Although we are always surrounded by various kinds of fungi, bacteria, and other microorganisms no matter how clean we are, not everyone has his/her toes infected – this is because their immune system prevents those microorganisms to overgrowth on your toes. However, when your immune defense becomes weaker, the pathogens will start overgrowing and start developing an infection.

There are some differences between foot infection caused by bacteria and one caused by fungi. If you are interested in the difference between fungus and bacteria itself, check out this article. Here, we will mainly talk about infections of the foot.

Fungal Infection of Foot

Fungi thrive in a humid and warm environment. People often get infected at public places such as a gym or public pool. It is important to keep the feet dry and clean to prevent the fungal foot infection.

Athlete’s Foot

  • Also called Tinea Pedis

  • Symptoms could be itching, flaking, redness, and rash between your toes.

  • Highly contagious: spread through floors, towels, shoes, and clothes.

  • Can be self-treated.

Toenail Fungus

  • Also called Onychomycosis

  • Symptoms include a discoloration, thickening, and flaking of the toenails. The separation between the toenail and the nail bed. Toenail fungus can also cause bad odor.

  • Highly contagious: spread through floors, towels, shoes, and clothes.

  • Often found with Athlete’s Foot.

  • Professional help may be required.

Bacterial Infection of Foot

People get infected by bacteria through the site where the skin is injured. It is important to keep the skin undamaged and clean to prevent the bacterial foot infection. If your skin is injured, wash immediately with soap and cover the site with a clean bandage.


  • The infected site will initially change in pink color, then because brown and scaly.

  • Often mistaken for a fungal infection

  • Usually seen where two skins fold together, such as armpits, under the breasts, and toes.


  • Symptoms include swelling, pain, warmth, blisters, and redness.

  • Potentially serious bacterial infection

Foot Abscess

  • Abscess: A swollen area in the skin, where contain a pocket of pus.

  • Symptoms include redness, swelling, pain, and development of a fluid-filled pimple.

  • Foot abscess is usually treated by discharging the pus and taking antibiotics.