Foot fungus treatments include antifungal creams, powders or pills, depending on whether the fungus infects just the skin of the foot or is also infecting the toenails, says Cleveland Clinic. When the infection is only in the skin, a non-prescription anti-fungal cream is usually a sufficient treatment. The nails are more difficult to treat, however, and often require antifungal pills. These pills are usually effective, but can harm the liver, and toenail infections are likely to recur.
Foot fungus infections cause itching, burning, cracking and peeling in the skin of the feet, states Cleveland Clinic. When the nails are infected, they become yellowed and crumbling. In severe cases, the skin can break down, leaving ulcers in the feet or causing cellulitis. This is a particular danger for people with compromised immune systems or diabetes. These infections do not go away without treatment, and can easily spread to other parts of the body, such as the hands or groin.
Foot fungus spreads easily between people, especially to people who walk barefoot in warm and wet public areas, such as gym shower facilities, explains Cleveland Clinic. Fungal infections often cause the most problems between the toes, where they are sheltered from cool or dry air. Wearing sandals or shoes in communal areas is the best method of prevention.