Get rid of the fungus between the toes: the best ways to beat mycosis

The skin between the toes is often subject to fungal infection. This problem is common among people who lead an active lifestyle and is quite burdensome and unpleasant. Considering the great importance of foot mycoses, they should be given special attention.

Causes of itching and scaling in the interdigital folds

fungus between the toes

Toes itch and peel due to various pathological processes - allergic reactions, scabies, eczema - but in many people similar symptoms arise from a fungal infection. The epithelium becomes wet and cracks with mycosis of the feet, which is a separate nosology in dermatology. It is caused by pathogenic fungi that affect smooth skin and nail plates. The infection is caused by several pathogens:

  • Trichophyton (T. rubrum, T. interdigitale, T. violaceum).
  • Epidermophyton (E. floccosum).
  • Mold fungi.

Mycosis is a contagious disease that is transmitted from one person to another in places with high humidity (bathrooms, saunas, swimming pools, beaches) through infected shoes, carpets, benches, etc. Fungal spores are found in large quantities in the horny scales of the epidermis, with which they are carried.

Predisposing factors

A number of local and general factors contribute to skin lesions, increasing the likelihood of developing a fungal infection between the toes. The former include the following:

  • Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis).
  • Incorrectly selected shoes (uncomfortable, made of synthetic materials).
  • Anatomical features of the foot (flat feet, tight folds).
  • Presence of scrapes and diaper rash.
  • Injuries (mechanical, chemical).

The role of systemic disorders is explained by the decrease in the resistance of the skin barrier and the weakening of the immune defense. Neurotrophic, vascular and endocrine metabolic diseases (polyneuropathy, angiopathy, atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, hypovitaminosis) have a negative impact. In addition, the role of weather conditions (high temperature and humidity) and virulence of the pathogen is noted.

Mycosis of the feet with skin lesions between the toes is caused by fungi and develops against the background of local or systemic disorders.

What does mycosis look like?

fungal infection of the skin of the toes

Mycosis begins in the skin of the interdigital folds, but then spreads to other parts of the foot - the sole, back and lateral surfaces. In clinical practice, there are several forms of fungal infection:

  • Squamous.
  • Intertriginous.
  • Dyshidrotic.

The squamous form begins with slight redness and mild peeling. They may be confined to certain areas or become widespread. This form often goes unnoticed by the patient himself and is therefore the most dangerous from an epidemiological point of view. Initially, the fungus affects one leg, but later it can spread to the healthy side.

As it progresses, the squamous form can turn into a dyshidrotic form, which is characterized by an acute course with sensitization of the body and formation of blisters on the arch of the foot. Merging, they form multichamber blisters, which, after opening, leave eroded foci surrounded by a rim of exfoliated epidermis. Spreading to the lateral surfaces of the foot, the process is combined with the intertriginous form. As epithelialization occurs, the areas dry out, becoming squamous again.

Foci of fungal infection are often accompanied by itching. It originates from the interdigital folds in the most common form - intertriginous, which occurs alone or against the background of squamous. Usually, the process begins between IV and V (less often III and IV) fingers. Cracks appear there, surrounded by a rim of exfoliated epidermis. The fungus can spread to other folds, toes and the back of the foot. Later, weeping with painful erosions appears.

The disease is characterized by a long course with periodic exacerbations that occur during the warm season. Bacterial flora penetrate more easily through the loosened stratum corneum of the epidermis, so the intertriginous form can be complicated by streptococcal infection with the development of erysipelas and thrombophlebitis.

Damage to the interdigital spaces is often found in combination with other forms of mycosis of the foot, which indicates the unity of the pathological processes.


The disease has a rather characteristic clinical picture, so the initial diagnosis is made based on the results of the medical examination. To identify the pathogen, microscopy and culture of scrapings from the affected skin are used. The presence of a systemic pathology that contributes to the development of mycosis is confirmed by additional methods - a biochemical blood test (glucose, hormonal spectrum, immunogram), ultrasound examination of the lower extremities, etc.

How to treat the wound?

application of medicated creams

To effectively get rid of fungi, you must first eliminate the conditions that create favorable conditions for their development. If your feet itch and feel painful, we recommend that you pay attention to the following recommendations:

  • Wear comfortable, breathable shoes.
  • Wear cotton socks.
  • After showering and bathing, dry your feet.
  • Use personal slippers in public places.

In the treatment of mycosis of the feet, attention is paid to giving up bad habits, a healthy diet (reducing animal fats, sweets, including fresh vegetables, fruits, lactic acid products in the diet), hardening.

In addition to the general recommendations, which have a therapeutic and prophylactic focus, traditional medicine actively uses means of drug correction, without which it is impossible to treat mycosis. Therapy can be external or systemic.

Effective creams and ointments

It is necessary to fight the infection with specific drugs that work against the fungus on the toes. In the squamous form, the doctor prescribes various creams and ointments, which include various antifungal agents. If there are dense foci of hyperkeratosis on the feet, treatment begins with exfoliating procedures using salicylic, lactic acid, resorcinol, and collodion. At night, a medicine intended for external use is placed under the bandage. It contains salicylic acid, which has anti-inflammatory, keratolytic and antiseptic properties, and in the morning a bath is made with soap and soda, after which the horny masses will be removed better.

If your skin gets wet and cracked

application of medical ointments for mycosis of the skin of the toes

External treatment of the dyshidrotic form with weeping and cracks begins with boric acid and potassium permanganate lotions. The interdigital spaces are treated with solutions of aniline dyes, a product for external use intended for the treatment of various skin diseases. The solution contains components that promote rapid healing of wounds, eliminate inflammatory manifestations and fight pathogenic microorganisms. After eliminating the acute inflammatory process, antifungal ointments and pastes are applied to the affected areas. In secondary pyoderma, drugs with antibacterial components are prescribed.

In mycotic lesions of the skin of the feet, external therapy with antifungal agents, antiseptics and antibiotics is crucial.


If local means are ineffective, it is necessary to switch to drugs for internal use. Among the prescribed antifungal drugs are an antifungal drug, a broad-spectrum antifungal drug against fungi that cause diseases of the skin, hair and nails, a drug for the treatment of fungal infections, an antifungal drug. Antihistamines (an antihistamine drug intended for the treatment of allergic reactions) and desensitizing agents (calcium gluconate, sodium thiosulfate, magnesium sulfate) are used when the body is allergic. Streptococcal infections can be cured with antibiotics that do not have an activating effect on the microbial flora.

What can be done with public funds?

Some methods of traditional medicine can be a supplement to standard therapy. For the treatment of foot fungus, baths with simple and affordable means are often used:

  • Apple cider vinegar (1 cup per 3 liters of hot water) and soda (5 tablespoons).
  • Potassium permanganate (1 g per 2 l).
  • Decoction of calendula flowers (250 g per 2 l).

It is recommended to soak the feet in the prepared solution for 20 minutes. You can also apply a drop of tea tree essential oil to the skin between the toes and then put on cotton socks.

Fungus between the toes is a problem that affects many people. To get rid of it as quickly as possible, you should not look for possible solutions yourself, it is better to consult a doctor, undergo diagnostics and receive treatment with a guaranteed result.