What do skin fungi look like on the feet and how can they appear?

examination of the skin of the feet in an appointment with a specialist

Fungal infections of the feet begin in the areas between the toes. The infection can then spread to the feet and the nail bed. The disease is caused by dermatophytes, mold or yeast fungi. According to statistics, in our country about 20% of people have foot fungus. The severity of the disease depends on the type of infection, but the disease must be treated anyway, as the peeling, strong itching, inflammation and unpleasant smell of the feet cause serious discomfort. We will show you how to get rid of foot fungus.

What do toenail fungus look like?

A fungal infection causes inflammation of the skin where the fungal infection is located. The main types of dermatomycosis of the feet are:

  • Fungus of the sole of the foot is scaly, in which the affected area becomes red, peels and cracks appear in the skin. The patient often does not experience any discomfort, which contributes to the wide spread of this type of disease.
  • Dyshidrotic foot fungus is localized in the arches of the feet, which are not in contact with the floor surface. In the places of infection, small blisters are formed, which spread to the inner and outer parts of the leg, open, forming erosions and diaper rash on the surface of the skin. The process is accompanied by a feeling of itching and burning. After the opening of the vesicles (blisters), the disease passes into the squamous form.
  • A fungus on the skin of the feet that affects the interdigital space is called the intertriginous form of the disease and is the most common type. It appears in the form of cracks, the edges of which are covered with a white rim of exfoliating epidermis. As a rule, this form has a long-term chronic course and is difficult to treat.
  • Fungus on the foot or ankle appears as pink or red round spots covered with scaly skin. As the infection progresses, foci of inflammation increase, the process is accompanied by severe itching.
skin crease on leg


This disease is a type of athlete's foot characterized by a fungal infection of the nails. You can get infected in public showers, saunas, baths and swimming pools. Scales containing a pathogenic microorganism are easily separated from the nail plate and can remain on unpainted floors, carpets, rugs and benches. High humidity allows them not only to survive, but also promotes active reproduction, and therefore the risk of infection increases significantly.

In the initial stage, the infection reaches the epidermis of the feet, causing severe itching. To relieve the discomfort, a person begins to comb the infected area, but this only worsens the situation. Skin areas affected by the fungus are covered with small scratches and cracks, microorganisms begin to spread, penetrate under the nail plate and then begin to multiply uncontrollably.

Serious diseases such as diabetes or HIV, poor circulation or injury to the nail greatly increase the risk of infection.

Onychomycosis is divided into 3 types:

treatment of foot fungus
  • Normotrophic. With this type of onychomycosis, there is a change in the color of the nail from normal to yellow-brown. The natural shine, shape of the nail and its thickness remain unchanged.
  • Hypertrophic. There is a final change in the color of the nail, its luster disappears, the shape changes, thickness develops and partial destruction begins.
  • Onycholithic. The color of the affected nail changes to brown, becomes thinner and begins to break. Her gradual separation from the bed begins. Uneven layers may appear on the exposed part of the nail bed.

Treatment of this type of fungus on the palms and soles with topical medications is ineffective due to the fact that the fungal spores are located under the nails. Before starting the treatment, the nail must be removed. This is done with the help of keratolytic drugs and patches are also used. In some cases, it is possible to remove the nail mechanically: the parts of the nail that have died are cut with a nail file or suction. It is important to remember that all instruments used must be sterile.

The combined use of mechanical removal and keratolytic stains is the most effective way to remove diseased nails. As for keratolytic agents, you can use a ready-made kit with a broad-spectrum antifungal drug. It contains a special ointment, files for scratching the nail and a patch. After the nail plate has been removed, you should start taking systemic antifungals: an antifungal drug for systemic use, an oral antifungal agent.

applying the antifungal ointment to the skin of the leg


Depending on the form of the disease and the location of the inflammation, the infection is accompanied by various symptoms with the following general signs:

  • skin peeling;
  • mild or severe reddening of the skin at the site of the lesion;
  • itching;
  • burning sensation;
  • rash with blisters or cracks in the skin.

Blisters between toes

The main symptom of athlete's foot, caused by the fungus Candida, is the appearance of blisters between the toes, usually between the fourth toe and the little toe. The course of the disease is accompanied by swelling of the skin adjacent to the fingers, marked areas of redness with small blisters on their surface. The source of inflammation is surrounded by a rim of exfoliated epidermis.

fungal infection of the skin between the toes

Dihydrate form

Vesicular fungus, or, as it is called, dyshydric mycosis, is the rarest type of the disease. Its main manifestation is numerous vesicles united in conglomerates. Vesicles are blisters filled with pus or nutrient fluid from the inside. When the fluid starts to become cloudy, the vesicles burst, leaving ulcers in their place. They begin to merge into a line, forming pronounced scars on the skin. This happens due to the drying and peeling of the skin layers.

About 70% of infections with vesicular fungi are accompanied by an allergic rash. A variety of bacteria and viruses begin to penetrate the ulcers. As a result, the disease becomes mixed and identification of the original pathogen becomes more difficult. Therefore, you should consult a doctor as soon as the primary symptoms appear: he can quickly identify the type of fungus on the feet and start therapy.

a type of fungus that appears as a blister on the skin

Moreover, this should be done immediately. First of all, before using antifungal drugs, the acute process must be eliminated. It is better to entrust this task to a specialist: he can carefully puncture the vesicles, treat the remaining ulcers with two percent boric acid and apply a brilliant green or methylene blue solution.

Treatment of advanced disease includes the use of corticosteroid ointments. After eliminating the inflammatory process, the use of local antimycotic agents is recommended. This will suppress the pathogen. We continue to consider the names and types of toenail fungus.

The first signs

Leg skin disease is always accompanied by a number of general symptoms, the appearance of which indicates skin infection with spores of harmful microorganisms. You should seek help from a dermatologist in the following cases:

  • the appearance of cracks or blisters on the skin in the folds of the legs or between the toes;
  • significant thickening and thickening of the skin of the feet;
  • redness of skin areas, their skin;
  • burning or itching sensation.
foot skin fungus

Duration of treatment

Combined infection of the skin and nail plate requires rehabilitation therapy for one to three months. These terms are considered standard for the most medically effective pharmaceutical products.

antifungal bath

Pregnancy requires a sympathetic visit to the doctor to choose a way to get rid of mycodin infection. Powerful medications and therapies that require the use of similar drugs are prescribed only under the supervision of a doctor in accordance with strict dosages. Many antibacterial tablets that effectively destroy fungi can cause significant harm to the fetus. Therefore, whenever possible, during pregnancy, patients are recommended to be treated using prescriptions of traditional medicine. Many of them allow you to cope with the disease, but on the condition that the disease has not reached a complex stage. Only classical medicine can help cope with the advanced form.

Modern medications allow you to completely restore the health of your feet within two weeks, provided that the signs of infection are detected in time.


Infection occurs for a number of reasons after direct or indirect contact of the patient with the carrier of the infection or his personal belongings, household items. Risk factors for contracting tinea pedis include:

  • leg circulation disorders and related diseases (varicose veins);
  • weakened general or local immunity;
  • non-compliance with hygiene rules;
  • weakening of the body's defense systems after taking antibiotics;
  • increased sweating of the skin of the feet;
  • the presence of minor skin damage (scratches, scratches).

Treatment methods

application of anti-fungal ointment on the feet

In most cases, it is possible to completely get rid of a disease detected in time in a maximum of one month. This is a very important point in the treatment, as itching, tissue damage and other manifestations disappear, the patient sometimes stops the treatment, believing that the disease has been defeated. But the remnants of the infection can easily cause a relapse.

Treatment procedures should be stopped only after the doctor's permission and after passing the necessary tests. This is especially true for advanced forms of the disease. The fungus is firmly "fixed" on the body and sometimes it can take at least six months to get rid of it. But the external manifestation of foot fungus in the form of various damage to the skin or nails disappears much earlier, creating the illusion of health. By stopping therapy in this case, the patient is almost guaranteed to provoke a relapse.

Treatment of feet for mycoid infection is carried out comprehensively. To get rid of the disease, local antifungal drugs and tablets are used to eliminate the infectious agent that has penetrated the body. To get rid of itching, pain, brittle nails and to accelerate tissue regeneration, certain medications can be prescribed. It is not recommended to combine them independently with the main therapeutic group, so as not to provoke an allergic reaction or poisoning of the body due to the simultaneous use of incompatible drugs.

Curing foot fungus at an early stage is quite simple. Usually, two weeks of therapy are enough to eliminate the symptoms of mycoid infection.

Types of mycoses

Only a dermatologist can accurately determine the type of fungus by visual examination, the data of which is clarified using laboratory tests. Depending on the causative agent of the fungal infection (yeast, mold, fungi of the genus Trichophyton or Candida) on the skin of the feet, there are several main types of the disease, which include:

  • candidiasis of the feet;
  • athlete's foot;
  • trichophytosis (or rumbicosis) of the feet;
  • onychomycosis (nail fungus).
fungal infection of the nail plates


Simple preventive measures will significantly reduce the likelihood of infection. You should use only personal items and treat the nails with sterile instruments. When visiting public places, such as baths, saunas, swimming pools, beaches, you should use your shoes. By the way, try to choose it so that it is comfortable and allows your feet to breathe. You should worry about prevention in advance so that you don't have to deal with different types of toenail fungus later.

How to treat

Treatment of foot fungus is a complex long-term therapy, in severe cases including the use of systemic oral agents. For small lesions, emphasis is placed on local therapy using antibacterial and antiseptic agents. In acute forms of the disease, warm baths are prescribed to relieve inflammation and remove dead skin cells. In some cases, it is necessary to treat the patient's shoes and clothing with special ingredients to avoid relapses.

System Tools

Systemic oral agents are prescribed in cases of ineffectiveness of local drugs and in severe advanced forms of the disease. A course of oral antifungal drugs is indicated for fungal infections of the deep layers of the skin; they help not only in the treatment of the acute phase, but also prevent the disease from becoming chronic. The dosage regimen, duration of the course and dosage are chosen by the attending physician.

Doctors recognize antifungal drugs for systemic use as the best tools for the systemic treatment of athlete's foot. They have an active fungicidal (destructive) and funginistic (suppressing the spread of bacteria) effect; their active ingredients can accumulate in the upper layers of the epidermis, nails and hair. Before taking it, be sure to read the instructions for use, as these products have contraindications.

Local remedies

Therapy with topical medications includes not only the use of antifungal creams and ointments, but also the use of special sprays, aerosols and lotions. The form of the medicine is recommended by a dermatologist, depending on the type of the causative agent of the infection, the severity of the lesion on the skin of the feet, the stage of the disease and the individual characteristics of the patient's body. The duration of treatment with a local drug can vary from 2 weeks to 3 months.

For athlete's foot and other forms of mycoses of the skin of the feet, an aerosol, a suspension for application to the skin or a solution for topical use may be prescribed. The products are either applied directly to the skin damaged by the fungus, or wet swabs soaked in a medicinal solution are applied. All necessary recommendations for use can be obtained from your doctor.

Antifungal ointment

During the treatment of foot skin fungus, in most cases an antifungal ointment is prescribed, for example a cream with the active ingredient terbinafine hydrochloride or its analogues. Apply the medicine in the form of an oil or cream to the dry skin of the heels or other areas of localization of inflammation, previously carefully cleaned of dead epidermal cells and any other plaque. For different types of diseases, the duration of treatment can vary from 2-3 weeks to 2-3 months.

Experts consider broad-spectrum ointments to be effective means of combating toenail fungus of various forms and stages. The active components of the drug fight the fungal infection locally, suppressing the reproduction of its pathogen. The ointment is applied two to three times a day to washed, affected skin for several weeks or months, depending on the degree of skin damage.

Folk remedies

The use of folk remedies is possible only with the consent of the attending physician. The main products for baths, compresses and anti-fungal applications on the skin of the feet are vinegar, propolis, baking soda, herbal decoctions and laundry soap. The following procedures are practiced:

  • Bath with a solution of soda and salt. For 3 liters of water at a temperature of 36-40°C, use 3 tablespoons. l. salt and 3 tbsp. l of soda. The duration of the procedure is 10-15 minutes; after the bath, rinse your feet under warm running water. It is used for acute forms of fungus for 7-10 days, twice a day.
  • Lotions with herbal decoction. To prepare a decoction, mix dried oak bark, calendula flowers and verbena leaves in equal proportions. To prepare the decoction 3 tbsp. l. Pour a glass of boiling water over the mixture and keep it on low heat for 10-15 minutes. Make a compress with the resulting decoction three times a day for 20-30 minutes.
treatment of athlete's foot in the early stage

Deleted form

Mycosis of the erased form is almost invisible, its symptoms are minimal. These include: mild itching, burning, flour-like skin, microcracks located in the interdigital areas. If you do not contact a specialist when the first signs of the disease appear, the pathology can develop into onychomycosis, which is much more difficult to treat. In this case, the peeled nails will grow from one month to six.

Mycosis of the erased form is treated with local preparations: ointments, creams, foams. They allow you to create a layer on your feet that will protect against infection from other infections. It is not recommended to wash your feet for 24 hours after applying this medicine.

Only in extreme cases can systemic therapy be prescribed. The problem is that such medications are toxic and adversely affect some internal organs, such as the liver. Therefore, if there is an effect from the use of local remedies, then it is better not to take pills.

Routes of infection

Fungal spores remain stable in the environment for a long time, so it is easy to get infected with the disease in the most unexpected places. But the most favorable conditions for their development are warmth and high humidity. Because of this, people visiting the following places are at risk:

  • Swimming pool;
  • bathrooms;
  • sauna;
  • fitness center;
  • the beaches.

Fungi can appear on any item that is there, even if regular disinfection is carried out. Therefore, in such places you should avoid common facilities and be sure to take replacement shoes with you.

Military personnel are at risk. Most often, soldiers in the army wear uncomfortable shoes that do not allow air to pass. Because of this, the feet sweat, microtraumas appear, in which the fungus penetrates.

There are two types of infection. The first is the direct route through direct contact with the infectious agent during communication with a sick person, caring for an animal or walking barefoot on earth and sand. The second - the indirect way leads to infection through objects belonging to infected people or pets.

Preventive measures

prevention of athlete's foot

Prevention of a disease is always easier and safer for health than its treatment, even using the mildest method. In the case of a fungal infection, prevention is one of the mandatory norms of life, since it is very easy to get infected. Therefore, to reduce the risk of contracting the disease, it is recommended to follow some simple rules:

  • try to eat healthy and eat as healthy as possible;
  • do not use other people's belongings and personal hygiene products;
  • use basic protective equipment in public places, such as replacement shoes and antibacterial hygiene agents;
  • wash your feet and change your socks regularly;
  • lead a healthy lifestyle;
  • Take regular baths to improve the health of your feet;
  • periodically disinfect the shoes.

Prevention of fungal infection is important not only to prevent it, but also if the disease occurs. In this situation, compliance with sanitary and hygienic standards helps speed up recovery and prevent others from being infected with the fungus.