The athlete’s foot is a quite common condition that affects many people all over the world. Unfortunately, many of them misunderstand this condition. The trust is that you don’t really need to be an athlete (or regularly work out in the gym) to get an athletes foot. For example, putting on socks too quickly before bed after showering can lead to the development of this issue. Due to the fact that the fungus is thriving all around us, athlete’s foot is more common than we think. In this article, we will tell you everything you should know about an athlete’s foot.
Causes of athlete’s foot
The athletes foot, also known as Tinea Pedis, is a quite common fungal infection that occurs on the feet and between the toes. It can develop when a group of fungi thrives in a warm and humid environment. These fungi feed on a protein called keratin, which is found in the skin. That’s why the feet are the perfect place for fungi, which contribute to the development of the athlete’s foot.
Narrow shoes with poor ventilation are more likely to cause an athletes foot because they squeeze the toes together, creating a warm and humid environment that is perfect for fungi. Additionally, if the socks are wet and the feet are warm, the risk of developing an athlete’s foot increases dramatically.
The athletes foot can be transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact (when an uninfected person touches an infected person) or indirect contact (fungi can infect people through contaminated surfaces, clothing, socks, shoes, sheets, and towels, etc.). You should also know that people with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop athlete’s foot.
Symptoms of athlete’s foot
The most common symptoms of an athletes foot include:
- Burning sensations
When an athlete’s foot becomes severe, it can lead to the development of open sores on the skin that are vulnerable to bacteria. If left untreated, there is a risk of the infection spread. Symptoms can appear on the sides and bottom of the foot. In some cases, an athlete’s foot can spread to the toenails, hands, and groin.
Treatment options for athlete’s foot
Even though there are a lot of OTC treatments at the drugstores, you should understand that an advanced athlete’s foot should be examined and treated by a professional foot doctor. Visit the advanced podiatry clinic to get professional foot care.
If your symptoms are mild, your doctor may recommend antifungal medications that are available as tablets, powders, liquids, sprays, and creams. You can also use a foot bath and other home remedies for fungal infection. But you should understand that these home remedies can be used only in combination with medications. Otherwise, they will simply ease your symptoms for a certain period of time.
Prevention of athlete’s foot
To prevent the development of an athletes foot, you need to keep your feet clean and dry. If you are prone to foot sweating, you need to wash your feet twice a day and dry them with a towel thoroughly. You should also change your socks every time they become wet.
Antifungal talcum powder may also help reduce perspiration and your risk of getting an athlete’s foot. It is also important to wear loose, well-ventilated shoes, especially during warmer months. The best materials for shoes are leather or canvas.
The bottom line
Many people don’t think that an athlete’s foot is a serious condition. But you should understand that it can cause unpleasant complications and spread to other parts of your body. Timely treatment and proper foot care can help you get rid of fungal infection and prevent its recurrence in the future.