Both your feet and your toenails are susceptible to fungal infection that can be hard to treat without intervention from an experienced podiatrist. If you’re experiencing thickened, yellow toenails, verruca or warts on your foot, or burning, peeling, itchy skin, you may be suffering from one of several common fungal infections requiring medical treatment. Schedule an appointment at one of six convenient Starrett Podiatry clinics spread throughout the greater New York area: East Harlem and West Harlem in New York City; Brooklyn, New York; and Mott Haven and Belmont in Bronx, New York.
There are two primary fungal infections to be concerned with: athlete’s foot and nail fungus. While each fungal infection manifests uniquely, both can create discomfort and other unwanted symptoms.
If your toenails are discolored, thickened, brittle, or foul-smelling, you may be suffering from a common but hard-to-treat toenail fungus called onychomycosis.
In many cases, onychomycosis goes unnoticed until the nails thicken, become hard to trim, and begin to flake and crumble. At this stage, it can be much harder to treat.
This condition affects the sole, toes, and sometimes other parts of you foot. It can cause itchy, burning, dry, flaky skin in the affected area.
Untreated athlete’s foot can result in cracking and open skin, which puts you at high risk of infections and complications.
In many cases, over-the-counter antifungal creams along with keeping your feet as dry as possible can successfully treat athlete’s foot without medical intervention. If you’ve tried over-the-counter creams without success, it’s time to see a podiatrist for prescription treatment.
Athlete’s foot is contagious, so you can be exposed to it in the gym, at the pool, or in other places where people are barefoot, such as dorm showers. Once you’ve been exposed, athlete’s foot thrives in warm, moist settings, so sweaty feet are especially prone to infection.
Because the fungal infection is contagious, it can also spread to your toenails, hands, or groin. It’s most commonly spread to the groin when you use the same towel to dry your feet that you use for the rest of your body.
You should see a doctor as soon as you suspect you may have toenail fungus, as it will be easier and quicker to treat if caught early. If you think you may have athlete’s foot, you can try to manage it at home or schedule an appointment right away. If you have diabetes and suspect any problems with your feet at all, see a podiatrist right away.