Irving Primary Care

Foot fungus: The bad and the ugly

Foot fungus can be painful and annoying when you walk. Foot fungus occurs when the skin of the toes is infected with fungi due to cracks in the skin or the toenail. It is hard to distinguish foot fungus until you start seeing the skin color and texture change, coupled with some pain. Like any fungus that develops in moist and damp areas, your foot can be a breeding ground for fungus if it is not properly taken care of. Having damp or moist feet due to sweat or wearing socks and shoes for long hours could result in fungus development that spreads to other parts of your foot. 

The signs of a foot fungus

If your toenail is infected with fungus, it will become thicker than normal and its shape will change. Your nails will start looking dull and yellow. Just like there is white growth on food, your nail might have a white spot or two and it will likely spread. As soon as you see a fungal growth, you should treat it right away because it will weaken your nail and cause it to break easily. It may even become removed from the nail bed altogether.

How do people get foot fungus?

Usually, people with poor foot care habits, especially people who have diabetes, athlete’s foot or poor foot hygiene, get foot fungi. But the chances of this happening increases with age.  People who spend most of their time in the water, such as swimmers, or those who have a toe injury, can also develop fungus on their toes. Sometimes, there are other conditions that might mirror the conditions of a foot fungus, like eczema, psoriasis or rash etc so it is better to get it checked out by a doctor.

Treatment and cure

The treatment can be prescribed only by looking at the severity of the condition. A topical cream or ointment will be given along with antifungal pills or antibiotics. If there is more damage than meets the eye, then the doctor might have to completely remove the nail from its bed so that there is space for a fresh nail to grow in its place.

Taking care of your feet

Every part of your body needs care and cleanliness. We often neglect our feet until there is a major problem such as fungal growth, and only then do we realize the importance of caring for them. Here’s how to care for them for the long run:

  • Cut your toenails every 3-5 weeks.
  • Wash your feet properly, including the spaces between the toes.
  • Ensure that your nail cutter is clean as well.
  • Don’t wear socks and shoes for too long if your feet sweat easily.
  • Use an antifungal spray before putting on socks
  • Get yourself a pedicure if you can. You can also do your own pedicure at home.

The above steps are a great way to prevent the pesky growth of fungus on your feet. Be sure to consult your primary care provider if symptoms get worse. To make an appointment at Health ONE Family Medicine, visit or call 469-262-5762.