Mycosis of the feet

foot fungus

In the past, yeast infections of the feet were so common that only a few could prevent infection. Fortunately, since the 1960s and 1970s, drugs have been available that actually heal patients, not just relieve. However, so far, mycosis of the feet remains the most common fungal skin disease, followed by ringworm in prevalence.

The skin folds between the toes and the surface of the foot (especially the sole) are most commonly affected, but in rare cases even the hands can be affected. The appearance of the disease in the hands is mainly explained not by a direct infection, but by the action of fungal toxins that circulate in the bloodstream. On the other hand, when scratching the soles, the microorganisms end up under the nails, from where they can be transferred to other parts of the body, incl. and on the scalp. People susceptible to fungal infections should be aware of this simpler and more common way of spreading the infection.

The risk group includes athletes and people who frequently visit swimming pools and public showers, people who do not follow basic hygiene rules.

The reasons

Mycoses of the feet are caused by various types of parasitic fungi. These microorganisms are found in abundance on the floor of swimming pools and saunas, as well as in the public showers of sports complexes. A person who walks barefoot in such places is simply looking for an infection.

Wearing someone else's shoes and sharing towels and other hygiene products is the second most common method of transmission.

If a person ever had a fungal disease, reinfection happens very easily.

The growth of the fungus is supported by the lack of proper foot hygiene: putting on socks and boots with wet feet, reusing dirty socks, insufficiently airing the shoe between uses.


The mycosis of the feet manifests itself in a very diverse way. The first signs of a fungal disease may be cracks, painful or itchy blisters, diaper rash, and hardening of the skin, such as calluses. Then the affected areas of the skin soften, turn white, and begin to flake off. Sometimes, due to a bacterial infection, the existing vesicles turn into abscesses or sores.

Itching and burning sensation is an almost constant symptom of athlete's foot, sometimes patients complain of pain and unpleasant odor in the feet.

What can you do

If signs of a yeast infection appear, you should see a dermatologist. It is the doctor who must prescribe the treatment. We only provide general advice and guidelines.

If you are already sick, remember that foot mycosis is a fungal infection, and fungi thrive and multiply only in a moist environment. By removing moisture, you prevent these parasites from multiplying and spreading.

Try to protect your family members from infection. To do this, explain that now you cannot walk barefoot in the apartment, especially in the bathroom. If you can, use a shower, not a bath. After you shower, be sure to treat the bathtub or shower tray and the bathroom floor with a disinfectant.

Every day before going to bed, wash your feet with ordinary soap and warm water, make sure that the skin is not very soaked and soft. With a napkin, pick up and clean any bits of skin that have fallen off, making sure none get under the nails.

Using toilet paper or a hair dryer, dry your feet well, especially between the toes. Then apply an antifungal cream (if the blisters break or ooze) or an ointment (if the affected area is dry). Continue the treatment for four weeks even if the external manifestations disappear earlier.

If the skin is very inflamed, refrain from using an antifungal cream or ointment. Use a powder in the morning. If the antifungal powder is also an irritant, use starch or talcum powder. It is also good to put this powder on your shoes every day.

Remember that antifungal creams and ointments are irritating by themselves and should only be applied to dry skin. If your feet are prone to sweating, you should not wear shoes until the medication has been absorbed.

Wear cotton socks, preferably white, and clean them every day. When washing, dip the socks in a chlorine bleach solution (not soap) or let them boil for 10 minutes. This will kill the fungus on your clothes. Otherwise, cure is almost impossible, as reinfection will occur constantly. Shoes should also be disinfected with antifungal sprays and then allowed to air out for a couple of days (preferably in the sun).

If your hands are affected, do not use antifungal medications until your skin is examined and diagnosed. Since if the microorganisms are not there, antifungal agents will be ineffective. When the disease in the feet has passed, the manifestations in the hands will also disappear.

What a doctor can do

If necessary, the doctor can prescribe a powerful and specific medicine, as well as a prescription for a powdered mixture to prepare a disinfectant solution for the feet.

In severe cases, it may be advisable to use combination therapy, which also includes physical therapy procedures, as well as oral medications.

If a secondary bacterial infection develops (penetrates the skin through cracks and wounds), your doctor will prescribe antibiotics for local or systemic use.

Precautionary measures

Observe hygiene: never go barefoot, especially in public showers and changing rooms, put on new socks every day, after washing and drying your feet and toe spaces well, ventilate your shoes well between uses.

Make sure to shower before and after swimming in the pool and wear rubber slippers as soon as you get out of the water. Also, you can consult with your doctor about the use of various preventive measures.