What Is Foot Fungus?


Quick Answer

Foot fungus is a fungal infection caused by a microscopic fungus that dwells on the dead tissue of toenails and outer skin layers. It usually occurs between the toes. Foot fungus causes itchiness, redness, a burning sensation, and sometimes sores and blisters on the affected toe. It’s also known as athlete’s foot.

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What Is Foot Fungus?
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Full Answer

The fungus that causes athlete’s foot grows in warm and moist environments, such as between the toes. It can also be picked up in other warm and wet places, such as shoes, swimming pools, locker rooms and floors of public showers, states WebMD. People who use community bathrooms and wear tight shoes are susceptible to foot fungus. Additionally, sweaty feet confined in tight shoes without air circulation are also vulnerable.

Foot fungus spreads easily. A person can get it by touching the toes or feet of an infected person. However, it is more likely to spread by infecting people who are walking barefoot on contaminated surfaces. There are three main types of foot fungus, and each type affects different parts of the foot, notes WebMD.

Toe-web infection is the most common type of foot fungus and usually occurs between the last two toes on either side. The infection causes itching, burning and scaling, and can spread to the sole. A moccasin-type foot fungus may begin with dryness or a little soreness on the foot, according to WebMD. As it progresses, the skin on the bottom of the foot may form cracks and thicken. The other type of athlete’s foot is vesicular. It is the least common characterized by blisters on the bottom of the foot. A vesicular-type infection can also cause a bacterial infection, notes WebMD.

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