No matter how clean you keep your feet, they are always in contact with microorganisms that can cause infection. Bacteria and fungus are the most common culprits. Because this week is Fungal Disease Awareness Week, Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, shares information regarding two of the most common fungal infections that affect the feet.
Fungal foot infections are just as they sound, unattractive and uncomfortable, yet, athlete’s foot and toenail infections are common. Let’s take a look at them in more detail:
Athlete's Foot: This is a skin disease caused by a fungus that usually develops between the toes. Symptoms of this condition include:
- Dry, scaly skin
Athlete's foot can progress to the toenails and the soles of the feet. It can also affect other parts of the body if you happen to scratch the infected area and then touch other parts of your body, such as the face, or armpits.
This type of infection can develop anywhere that feet encounter fungi, such as showers, locker rooms, and dressing rooms. It can also grow in continually damp areas, such as persistent sweating of the underarms or feet.
We recommend these methods to prevent athlete’s foot:
- Use shower shoes in public showers
- Wear socks that keep your feet dry, and change them frequently
- Avoid walking barefoot
- Wear light, airy shoes
- Apply talcum powder to absorb perspiration.
If you think you have a fungal infection, and it hasn't cleared up after two weeks of cleaning and self-care, then it is time to visit a podiatrist for a thorough exam and accurate diagnosis.
Toenail infections: Fungal infection of toenails is a common foot health problem found under the nail, and it can infiltrate the nail itself.
When this type of infection is ignored it typically spreads, affecting your ability to run, walk or stand comfortably. We have found that the first symptom most people observe is a color change of the toenail.
If you think you might have athlete's foot or toenail fungus, contact Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, to schedule a consultation. You can schedule an appointment online or by calling us at
We will conduct a thorough examination to determine the cause, and develop an effective treatment plan.