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Fungi and the Feet

Monday, 17 May 2021 00:00

Foot fungus is frequently used as a catch-all term to describe a fungal infection of the skin or nails. There are two main types of foot fungal infections. Tinea pedis refers to an infection of the skin on the feet and is more commonly known as athlete’s foot. It typically starts between the toes before spreading elsewhere on the foot and causes burning, peeling, and itchy skin. Athlete’s foot can be treated with topical antifungal medications. Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the toenails. It can make the nails brittle, thickened, and discolored. Toenail fungus is more difficult to treat and often requires a combination or oral and topical antifungal medications. If you notice the symptoms of a fungal infection on your feet or toenails, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist for treatment.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Bruce Smit of Frankfort Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.


  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail


If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.


In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Frankfort, and Crete, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.


Read more about How to Treat Your Toenail Fungus
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