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Fungal Skin Infections

Athlete's foot generally affects the skin on the feet between the toes, but can move anywhere on the foot as well as  affecting the toenails. 

Athlete's foot is a fungal infection of the skin and the nails, usually found on the skin between the toes. When the infection spreads to the toenails, they become thick discolored and distorted.

Fungi are plant organisms such as mold and mildew which grow best in conditions that are moist. Bacteria can also thrive as a secondary infection, which worsens the symptoms of the disorder and makes it more difficult to cure. A fungal infection is one of the most difficult nail and foot conditions to treat.

It is common to catch athlete's foot by walking on floors that are moist or wet (e.g. at swimming pools and in shared bathroom facilities). Athlete's foot is also much more common in people who tend to have sweaty feet. Athlete's foot can also be spread by sharing other people's shoes or personal care items such as towels and wash cloths.

Athlete's foot and fungus may also spread to other parts of the body, notably the groin and underarms, by those who scratch often and then touch themselves elsewhere.

Symptoms:

  • On the skin:
    • Reddened, cracked, and peeling skin
    • Some bleeding
    • Itching
    • Burning
    • Stinging sensation
    • Development of small blisters (Blisters often lead to cracking of the skin. When blisters break, small raw areas of tissue are exposed, causing pain and swelling. Itching and burning may increase as the infection  spreads. In severe cases the skin may thicken, like a callus, and begin to scale.)
  • On the toe nail:
    • Change in color (yellow or brown)
    • Nail gets thicker
    • Bad odor
    • Debris collects beneath the nail

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