Athlete’s foot : All you need to know

 What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Athlete’s foot — also called Tinea  pedis — is a contagious fungal infection that affects the skin on the feet and can spread to the toenails and sometimes the hands. The fungal infection is called athlete’s foot because it’s commonly seen in athletes.
Athlete’s foot isn’t serious, but sometimes it’s hard to cure. However, if you have diabetes or a weakened immune system and suspect that you have athlete’s foot, you should call your doctor immediately.
 It often results in itching, scaling, and redness. In severe cases the skin may blister. Athlete’s foot may affect any part of the foot, but occurs most often between the toes. The next most common area is the bottom of the foot.
Image result for athlete's foot

What Causes Athlete’s Foot?

Athlete’s foot occurs when the tinea fungus grows on the feet. You can catch the fungus through direct contact with an infected person or by touching surfaces contaminated with the fungus. The fungus thrives in warm, moist environments and is commonly found in showers, on locker room floors, and around swimming pools.

 

Who Can Get Athlete’s Foot?

Anyone can get athlete’s foot, but certain behaviors increase your risk. Factors that increase your risk of getting athlete’s foot include:

  • visiting public places barefoot, especially locker rooms, showers, and swimming pools
  • sharing socks, shoes, or towels with an infected person
  • wearing tight-fitting, closed-toe shoes
  • keeping your feet wet for long periods of time
  • having sweaty feet
  • having a minor skin or nail injury on your foot

What Are the Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot?

There are many possible symptoms of athlete’s foot. You may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
  • itching, stinging, and burning between the toes
  • itching, stinging, and burning on the soles of the feet
  • blisters on the feet that itch
  • cracking and peeling skin on the feet, most commonly between the toes and on the soles
  • dry skin on the soles or sides of the feet
  • raw skin on the feet
  • discolored, thick, and crumbly toenails
  • toenails that pull away from the nail bed

How Is Athlete’s Foot Treated?


Athlete’s foot can often be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) topical antifungal medications. If OTC medications don’t successfully treat the fungal infection, your doctor may prescribe topical or oral prescription-strength antifungal medications. Your doctor may also recommend home treatments to help clear up the infection.

Prescription Medications

Some of the prescription medications your doctor may prescribe for athlete’s foot include:
  • topical, prescription-strength clotrimazole or miconazole
  • oral antifungal medications such as itraconazole (Sporanox), fluconazole (Diflucan), or prescription-strength terbinafine (Lamisil)
  • topical steroid medications to reduce painful inflammation
  • oral antibiotics if bacterial infections develop due to raw skin and blisters

Home Care

Your doctor may recommend that you soak your feet in salt water or diluted vinegar to help dry up blisters.

Complications

Athlete’s foot can lead to complications in some cases.

Mild complications include an allergic reaction to the fungus, which can lead to blistering on the feet or hands. It’s also possible for the fungal infection to return after treatment.
There can be more severe complications if a secondary bacterial infection develops. If this is the case, your foot might be swollen, painful, and hot. Pus, drainage, and fever are additional signs of a bacterial infection.
It’s also possible for the bacterial infection to spread to the lymph system. A skin infection could lead to lymphangitis (infection of the lymph vessels) or lymphadenitis (infection of the lymph nodes).

Prevention

There are several things you can do to help prevent athlete’s foot infections. 
     These include:
  • wash your feet with soap and water every day and dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes
  • put antifungal powder on your feet everyday
  • don’t share socks, shoes, or towels with others
  • wear sandals in public showers, around public swimming pools, and in other public places
  • wear socks made out of breathable fibers, such as cotton or wool, or made out of synthetic fibers that wick moisture away from your skin
  • change your socks when your feet get sweaty
  • air out your feet when you are at home by going barefoot
  • wear shoes made of breathable materials
  • alternate between two pairs of shoes, wearing each pair every other day, to give your shoes time to dry out between use

It could even be as worse as this :

Image result for athlete's foot

Image result for athlete's foot

If you have health, you probably will be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need, even if it is not all you want.  ~Elbert Hubbard.

Post Author: Balogun Mahmuod

A webmaster and entrepeneur that loves to share ideas about health and meet new people. Also, a big fan of Chelsea F.C.

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