The most common fungal infections of skin are those which occur on the feet. Footwear creates the necessary conditions of moisture and warmth between the toes and communal activity permits the spread of infection. Swimming baths and changing rooms are the most frequent source of infection.

What Causes it?

Fungal infections may be caused by a number of different organisms, and can appear in different levels of severity on the skin and nails.

Who is Usually Affected?

Fungal infections can affect people of all ages. However children are more likely to pick up the most common type: Athlete's Foot (Tinea pedis).

Symptons of Athlete’s Foot

  • Itching between the fourth and fifth toes
  • Red, raw looking skin, which is often itchy
  • Skin hat flakes, peels or cracks
  • Sore, pus-filled, weeping rash

Other fungal infections of the skin may appear as:

  • Small spot-like blisters on one or both feet, appearing like a rash
  • Dry redness and scaly skin all over the soles called moccasin' type
  • Toenails can also be infected, with the nail becoming thickened, brittle, and yellowish-brown in colour,eventually developing a 'worm-eaten' or porous appearance.

  1. Wash feet at least once a day with soap and tepid water, drying thoroughly and gently in between the toes.
  2. Choose hosiery made from natural fibres, preferably cotton.
  3. Wear well-fitting shoes or sandals wherever possible, which allow the air to circulate. 
  4. Change socks or stockings every day.
  5. Use an antifungal powder and spray between the toes with anti-fungal preparation or surgical spirit. Do not allow powder or other materials to accumulate between the toes as this will act as a moist environment to encourage fungal growth.

If you have a fungal infection don’t spread it

  1. Never wear shoes or slippers belonging to others.
  2. Use your own towel.
  3. Wear 'flip-flops' when changing in communal places.
  4. Thoroughly rinse the bath or shower after use.

Most anti-fungal creams and powders should be applied twice daily


Toenail infections are more difficult to clear totally than skin infections. Because the nail thickens with fungal infection, it is best for your HPC Registered Chiropodist/Podiatrist to thin the nail down as far as possible before using a treatment such as a paint or cream. This enables the treatment to reach the affected area in the most effective way.