Why Weakened Immune Systems Are More Prone to Foot Fungus

Whether you’ve contracted athlete’s foot or another type of foot fungal infection, there’s no doubt dealing with foot fungus is a drag. If you tend to get recurring foot fungus, one common cause is a weakened immune system.

According to experienced board-qualified podiatrist Sean Rosenblum, DPM, of Lodi, New Jersey’s Foot and Ankle Care of Passaic, proper prevention and treatment of foot fungus is especially important if your immune system is compromised. Dr. Rosenblum explains what fungal infections are, why you’re more likely to get foot fungus if you have a weakened immune system, and what to do about it.

What is a fungal infection?

You can get a fungal infection when your body comes into contact with fungus. Fungus is a type of mold that is common and can exist in the air, animals, plants, and your body.

A fungus is attracted to areas that are moist, dark, and warm, so it can be attracted to parts of your feet like your toenails and the area between your toes. If your body is unable to fight off a harmful fungus, you can develop a fungal infection in your feet.

The most common type of foot fungal infection is athlete’s foot, which can cause itching, scaling, cracking, and blisters throughout your feet. Stubborn fungal infections can also develop in your toenails.

What is a weakened immune system?

You have a weakened immune system if your body has a more difficult time fighting off infections. A weakened immune system can impact you temporarily or permanently and have a number of different causes.

Having some medical conditions, such as diabetes, HIV, and cancer, can cause your immune system to be weaker. Taking certain medications or undergoing an organ transplant can also suppress your immune system.

The connection between foot fungus and a weakened immune system

You can develop foot fungus with a healthy immune system, but your odds go up, especially of getting chronic or severe foot fungal infections, if your immune system is weaker. This is because your body has a more difficult time fighting off fungal spores and preventing them from developing into an infection.

We come into contact with fungus regularly throughout the day, and a healthy person can easily fight off most fungi that could cause foot fungus. If your immune system is weaker, each fungus you come into contact with is harder to fight off, making it more likely you’ll get infected.

Treating foot fungus with a weakened immune system

The ideal way to treat foot fungus is through prevention. Everyone should follow foot home-care guidelines, but they’re especially important if your immune system is weaker. While foot fungus is not usually serious, a weakened immune system can make infections more resistant to treatment and increase your risk of complications.

To prevent foot fungus, wear dry socks and shoes that allow for good foot air circulation. Additionally, avoid going barefoot in common areas by wearing sandals or shower shoes, and avoid sharing nail clippers, socks, and shoes.

To treat existing foot fungus, Dr. Rosemblum usually recommends ointment, powder, and lotion specially designed to cure the condition. Dr. Rosemblum can also prescribe stronger medication if these treatments don’t resolve your fungus.

For assistance treating foot fungus or caring for your feet with a weakened immune system, schedule an appointment with the team at Foot and Ankle Care of Passaic online or by calling our office.

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