04 Jul Foot Fungus: Yellow Toenails and Dry, Flaky Skin
People often talk about having “foot fungus” or “athlete’s foot” but recent medical literature by Dr. Warren Joseph (Foot Infection Disease Specialist in the USA) suggests that basically you can’t have one without the other. This means that if a fungus has infected your toenails, it’s obviously also living on the skin of your feet – whether you have symptoms or not!
- Onychomycosis is the medical term for fungal toenails.
- Tinea Pedis is the medical name for athlete’s foot (basically, an infection of the skin on the feet, caused by fungus).
- Skin and nail fungal infections of the feet are exorably linked. You typically can’t have one without the other.
- Athlete’s foot is usually misdiagnosed as “dry skin” because it appears as …you guessed it – dry, flaky skin. Less commonly, it will appear as moist, white skin between the toes.
- The trick in distinguishing dry skin from a fungal infection is that the dry skin will affect the whole foot and a fungal infection will typically only affect the soles of the feet (or in between the toes).
- A fungal infection needs to be treated with an anti-fungal agent.
- BioPed Chiropodists are foot specialists, with more than 6 years of university and clinical education. They will be able to provide an assessment of any foot condition or infection and can prescribe medication to treat it.
- There are many types of fungus but typically, only three main types that most commonly infect the foot and that is why some anti-fungal medications work better than others.
- If left untreated, athlete’s foot can lead to serious bacterial complications.
- Toenail and foot skin fungal infections are contracted by dirty pedicure instruments, soaking feet in a dirty basin or water, shoe or sock sharing and barefoot walking in areas where the fungal organisms are lurking (think moist, warm environments- showers, pools, spas, saunas, on vacation, etc)
- Some pedicure salons do not use medical grade sterilizers (known as, autoclaves) to clean their instruments. This means that pretty toes today could mean yellow toes tomorrow. Don’t be afraid to ask your nail technician if they use steam sterilizers.
- Do not allow your cuticles to be trimmed. This is your nail’s natural protection against infective agents.
- To ensure medical grade sterilization of instruments, visit with a Chiropodist for regular nail and skin foot care. They will be able to help you prevent infection and if you believe you have already contracted foot fungus, they can help treat it.
- If you have questions about your “dry skin” or believe you may have a fungal infection, seek the advice of one of our Chiropodists. Available at the following locations:
BioPed Etobicoke South
BioPed Mississauga Central
BioPed Mississauga North
BioPed Scarborough South
BioPed St. Catharines
BioPed Toronto – North York