Skin & Nails

Fungal Skin Signs and Symptoms

Fungal Skin

Fungal skin is an infection of the skin caused by dermatophytes fungi and can occur in any part of the body. Fungal skin infections of the foot, widely referred to as “athlete’s foot” or “foot rot“, are medically termed tinea pedis and are a very common skin condition of the foot. Patients with tinea pedis will often complain of itch, dry flaky skin or even tiny blisters on the affected areas.

Corns and calluses

Corns and Calluses

Corns and calluses are areas of thickened and hard skin (hyperkeratosis) on the body that forms due to pressure and friction. It is most commonly found on the palms of our hands or the soles of our feet. Calluses are generally painless until it becomes very thick where it starts to cause damage to the underlying tissue. Corns, however, are usually painful when pressure is applied and are often misdiagnosed as plantar warts.

It is a myth that corns have “roots” and will resolve when the “roots” are removed. Corns do not have roots and the only effective way to resolve corns is by reducing the amount of friction and pressure over the area.

Fungal Nails

Fungal nails, also known as onychomycosis or tinea unguium, are a fungal infection of the nails. Fungal nails are often characterized by discoloured, crumbly, thickened, and brittle nails, and sometimes malodorous. The fungal infection can sometimes spread to the surrounding skin or may have originated in the skin, like the athlete’s foot, and spread to the nails.

Plantar wart

Plantar Warts

Plantar warts or verruca plantaris is a viral infection of the skin caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). It is commonly known as foot warts and develops on the underside (plantar) of the foot and creates an area of hard, thickened skin. Patients often complain of pain when pressure is applied to the affected areas. Plantar warts are often misdiagnosed as calluses or corns due to their similarity in appearance.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are a common soft tissue condition of the feet and often occur due to either the way the toenail is cut or the natural anatomy of the nail. Some treatments for ingrown toenails include partial or total nail removal which will be done under local anaesthesia.

Regardless of the reason for the occurrence, generally, the nail will slowly grow into the flesh of the nail fold, causing a small break in the skin. This break in the skin, while initially may not be felt by the patient, becomes a portal of entry for the bacteria to creep in. As more bacteria opportunistically enter the soft tissue, the body reacts to this by flaring up with inflammation, warmth, redness and sometimes purulence (pus). 

If only oral antibiotics are taken or antibiotic ointment is applied, the surrounding nail fold will remain infected as the aggravating factor has not been removed.