time! Over-the-counter creams tried… prescription creams completed… all to no avail. And then… patients will listen and finally purchase my recommended Puriya Wonder Balm. They are ALWAYS in total amazement on their follow-up visit because… it TRULY works.
If I was not fully confident in this “wonder balm“, I would NOT put my name behind it. That would just be embarrassing! But… I have seen this product work on thousands of patients!
As far as total elimination of the foot fungus… give it a try. You will NOT be disappointed. I would recommend twice daily use.
Once the foot fungus is resolved, I recommend one of two things in order to avoid re-contamination. You can either continue Puriya Wonder Balm once daily to prevent the re-infection of your foot from particles that you may come in to contact with such as from your shoes. OR… you can utilize products called shoe sanitizers to fully disinfect any remaining fungal particles and then go on about your daily life! My favorite shoe sanitizer is called the SteriShoe UV Shoe Sanitizer.
Regarding your toenail fungus, I would definitely recommend an alternate treatment as fighting toenail fungus requires a little bit different technique. You have to utilize an approach that allows for adequate penetration through the nail plate. Creams, balms and lotions just don’t seem to do the job very efficiently. I have summarized all of the treatment options for toenail fungus in my post: “Treatment Options for Toenail Fungus – How Do I Get Rid of This?“. You should definitely check it out!
Well… I hope all of this helps. I am truly here to help! Let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns! And… should you follow my recommendation and give the Puriya Wonder Balm a chance, my readers and I would love for you to come back and let us know your progress! I know you will simply be amazed!