“Hi I’m Dr. Mitchell Wachtel, a podiatrist with locations in North Andover, Haverhill, and Lowell MA. Today we’re going to talk about ways of preventing fungal infection in your skin along with the causes.It’s very common to get infections on the skin of your foot and unfortunately, many times nail fungus is caused by the fungus living on our skin. Fungus thrives in warm, dark, moist environments and when you put a shoe and sock on you then create a very unique situation for fungal infections. You can get infections between your toes, on the bottom of your foot, and on top of the foot. You can develop itchiness, fluid filled sacks on the skin which are very irritating. The main stay of treatment in our practice for fungal infections is two-fold. One is to actually treat the fungal infection and how we determine if it’s a legitimate fungal infection is by numbing the area and sending a sample of the skin to a lab, which in turn tells use which type of potential skin problem(s) there are.Often patients will come in assuming they have a fungal infection or were even previously diagnosed with an infection at a different location when in fact a biopsy wasn’t done only to learn they have no true infection. Once our lab results return we make a decision on treatment plans. Typically it’s a topical medication for the skin or nail, alternatively there’s laser therapy for the nail. Another process in curing fungus and keeping it away is eliminating it not just from the foot but also from the shoe. Wearing socks and shoes allows the fungus to grow not just on the foot but inside the shoe so proper treatment for both is necessary. We have topical medication for your foot to reduce moisture and even a spray for the shoe which can help stop the fungal infection.Our newest treatment is an ultra-violet radiation that goes into the shoe and kills any of the fungus still remaining.”