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Foot and nail mycosis

Elderly people and athletes are the classical risk groups for foot and nail mycoses. How­ever, also children are increasingly affected by nail mycoses, and for football players mycosis has virtually become an occupational illness. Patients need a lot of patience and consistency in applying the appropriate medication if they want to get rid of the fungi.
Isabel Weinert & Marta Campbell
30.05.2018  11:36 Uhr

The first symptoms of foot mycosis can be itching, burning or pain in the gaps between the toes. The affected skin is reddened, scaling, blistering, has small cracks and can also be weeping. Not all these symptoms need appear. Some­times the persons affected will only complain of an unpleasant smell.

Nails that are infected with nail mycosis are not shiny but dull, they are thicken­ed, brittle or the nail plate is crumbly. Moreover, white or yellowish spots are visible on the edges of the nails or in the nail plate. Brownish- greyish discolourations are possible too.


  • Since when have you had these complaints?
  • Have you had a foot or nail mycosis once before?
  • Have you already asked a doctor for a diagnosis?
  • Have you already applied medication?
  • Do you have diabetes? If so, you should always first consult your diabetologist or a foot clinic for diabetics when you notice changes on your feet.
  • Do you smoke?


  • You have to apply the medication against foot (or nail) mycosis exactly as prescribed. This is very important as foot mycosis can be persistent.
  • The therapy for foot mycosis can last up to six weeks, the therapy for nail mycosis even up to twelve months.
  • Varnish against nail mycosis is available as water-soluble as well as water-insoluble varnishes.
  • The water-soluble varnishes are mainly those with the active ingredient­ Ciclopirox. The advantage of those varnishes is that the nail need not be filed before the application and no nail varnish remover is required afterwards. Ciclopirox attacks­ the fungi from outside as well as inside and kills them.
  • Water-insoluble varnishes contain for example Amorolfin. The varnish has to be applied only once a week, but beforehand the affected nails must be filed and the old varnish must be removed prior to the next application.

Additional information

  • Wash your feet daily and dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes.
  • Do not walk barefooted in swimming pools, hotels or sports facilities.
  • Do not wear any airtight socks and shoes.
  • Wash socks and towels at 60 degrees Celsius.
  • If you can manage to stop smoking, this will be of benefit to the blood circulation of your feet. It will also reduce the risk of infection with foot fungi.
  • The better your diabetes has been adjusted, the smaller is the danger of contracting foot or nail mycosis.
Deutsch / German Englisch / English
barfuß barefooted
Bläschen small blisters
brennen burning
Durchblutung blood circulation
Fußpilz foot mycosis
Juckreiz itching
Lack varnish
Nagelpilz nail mycosis
Nagelplatte nail plate
nässen weeping, oozing
Risse cracks
Schmerzen pain, aches
Socken aus Baumwolle cotton socks
unangenehmer Geruch unpleasant smell
verdickt thickened
verfärbt discoloured
wasserlöslich water-soluble
wasserunlöslich water-insoluble
Vocabulary on foot and nail mycosis