What does skin fungus on the legs look like and how can it manifest itself?

examination of the skin of the legs during an appointment with a specialist

Fungal foot infections begin in the areas between the toes. Later, the infection can spread to the feet and nail beds. The disease is caused by dermatophyte fungi, molds or yeasts. According to statistics, in our country about 20% of people have foot fungus. The severity of the disease depends on the type of infection, but in any case the disease must be treated, since peeling, severe itching, inflammation and unpleasant odor of the feet cause severe discomfort. We will tell you how to get rid of foot fungus.

What does foot fungus look like?

A fungal infection causes inflammation of the skin where the fungal infection is located. The main types of dermatomycosis of the legs are:

  • The fungus of the sole of the foot is scaly, in which the affected area turns red, peels, and cracks appear on the skin. The patient often does not feel any discomfort, which contributes to the widespread spread of this type of disease.
  • Dyshidrotic foot fungus is localized on the arch of the foot, which is not in contact with the floor surface. At the sites of infection, small vesicles form, which spread to the internal and external parts of the foot, open, forming erosions and diaper rash on the surface of the skin. The process is accompanied by an itching and burning sensation. After the opening of the vesicles (bubbles), the disease passes into the scaly form.
  • A fungus on the skin of the feet that affects the interdigital space is called the intertriginous form of the disease and is the most common type. It appears in the form of cracks, the edges of which are covered with a white edge of exfoliating epidermis. As a rule, this form has a long-term chronic course and is difficult to treat.
  • The fungus on the shin or ankle appears as round spots of pink or red, covered with flakes of skin. As the infection progresses, foci of inflammation grow, the process is accompanied by severe itching.
fold of skin on legs


This disease is a type of foot fungus characterized by a fungal infection of the toenail. You can get the infection in public showers, saunas, baths and swimming pools. Scales containing a pathogenic microorganism separate from the nail plate quite easily and can remain on unpainted floors, carpets, bedding and benches. High humidity allows them not only to survive, but also promotes active reproduction and therefore the risk of infection increases significantly.

In the initial stage, the infection reaches the epidermis of the feet, causing severe itching. To relieve discomfort, a person begins to comb the infected area, but this only makes the situation worse. The areas of the skin affected by the fungus become covered with small scratches and cracks, microorganisms begin to spread, penetrate under the nail plate and then begin to multiply uncontrollably.

Serious illnesses such as diabetes or HIV, poor circulation or nail injuries significantly increase the risk of infection.

Onychomycosis is divided into 3 types:

treatment of skin fungi on the legs
  • Normotrophic. With this type of onychomycosis, a change in the color of the nail from normal to yellow-brown is observed. The natural shine, the shape of the nail and its thickness remain unchanged.
  • Hypertrophic. A final change in the color of the nail occurs, its shine disappears, its shape changes, thickening develops and partial destruction begins.
  • Onycholytic. The color of the affected nail turns brown, becomes thinner and begins to break. His gradual separation from bed begins. Uneven layers may appear on the exposed part of the nail bed.

Treating this type of fungus on the palms and soles with topical medications is ineffective because the fungal spores are found under the nail. Before starting treatment, the nail must be removed. This is done with the help of keratolytic drugs, and plasters are also used. In some cases it is possible to remove the nail mechanically: the dead parts of the nail are cut with a nail file or nippers. It is important to remember that all instruments used must be sterile.

The combined use of mechanical removal and keratolytic patches is the most effective way to remove diseased nails. As for keratolytic agents, you can use a ready-made kit with a broad-spectrum antifungal drug. It contains a special ointment, files for scraping the nail and a plaster. After the nail plate is removed, you should start taking systemic antifungals: an antifungal drug for systemic use, an oral antifungal agent.

apply antifungal ointment to the skin of the foot


Depending on the form of the disease and the location of the inflammation, the infection is accompanied by different symptoms with a number of the following general signs:

  • peeling of the skin;
  • mild or severe redness of the skin at the site of the lesion;
  • itching;
  • burning sensation;
  • rashes or cracks in the skin.

Blisters between the toes

The main symptom of athlete's foot, caused by the fungus Candida, is the appearance of blisters between the toes, usually between the fourth toe and the little finger. The course of the disease is accompanied by swelling of the skin adjacent to the fingers, pronounced areas of redness with small blisters on their surface. The source of inflammation is surrounded by a border of exfoliated epidermis.

fungal infection of the skin between the toes

Dehydrated form

Vesicular fungus or, as it is also called, dehydrated mycosis, is the rarest type of disease. Its main manifestation is numerous vesicles united in conglomerates. Blisters are bubbles filled with pus or nourishing fluid from the inside. When the fluid begins to become cloudy, the vesicles burst, leaving ulcers in their place. They begin to merge into a single line, forming pronounced scars on the skin. This occurs due to drying and peeling of the skin layers.

About 70% of vesicular fungal infections are accompanied by allergic rashes. A variety of bacteria and viruses begin to penetrate the ulcers. As a result, the disease becomes mixed and identification of the original pathogen becomes more difficult. Therefore, as soon as the main symptoms appear, it is necessary to consult a doctor - he will be able to quickly identify the type of foot fungus and start therapy.

a type of fungus that appears as a blister on the skin

Moreover, this should be done immediately. First of all, before using antifungal drugs, it is necessary to eliminate the acute process. It is better to entrust this task to a specialist: he can carefully pierce the vesicles, treat the remaining ulcers with 2% boric acid and apply a brilliant green or methylene blue solution.

Treatment of advanced disease involves the use of corticosteroid ointments. After eliminating the inflammatory process, it is recommended to use topical antifungal agents. This will suppress the pathogen. Let's continue to consider the names and types of foot fungi.

First signs

Leg skin disease is always accompanied by a number of general symptoms, the appearance of which indicates a skin infection with spores of harmful microorganisms. You should seek help from a dermatologist in the following cases:

  • the appearance of cracks or blisters on the skin in the creases of the feet or between the toes;
  • significant enlargement and thickening of the skin of the feet;
  • redness of skin areas, their peeling;
  • burning or itching sensation.
foot skin fungus

Duration of treatment

Combined infection of the skin and nail plate requires rehabilitation therapy for one to three months. These terms are considered standards for the most medically effective pharmaceutical products.

antifungal bath

Pregnancy requires a fascinating visit to the doctor to choose a way to eliminate the mycodine infection. Strong drugs and therapies that require the use of similar drugs are prescribed only under the supervision of a doctor in compliance with strict dosages. Many antibacterial tablets that effectively destroy fungi can cause noticeable harm to the fetus. Therefore, whenever possible, during pregnancy, patients are recommended to be treated using traditional medicine recipes. Many of them allow you to cope with the disease, but under the condition that the disease has not reached a complex stage. Only classical medicine can help cope with the advanced form.

Modern drugs allow you to completely restore the health of your legs within two weeks, provided that signs of infection are detected in time.


Infection occurs for a number of reasons after direct or indirect contact of the patient with the carrier of the infection or with his personal belongings, household items. Risk factors for getting tinea pedis include:

  • leg circulation disorders and related diseases (varicose veins);
  • weakened general or local immunity;
  • failure to comply with hygiene standards;
  • weakening of the body's defense systems after taking antibiotics;
  • increased sweating of the skin of the feet;
  • presence of slight damage to the skin (abrasions, scratches).

Treatment methods

apply an ointment against fungus on the feet

In most cases, it is possible to completely eliminate the detected disease in time within a maximum month. This is a very important point in treatment, as itching, tissue damage and other manifestations disappear, the patient sometimes stops treatment, believing that the disease has been defeated. But remnants of the infection can easily trigger a relapse.

Treatment procedures should be stopped only after the doctor's permission and after passing the necessary tests. This is especially true for advanced forms of the disease. The fungus is firmly "fixed" in the body and sometimes it can take at least six months to get rid of it. But the external manifestation of fungi on the feet in the form of various damage to the skin or nails disappears much earlier, creating the illusion of health. By stopping therapy in this case, the patient is almost guaranteed to cause a relapse.

Treatment of feet for mycoid infection is carried out comprehensively. To get rid of the disease, local antifungal drugs and tablets are used to eliminate the infectious agent that has penetrated inside the body. To eliminate itching, pain, brittle nails and accelerate tissue regeneration, certain medications can be prescribed. It is not recommended to independently combine them with the main therapeutic group, so as not to provoke an allergic reaction or poisoning of the body due to the simultaneous use of incompatible drugs.

Treating foot fungus at an early stage is quite simple. Usually, two weeks of therapy is enough to eliminate the symptoms of mycoid infection.

Types of mycosis

Only a dermatologist can accurately determine the type of fungus by visual examination, the data of which are clarified by laboratory tests. Depending on the causative agent of the fungal infection (yeast, mold, fungi of the genus Trichophyton or Candida) on the skin of the feet, there are several main types of the disease, including:

  • candidiasis of the feet;
  • athlete's foot;
  • trichophytosis (or rumbicosis) of the feet;
  • onychomycosis (nail fungus).
fungal nail infection


Simple preventive measures will significantly reduce the likelihood of infection. You should use only personal items and treat your nails with sterile tools. When visiting public places, such as bathrooms, saunas, swimming pools, beaches, you should use your own shoes. By the way, try to choose it so that it is comfortable and allows your feet to breathe. You should worry about prevention in advance so that you do not have to deal with various types of foot fungus later.

How to treat

Treatment of skin fungi on the legs is a complex long-term therapy, which in severe cases involves the use of systemic oral agents. For minor lesions, emphasis is placed on local therapy with antibacterial and antiseptic agents. In acute forms of the disease, warm baths are prescribed to relieve inflammation and remove dead skin cells. In some cases, it is necessary to treat the patient's shoes and clothing with special compounds to avoid relapses.

System tools

Systemic oral agents are prescribed in case of ineffectiveness of local drugs and in severe advanced forms of the disease. A course of oral antifungal drugs is indicated for fungal infections of the deep layers of the skin; they help not only treat the acute phase, but also prevent the disease from becoming chronic. The dosage regimen, duration of the course and dosage are selected by the attending physician.

Doctors recognize antifungal drugs for systemic use as the best means for systemic treatment of foot fungus. They have an active fungicidal (destructive) and fungal (suppressing the proliferation of bacteria) effect; their active components can accumulate in the upper layers of the epidermis, nails and hair. Before taking it, be sure to read the instructions for use, as these products have contraindications.

Local remedies

Topical drug therapy involves not only the use of antifungal creams and ointments, but also the use of special sprays, aerosols and lotions. The form of the drug is recommended by a dermatologist, depending on the type of causative agent of the infection, the severity of the lesion on the skin of the legs, the stage of the disease and the individual characteristics of the patient's body. The duration of treatment with a local drug can vary from 2 weeks to 3 months.

For foot fungus and other forms of mycosis of the skin of the legs, an aerosol, skin suspension or solution for topical use may be prescribed. The products are applied directly to the skin damaged by the fungus or wet swabs soaked in a medicinal solution are applied. All necessary recommendations for use can be obtained from your doctor.

Antifungal ointments

When treating fungus of the skin of the feet, in most cases an antifungal ointment is prescribed, for example, a cream with the active ingredient terbinafine hydrochloride or its analogues. Apply the drug in the form of an ointment or cream to the dry skin of the heels or other areas of localization of inflammation, previously carefully cleaned of dead epidermal cells and any other plaque. For different types of disease, the duration of treatment can vary from 2-3 weeks to 2-3 months.

Experts consider broad-spectrum ointments to be an effective means of combating foot fungi of various forms and stages. The active components of the drug locally fight the fungal infection, suppressing the reproduction of its pathogen. The ointment is applied two or three times a day to the washed and affected skin for several weeks or months, depending on the degree of damage to the skin.

Folk remedies

The use of folk remedies is possible only with the consent of the attending physician. The main products for baths, compresses and applications against fungi on the skin of the feet are vinegar, propolis, baking soda, decoctions of medicinal plants and laundry soap. The following procedures are practiced:

  • Baths with a solution of soda and salt. For 3 liters of water at a temperature of 36-40°C use 3 tablespoons. L. salt and 3 tbsp. soda. The duration of the procedure is 10-15 minutes, after bathing rinse your feet under warm running water. Used for acute forms of fungi for 7-10 days, twice a day.
  • Lotions with herbal decoction. To prepare a decoction, mix dried oak bark, calendula flowers and verbena leaves in equal proportions. To prepare the decoction 3 tbsp. L. pour a glass of boiling water over the mixture and keep on low heat for 10-15 minutes. Make a compress with the resulting decoction three times a day for 20-30 minutes.
Treatment of foot fungus in early stages

Canceled form

Mycosis of the deleted form is almost invisible, its symptoms are minimal. These include: mild itching, burning, flour-like peeling, microcracks localized in the interdigital areas. If you do not turn to a specialist when the first signs of the disease appear, the pathology can develop in the form of onychomycosis, which is much more difficult to treat. In this case, the peeled nail will grow back from a month to six.

Mycosis of the erased form is treated with local preparations: ointments, creams, foams. They allow you to create a layer on the foot that will protect against infections caused by other infections. It is not recommended to wash your feet for 24 hours after applying this medication.

Only in extreme cases is it possible to prescribe systemic therapy. The problem is that such drugs are toxic and negatively affect some internal organs, such as the liver. Accordingly, if there is an effect from the use of local remedies, it is better not to take the pills.

Routes of infection

Fungal spores remain viable in the environment for a long time, so it is easy to contract the disease in the most unexpected places. But the most favorable conditions for their development are heat and high humidity. For this reason, people visiting the following places are at risk:

  • swimming pools;
  • bathrooms;
  • saunas;
  • fitness centers;
  • beaches.

Fungi can appear on anything located there, even if regular disinfection is performed. Therefore, in such places you should avoid common items and make sure to bring replacement shoes with you.

Military personnel are at risk. Very often, soldiers in the army wear uncomfortable shoes that do not allow air to pass through. Because of this, the feet sweat, microtraumas appear into which the fungus penetrates.

There are two types of infection. The first is the direct route through direct contact with the infectious agent while communicating with a sick person, caring for an animal, or walking barefoot on earth and sand. The second: the indirect route leads to contagion through objects belonging to infected people or pets.

Preventive measures

prevention of foot fungus

Preventing a disease is always easier and safer for your health than treating it, even using the most delicate method. In the case of a fungal infection, prevention is one of the obligatory life norms, since it is very easy to get the infection. Therefore, to reduce the risk of contracting the disease, it is recommended to follow some simple rules:

  • try to eat healthy and eat as healthily as possible;
  • do not use other people's things and personal hygiene products;
  • use basic protective equipment in public places, such as replacement shoes and antibacterial hygiene agents;
  • wash your feet and change your socks regularly;
  • lead a healthy lifestyle;
  • Take regular baths to improve foot health;
  • periodically disinfect your shoes.

Prevention of fungal infections is important not only to prevent them, but also in case the disease occurs. In this situation, compliance with sanitary and hygienic rules helps to speed up recovery and prevent infection of others with the fungus.