The inevitable fact remains that germs are present everywhere and they give rise to a number of diseases, especially skin related. Being the most exposed to the outside world, protecting the skin at all times is impossible. What’s possible is that by being informed, you can avoid falling ill.
In the previous blog of this series, we talked about all that one must know about one of the fungal infection of skin – ringworm. In this article, let’s get to know athlete’s foot a little better, so that you stay safe from it as much as possible.
What is Athlete’s Foot?
A fungal infection that mostly affects the skin on the feet, athlete’s foot is contagious and can easily spread to the toenails and hands. Also known as tinea pedis, it is commonly seen in athletes, and in people who walk barefoot in public places, such as locker rooms, public swimming pools, etc.
Though not serious, it can become difficult to get rid of it if treatment is not taken on time.
Causes of Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot can spread when you come in contact with an infected person, or by touching surfaces contaminated by it. Like all fungus, this one too thrives in warm and moist environments. It is commonly found in public showers, locker room floors, around swimming pools, etc.
Are you at a risk for Athlete’s Foot?
Though anyone can get this infection of the skin, few situations might increase your chances. Therefore, it is important to be cautious, if you:
- Visit public places barefoot, especially those that have water on the floor
- Share socks, shoes or towels with other people
- Wear tight-fitting, closed-toe shoes
- Keep your feet wet for a long time
- Have a problem of sweaty feet
- Have a minor skin or nail injury on your foot
Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot
It is time to take a proper treatment if you notice any of the following:
- Itching, stinging, and burning between the toes, or on the soles of the feet
- Blisters on the foot that itch
- Cracking and peeling skin, especially between the toes and on the soles
- Dry or raw skin on the soles or sides of the feet
- Discoloured, thick, and crumbly toenails; that are also pulled away from the nail bed
Treatment of Athlete’s Foot
In most cases, athlete’s foot can be treated with over-the-counter topical antifungal creams. It is also important to keep the feet clean and dry at all times, and wear sandals when in public areas that have water on the floor.
Along with, wear cotton socks that are washed regularly, make sure the shoes are dry before the next wear, and you do not share shoes, socks, or towels with anyone.
A few precautions can go a long way in keeping you safe from fungal skin infections like athlete’s foot. In the next and last article of the series, we will talk about jock itch and know the best ways to stay away from it.