SEE: How this woman's foot fungus got out of control

accreditation
A fungal infection can spiral out of control if not treated.
A fungal infection can spiral out of control if not treated.

Your feet are an important but often neglected part of your anatomy. Consider the seemingly insignificant foot problems people suffer from: ingrown toenails, nail fungus, athlete's foot (tinea pedis), warts etc. 

The danger is, however, that if you leave these conditions untreated, they can end up becoming a serious problem. 

When something less serious goes wrong

Next time you see the onset of nail fungus but don't feel like bothering about it, think twice.

Elizabeth, a 19-year old from England, was so grossed out by her ingrown toenails that she couldn't even look at them. She even showered with socks on to hide them!

When she finally consulted a doctor, ingrown toenails ended up being the least of her problems – she had developed a severe fungus in both toenails, which resulted in their removal.

The results are nasty – watch the video at your own peril!

What's the deal with foot fungus?

There are thousands of species of fungi, but only a few can cause disease or uncomfortable symptoms. Early symptoms of nail fungus may involve the nail lifting off the skin, turning white or yellow, and thickening. If a fungus is left untreated, it can get to the point where the nail becomes so thick, it needs to be removed.

It's not only fungal infections that can take their toll on our feet. Ingrown toenails occur when one or both sides of the toenail grow into the skin. Left untreated, the areas can become badly infected. 

Take care of those feet

While conditions such as toenail fungus, athlete's foot and ingrown toenails are not uncommon, it's important to treat the problem before it becomes serious. Here are some tips on how to take better care of your feet and avoid these unfortunate conditions:

  • Keep the skin on your feet and between the toes clean and dry, especially after using public showers and swimming pools.
  • Put on clean socks every day and give your shoes time to air instead of wearing the same pair day after day.
  • If you exercise, get your workout shoes fitted properly to avoid ingrown toenails and bunions.
  • Don't try and lodge out an ingrown toenail by yourself.
  • Consult a doctor or pharmacist to treat a case of toenail fungus. 

Image credit: iStock

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
7% - 813 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
83% - 9292 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
10% - 1089 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.97
+0.2%
Rand - Pound
20.08
+0.1%
Rand - Euro
17.63
+0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.55
-0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.0%
Gold
1,710.69
-0.1%
Silver
20.73
+0.4%
Palladium
2,261.50
-0.0%
Platinum
925.00
-0.0%
Brent Crude
94.42
+1.1%
Top 40
59,416
0.0%
All Share
65,833
0.0%
Resource 10
63,279
0.0%
Industrial 25
80,027
0.0%
Financial 15
13,997
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE