What Is The Cause Of Foot Fungus? Root Causes Explained


Foot fungus is a fungal infection primarily caused by dermatophyte fungi. It attacks the skin of the feet and has varied appearances depending on the condition’s intensity. Although a cure is feasible in many cases, prevention is mainly recommended by experts.

But, prevention is only possible when you know the exact cause of the ailment, and therefore, in this article, we are going to discuss the most common causes of foot fungus, a condition that may make your life hard to live. 

  • Direct Contact With Infected Individuals

If the nature of the fungus is something to go by, then it can be said that foot fungus can be transmitted from one person to another. It can also be transmitted from contaminated surfaces.

Although you may not walk barefoot on the road, it is likely that you may wear any shoes, soaks, or towels that the affected may have worn, or you may walk in their house, use their washroom, or a public bathing area.

All these situations may lead to exposure. Also, fungi are capable of living on surfaces for a long period of time, which may add to the risk of transmission. 

Cause Of Foot Fungus
  • Inadequate Foot Hygiene

Unwanted moisture allows fungi to thrive and multiply. This moisture is often the result of neglecting to wash your feet and dry them properly. Mostly, individuals dab the surface of the feet leaving the inner corners moist.

This leads to fungal build-up and gets worse over time. Wearing damp shoes or socks may also encourage the fungi to grow on the foot, especially the toes.

Therefore, make sure you wash your foot properly and dry them. Children are more prone to foot fungus because they fail to ensure foot hygiene

  • Warm And Humid Environments

The warm and humid environment is another significant cause of foot fungus. These conditions are often described as the breeding ground for the fungi as they leave them to invade the skin and cause infection. 

These environments are usually seen in swimming pools and saunas. Warmth, humidity, moisture, poor ventilation, and contaminated surfaces are the major red flags that make these places ideal for the growth of fungus

  • Weakened Immune System

You can still get foot fungus even if you took proper precautions. This could be because of the compromised immune system you have. But, what causes your immunity levels to drop? 

The reasons could be varied from your genetics to the underlying medical conditions such as autoimmune disorders, diabetes, or HIV. If you are someone who was previously diagnosed with any of these, then your body’s ability to fight off fungal infections will be affected. In these cases, the fungi will be able to grow rapidly on your feet. 

Read More: How To Relieve Pain In The Bottom Of The Foot? Discover The Causes And Remedies!


By now, you must have understood the common causes of foot fungus which include direct contact with infected individuals, inadequate foot hygiene, a warm and humid environment, and a weakened immune system.

Understanding the causes enables prevention. But, if you fail you prevent it, then you better look for symptoms like discolored nails and cracked or scaling skin.  When you notice redness or peeling on your skin coupled with a foul odor, consider consulting a doctor immediately.

In worse cases, you may also experience a stinging or burning sensation as well. Since all of these symptoms are easily detectable, you can look for treatment methods as soon as possible. But, above all, prevention will make your job easy. 

Dr. Jun Ren is a dedicated and experienced registered dietitian and nutritionist who is committed to helping people achieve their health goals through personalized nutrition plans. With a passion for promoting healthy eating habits and preventing chronic diseases, Dr. Ren has been able to assist numerous clients in improving their overall quality of life.

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