There are 2 main types of fungal infections that we treat in our clinic. One is a fungal skin infection on the feet also known as athlete’s foot or tinea pedis and the other type of infection is fungal nail infection.
What is a Fungal Skin Infection?
Fungal skin infections are very common across all age groups. We treat these infections daily. Athlete’s foot / tinea pedis is caused by a fungus known as trichophyton which lives on the outside of the skin. Fungus thrives and grows in warm moist places such as shoes, trainers, socks and communal areas. We see this infection mostly in sporty people, people who use communal areas quite a lot and people who regularly wear tight fitting shoes.
What does a fungal skin infection look like?
Symptoms can vary from person to person and may be different of different parts of the foot. Common symptoms are redness, itching, burning, blisters, peeling, cracking and scaling.
Interdigital: is where the infection is located between the toes and usually causes itching, scaling or blistering.
Moccasin: Scaling, dryness and cracking of the skin on the sole of the foot and sometimes along the sides for the foot.
Vesicular: Usually appear as fluid filled blisters under the skin and can appear on any part of the foot.
2. What is a Toenail Fungal Infection?
A toenail fungal infection happens when the fungi gets through the nail and to the nail bed. These fungi cause the nail to become discoloured and become thickened over time. This type of fungal infection also thrives in warm moist conditions.
What are the Symptoms?
Discolouration (brown / yellow) of the nails, thickened nails and in more severe cases the nail may crumble and fall off. The fungal infection can spread to all the nails so it is important to start treatment as soon as you notice the infection.
Who gets Fungal Infections?
Fungal Toenail infections are common across all age groups especially people who have suffered from fungal skin infections in the past, people with weakened immune systems and people who spend a lot of time in wet damp environments.
How is a Toenail Fungal Infection treated?
There are a few different options to treat a fungal nail infection and they all take time and patience as it can take up to a year for a new nail to grow. Your doctor can prescribe tablets to cure the infection however there is a risk of side effects from these tablets.
In our clinics, we thin down the fungal infected nail using a specialised drill. By thinning the nail this allows the medication to penetrate the nail and reach the infection. Our chiropodists will advise you on how best to manage the infection and reduce the risk of the infection spreading to the other toenails.