What is Athlete’s Foot?
Athlete’s foot is caused by a fungus that occurs between the toes of the foot. Shoes create a warm, moist area that allows fungus to grow. Often other fungus or skin conditions can occur such as eczema or psoriasis that can imitate athlete’s foot.
Typical breeding areas for fungi are swimming pools, showers and common locker room areas. The term athlete’s foot came about from athletes who commonly contracted the fungus.
Initial signs of athlete’s foot include:
- Dry skin
- Itching and burning
- Skin that is Scaling
- Inflammation of the skin
- Blisters, which can cause pain and swelling of the area
Athlete’s foot can spread to other pars of the foot including the soles of the feet and the toenails. It is also possible that other parts of the body, especially the groin and underarms. Those who touch or scratch the infection and then touch other parts of the body can spread it. Fungi organisms can spread by contaminating other clothing and transferred to other parts of the body.
When to consult a Podiatrist
Treatment of a fungus condition should respond to proper foot hygiene and if there is no improvement within two weeks you should contact your Podiatrist.
How to treat Athlete’s foot
Your Podiatrist will usually suggest a specific treatment plan, along with a prescription of antifungal medication, applied topically or taken by mouth, a treatment plan can provide better resolution of the problem.
Fungicidal chemicals, used for treatment of athlete’s foot frequently fail to contact the appropriate layers of the affected skin. Topical or oral antifungal drugs are also prescribed as a part of a typical treatment plan. If the infection is caused by bacteria, antibiotics that are effective against a broad spectrum of bacteria, such as penicillin, may be prescribed.
Keeping the feet dry by dusting foot powder in shoes and hose can also help improve the condition. The feet should be washed frequently and all areas around the toes dried thoroughly.
Athlete’s Foot Fungus Prevention
Athlete’s foot prevention is difficult to prevent because it is usually contracted in dressing rooms, showers, and swimming pool locker rooms where bare feet come in contact with the fungus.
Practicing good foot hygiene can go a long way in prevention:
- Wash feet daily with soap and water; drying the foot carefully is important
- Use shower shoes and avoid walking barefoot
- Using a talcum powder to reduce perspiration
- Wear shoes with proper ventilation
- Change shoes and sock to prevent moisture
- Keep your feet dry