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Fungal Infections and Toenails

 
 

Overview

Fungal infections can affect either the skin on the foot or the toenails. Skin fungus can include Athlete's Foot, which often begins in the toes and spreads across the bottom of the feet, and Hyperhidrosis, which causes profuse sweating. As well, the fungus can grow in and around the toenail.

Causes

Athlete's Foot is the result of excessive sweating between the toes while repeatedly confined in tight-fitting shoes. The organism thrives most in a warm, humid environment. It is also highly contagious and can be transferred through contact with a contagious person via towel, floor, or shoes.

Hyperhidrosis is simply the cause of hyperactive sweat glands. 

Fungal nail infections will result from the growth of an organism in or under the nail. Similarly to Athlete's Foot, the fungus thrives in a warm, moist environment. It can result from the same infection responsible for Athlete's Foot, Ringworm, and other nail infections.

Symptoms

Athlete's Foot is associated with red, scaly rashes and a severe itch after removing shoes and socks. As well, the fungus can include blisters and ulcers. 

While Athlete's Foot is often associated with dry skin, Hyperhidrosis tends to include clammy or damp feet and profuse sweating. 

The most common symptoms of a fungal toenail are scaling under the toenail, white or yellow streaks on the nail, and crumbling tips and corners. While a thickening of the toenail can indicate a nail fungus, it can also be the result of a number of other conditions. 

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Possible treatments

Athlete's Foot is treatable by both oral and topical prescriptions. It is advisable to keep the area dry and sanitize all contaminated areas. 

Certain injections can be performed to neutralized the overactive sweat glands to assist with the reduction of the overactive sweat glands contributing to the Hyperhidrosis.

Similarly to Athlete's Foot, oral or topical medication can be prescribed. However, additional specialized procedures can be diagnosed such as nail avulsions and Theralaser therapy.