What is athlete’s foot?

Athlete’s foot or tinea pedis is basically a skin infection that commonly occurs among athletes and those who use trainers and other non-breathable types of footwear.

Symptoms

The symptoms of athlete’s foot include varying degrees of itchiness or burning sensation on the skin of the foot. Oftentimes, there is peeling or flaking skin present. When it comes to a mild case of athlete’s foot, it can appear simply as dry skin. In severe cases, there are blisters or thickened patches of dry red skin. In very severe cases, the skin can crack which results to bleeding.

Athlete's foot

The symptoms of athlete’s foot include varying degrees of itchiness or burning sensation on the skin of the foot.

Possible causes

Athlete’s foot is caused by the fungus Trichophyton which thrives in warm, moist environments. This condition typically affects the toes and the spaces in between them, but it can also affect the soles of the feet.

Remember that the condition is contagious and can be acquired from others. On the other hand, the foot should have the right condition for the fungus to thrive. The condition can be passed via direct contact and by using same socks, towels or from the changing room floors.

The condition can affect anyone, but more common among teenagers and men. Some are also prone to develop the condition than others and the cause is not yet known. The prevalence among athletes might be caused by wearing closed footwear such as trainers or running shoes that become very warm and soaked during exercise. It is also linked to the use of community changing areas in health clubs and swimming pools.

Treatment

The treatment must be two-fold. Initially, the area must be made less suitable for the fungus to thrive. It simply means keeping the area dry and clean. It is recommended to wear breathable shoes along with absorbent cotton socks.

The second stage of treatment involves the direct management of the infection. To learn to recognize and prevent disease transmission, register for first aid training today. This is done with anti-fungal creams, washes, powders or sprays. Most of these products are readily available in drug stores and must be used on a daily basis until the individual is free from symptoms for at least a week. As for severe or resistant cases, it would require a course of anti-fungal medications taken orally that are prescribed by the doctor.

Prevention

Athlete’s foot has the tendency to return and it is vital to continue to properly care for the feet by taking into consideration these measures:

  • It is recommended to wear leather shoes or open shoes if possible. This will allow the feet to breathe while keeping the foot dry and free from moisture.
  • The feet should be washed regularly and make sure that they are dried thoroughly.
  • Utilize foot powders such as talcum powder or an anti-fungus foot powder to ensure that the feet are fully dry after washing.
  • The individual should wear flip-flops or sandals when using any community changing area in order to prevent the foot from being directly exposed to infected flooring.
  • It is recommended to use cotton socks and change on a regular basis.
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