Fungus between the toes: causes, symptoms and treatment

symptoms of fungus between the toes

Mycosis is an infectious skin disease caused by a fungus. Treatment with an antifungal cream is usually applied, which gives good results, but not in the long term. The following tips can help prevent fungus between the toes from recurring after treatment.

Who can get mycosis and how can it be prevented?

Mycosis is a fungal infection that affects the legs. This condition is very common: one in four people have an interdigital fungus on their feet. If this disease has started, its treatment can be very cumbersome. Fungal pathogens (fungi) are often found in small quantities on human skin, where they usually do not harm. However, under favorable conditions, they can penetrate the epidermis, multiply and cause infections. Favorable conditions for fungi are warm, moist, airless areas of the skin, such as between the toes.

Almost anyone can get mycosis. But it is more common in people who sweat more, or in those who wear thick shoes and socks, which also causes excessive sweating of the feet. Mycosis can be passed from person to person. For example, it can happen in a public shower used by athletes or swimmers. Small flakes of fungus-infected skin can fall out during the shower. Once a small patch of infection begins to develop, it tends to spread along the skin. About where else you can collect the mushroom is written here.

What are the symptoms of foot fungus?

The skin between the toes is usually the first to be affected. The first signs of a fungus, when the infection has just formed on the skin, are minor. The manifestation will become evident when the rash begins to spread, the skin begins to become itchy and scaly. Cracks and inflammation may appear on it. Large cracks (crevices) in the skin between the toes can widen and can be very painful. Small flakes of infected skin can peel off. If your interdigital mycosis is left untreated, the rash can gradually spread down the entire leg. In some cases, it extends to the sole. Often, the infection causes peeling of the entire sole and sides of the foot. Sometimes mycosis causes large blistering rashes all over the sole. In this case, we are dealing with a foot fungus.

Is mycosis in the toes serious?

As a rule, no. Most people successfully treat itchy toes before the infection has spread. Sometimes the infection spreads to the skin of other parts of the body. They are usually moist, airless areas, such as the groin. Usually, fungi, including fungus on the feet between the toes, do not spread deeper, but only on the skin surface. However, other microbes (bacteria) can enter the crevices left by neglected or untreated mycoses. Sometimes it can cause more serious foot or leg infections.

It happens that the infection spreads to the nail - it can be cured. But in this case, to get rid of the fungus, it will take several weeks of taking antifungal pills to get rid of the infection from the nails.

Therefore, the treatment of interdigital fungus on the legs is best done in a timely manner, as soon as the first symptoms begin to appear.

Treatment of mycosis

Treatment of fungus between the toes usually involves applying various antifungal creams and sprays. You can buy topical antifungals at the nearest pharmacy or get one with a prescription. To treat the fungus between the toes, it is necessary to apply the antifungal agent directly to the affected area, that is, the skin of the feet. There are different types and brands of medicines. They are usually sold in the form of creams, but they can also be sprays, liquids, and powders. The preparations are very good for ridding the skin of fungal infections. However, there is no evidence that one remedy is better than the other.

It is necessary to use the drugs as recommended. It depends on the different treatments, so read the instructions carefully before treating the fungus between the toes. It often happens that the inflammation seems to go away rather quickly, but it may need to be treated for 1 to 2 weeks after the rash has gone. This is necessary in order to completely get rid of fungi on the skin, which prevents relapses.

If you first encountered this disease and do not know how to cure the fungus on the feet and do not make a mistake in choosing a drug for treatment, it is better to consult a doctor.

For the skin, especially inflamed skin, the doctor may prescribe an antifungal cream combined with a mild steroid ointment. They are usually used for no more than seven days. You may need to continue using only an antifungal cream for some time afterwards. Anabolic steroids reduce inflammation in a short time and can relieve itching and redness. However, the steroid does not completely eliminate the fungus between the toes and therefore the steroid cream alone should not be used for treatment.

Antifungal pills for fungus between the toes are sometimes prescribed for adults if the infection is severe and cannot be cleared with creams. Tablets are also needed if the infection is found in many places on the skin other than the feet.

However, treating an interdigital fungus using the above procedures is not the same for everyone.

Antifungal pills are not always recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women or for people with liver disease. Some people may be prescribed another drug that interacts with antifungal pills. Children are usually not given antifungal drugs.

While skin fungus between the toes can be spread from person to person, you don't need to stay away from work, school, or sports if you have a fungus. However, in public places like a swimming pool or sauna, try to keep your legs covered until the rash goes away. Also, try not to scratch the damaged skin, as this can spread the infection to other areas.

The following tips can prevent recurring mycoses:

  1. You should wash your feet every day and dry the skin between the toes thoroughly after washing. This is perhaps the most important point. Wear socks if your feet aren't completely dry. Moist skin between the toes is an ideal breeding ground for fungi.
  2. Do not use other people's towels in public changing rooms! Towels should be washed as often as possible.
  3. Change your socks every day. Fungi can grow into flakes of skin in unwashed socks. Cotton socks and leather shoes are in many ways better than nylon socks and shoes made from artificial materials that increase breathability.
  4. Try to alternate different shoes every 2-3 days, this will allow each pair to dry completely after use.
  5. Wear flip-flops or plastic sandals in changing rooms and public showers. This prevents your feet from touching the floor, which may have flakes of other people's skin.
  6. When you are at home, walk barefoot for as long as possible, without shoes or socks so that the air can reach your feet. However, this may not be practical for some people.
  7. If the fungus persists, you can prevent recurrence by regularly applying one of the antifungal sprays or creams as a preventative measure. For a preventative measure, it can be used daily.