Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
Problems with your feet can be embarrassing, and as they’re likely to be covered up for most of the day, it can be tempting to ignore them. However, this usually means the problem gets worse and can lead to an infection developing.
If this happens, it’s best to seek medical advice as soon as possible in order to the treat the problem. Our doctors can talk you through your treatment options and advise you on the most effective products, while if a prescription is needed, they can have one sent to your nearest pharmacy.
Common Foot Infections: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
Below are three of the most common conditions affecting the feet:
Despite its name, you don’t need to be a runner to pick up this uncomfortable skin condition. It’s a fungal infection that can be caused by not keeping your feet clean and having frequently sweaty feet (often due to your choice of footwear).
It’s contagious, which means you can also pick it up in a public place such as swimming pools and changing rooms.
Athlete’s Foot sufferers might notice the skin between their toes becomes dry, cracked and sore, while in other cases it might actually be moist or come out in blisters.
Whatever the cause or symptoms of your Athlete’s Foot, there are various foot powders, creams and sprays that can treat it. A doctor can also advise on how to prevent the problem from reoccurring
Fungal Nail Infection
A fungal nail infection will cause your toenail to become thick, yellow and in some cases, fragile. Depending on the severity, you could also experience itching or your toe might become swollen.
Many people who get fungal nails find it very uncomfortable to put pressure on the affected toes.
Like Athlete’s Foot, fungal nails can occur if your feet aren’t clean or your shoes and socks are causing them to sweat all day. You can also develop a fungal nail if your toenail is damaged.
Your treatment will depend on the severity of the infection. A mild case will often get better on its own, while a more serious problem can be treated with tablets or an anti-fungal paint. It can take several weeks for the infection to die down.
Sometimes, the edges of your toenail can actually dig into your skin and start to grow into your toe. As you might expect, this can become quite painful, so it needs dealing with as soon as possible.
At first, you might notice the skin around your toe getting red and sore. If left untreated, this can progress to the point you might notice fluid, blood or pus around your nail. It’s at this stage where an infection could start to develop.
If caught early, you can often deal with an ingrown toenail by cutting it properly, moving the skin from under the nail with a cotton bud or changing your footwear. However, in severe cases it may be necessary for a doctor to refer you to a specialist who will remove some or all of the nail.
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Updated: December 17, 2020