Foot Care Guide
Treating Common Foot Issues
The most common fungal infection to affect the feet is athlete’s foot. Toenail fungus is another common infection. Both of these issues are caused by various fungi that live on the dead skin cells of your outer skin layers, hair, and toenails. These fungi are most often found in warm, moist environments – like your work boots or sweaty socks, but also nail salons, swimming pools, public showers, and locker rooms.
If you’ve never had a fungal infection on your feet before, you might be expecting to sprout green toenails. But no, foot fungus doesn’t look like quite like that.
Athlete’s foot symptoms can vary, but they generally include peeling, cracking, and scaling. Your skin may be red and feel itchy and burn-y, in addition to developing blisters and feeling more fragile than usual.
Toenail fungus, on the other hand, results in white, brown, yellow discolored toenails, which may also become thicker or crack.
So, how to treat it? You can use prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, as well as DIY treatments to fight fungal infections.
Prescription medications. Oral antifungals such as fluconazole (Diflucan) and terbinafine (Lamisil) are usually used to treat toenail fungus, though they can come with pesky side effects like dizziness and upset stomach.
Look for an over-the-counter antifungal treatment containing terbinafine, tolnaftate, miconazole, ciclopirox, or clotrimazole.
Plant-based, natural antifungal treatments include tea tree oil, oregano oil, vinegar, and coconut oil. You can also use Listerine or Vicks VapoRub directly on the infection. All of these treatments need to be applied at least once a day until the infection goes away.