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What Do Nail Fungus, Athlete's Foot & Jock Itch Have In Common?

Most people don't realize this, but nail fungus and Athlete's Foot are a part of a larger family of fungal infections. This also includes “jock itch” and ringworm. Because it’s a fungus, it thrives in the moist, warm climate of your gym locker room, bathrooms, nail salons, pool areas and showers.

You get these fungal infections by direct contact with contaminated surfaces, most commonly within these shared communal spaces, but also brewing inside your sweaty, tight-fitting shoes.

Nail fungus is also called onychomycosis. When fungus infects the areas between your toes and the skin of your feet, it's called athlete's foot (tinea pedis). Athlete’s foot may spread to the groin area and become jock itch, or the other way around.

Many people are not aware that chronic fungal infections may be a sign of a chronic gut or other systemic candida virus or yeast within your system. This overgrowth of yeast can develop from a number of factors, including antibiotic use, poor digestion, low immune system function, a high sugar and grain diet, stress or hormonal changes. A quality probiotic supplement will help you get rid of the yeast and candida in your system that could be the root cause of your fungus.

Nail fungus is a common condition that begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As the fungal infection goes deeper, nail fungus may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and crumble at the edge. It can affect several nails.

Gratefully, most cases of fungal infections respond to self-care and natural products.

How to Prevent Both Foot Fungus & Toenail Fungus

While toenail fungus and foot fungus aren’t the same condition, the following tips can help you prevent both

  • Practice good hygiene, such as keeping your feet clean and washing your feet thoroughly with a natural soap that has antifungal essential oils. Many people think letting the water from the shower wash your feet is enough. Well, it's not. Applying soap and scrubbing daily is a must!

  • Alternate your shoes during the week. Your feet sweat all day long. Alternating your shoes allows them to dry out, so the fungus can’t survive.

  • Wear moisture-wicking socks that help dry out shoes and kill fungus. You can find these at running stores, athletic stores and even on Amazon. If your socks are exceptionally sweaty, changing them more than once per day can help.

  • Wear shoes in public places like locker rooms, pools, and gyms to limit exposure to fungus.

  • Keeping a healthy immune system will help to fight off fungal infections. The supplements I recommend to support immunity are a high quality multi, vitamin D3, vitamin C, and a probiotic for gut health.

  • Wear shoes that fit well — most people wear shoes that are too tight and they don’t realize it. Wearing closed-toe shoes, especially those that are narrow in the toe box, can cause trauma to your toenails, which can weaken your nails and make them more susceptible to a toenail fungal infection

  • Keep your skin dry, and don’t forget to dry between the toes after bathing, exercising, or sweating. A lot of people don’t dry between the toes, so the skin stays wet, which can lead to infection.

More Natural Treatment Options

  • Use a topical, natural product that contains essential oils that provide antifungal benefits. I have always recommended using tea tree oil as a fungus cure. It is a natural disinfectant and offers antifungal and antibacterial properties.

  • Use organic, anti-fungal soap on your feet and areas of concern while bathing.

  • Consider natural sprays or powders that help dry out shoes and kill fungus.


While fungus typically responds well to natural treatments, some cases of toenail fungus are incredibly difficult to eliminate. However, attacking fungus internally by maintaining a healthy immune system and eliminating an overgrowth of yeast.

And being intentional with external measures of keeping your feet dry and alternating footwear, you can have positive results.

We hope that you find our posts helpful and please feel free to forward this information to anyone who might have questions about natural living. We strive to educate our patients on all aspects of health.

If you have a question or need more information on a particular topic, please post in the comments or contact Dr. Angela directly. We look forward to hearing from you! Best of Health, Dr. Angela Founder of Nashville Organix

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Hi, I'm Dr. Angela Walk

I have been involved in the health and wellness industry for over 20 years as a health & wellness physician. I have written extensively for health publications and I am keenly aware of trends and new developments in natural health. I embrace an active lifestyle combining diet, exercise and healthy choices. My goal is to inform my readers of natural options available to them in hopes of improving their health and quality of life.

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