DOC » How is Athlete’s Foot Related to Toenail Fungus?

How is Athlete’s Foot Related to Toenail Fungus?


I’m Dr. Christopher Segler and one of the questions I get frequently is “what is athlete’s foot?” “What does athlete’s foot have to do with toenail fungus?”

Because patients will call me and they will say, “I don’t really care about the skin, I just want my toenails to look normal again.” And if you want your toenails to look normal you have to get rid of the fungus; that means the fungus in the nails and other sources as well.

Athletes foot is really nothing more than the same organism infecting the toenails getting into the skin. You see these little peeling areas, circulars areas, little areas of damage where the skin has been peeling? That’s athletes foot.

What it is is the fungus is growing in the skin. As it expands the fungal filaments suck the moisture out of the skin and that causes the dry peeling areas that you see as athletes foot.

And don’t be fooled by the myths. Just because it doesn’t itch or burn doesn’t mean that you don’t have athletes foot.

So if you have any little circular peeling areas on the bottom of the foot or between the toes you need to address that! You have got to do something about it before you start treating the nails to make sure that the nail don’t get reinfected!

Otherwise if you go get a laser treatment and kill all the fungus in the nails, the fungus and the toenail fungus spores will get back into the nails and cause another toenail infection and then you won’t have success. You will still have discolored toenails.

So make sure you treat the skin completely in order to get rid of all the fungus in the skin before you try treat the toenails. That’s really important!