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Athlete’s Foot: Symptoms, Causes And Treatment

Today we’re talking all things athlete’s foot. Find out about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of athlete’s foot, as well as some ways to avoid contracting it.

 

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

 

Athlete’s foot is a skin infection which is caused by a fungus. It’s fairly common and can affect anyone – not just athlete’s as the name suggests.

It is highly contagious and often contracted from wet floors, damp footwear and communal wet areas like showers and bathrooms.

Once contracted, it causes the skin of the foot to break down. Then the fungi get into your skin through these weak spots on your foot and spread to the surrounding skin.

 

Common Symptoms Of Athlete’s Foot

 

Most people notice a change around their toes. The infection can also be present on the soles of the feet.

 

Common symptoms of athlete’s foot can include:

Cracked skin

Peeling skin

Inflamed skin

A dry, scaly rash

A moist, flaky rash

Blisters between the toes, or on the foot

Burning or stinging sensation between the toes or on the sole of the foot

 

If untreated, symptoms could extend to the following:

Bleeding

Unpleasant foot odour

Oozing blisters

Foot pain

Fungal nail infections

 

Common Causes Of Athlete’s Foot

 

There are a few things that could contribute to the development of athlete’s foot.

 

Common causes of athlete’s foot include:

Excessively sweaty feet

Not drying your feet after showering (especially between the toes)

Wearing closed shoes that don’t allow any circulation

A weakened immune system

Going barefoot in public or communal bathrooms and showers

Wearing the same socks for long periods

 

Common Treatments Of Athlete’s Foot

 

There are a few options when it comes to treating athlete’s foot.

Depending on the severity, you may be able to treat it with over the counter medication, or if more serious, you may need to see your GP or a podiatrist for more aggressive treatment.

 

Basic treatment could involve:

Washing and drying your feet carefully daily

Switching from synthetic to cotton socks

Switching to breathable shoes

Wearing open shoes where possible to allow air to circulate around the affected areas

Making sure your shoes and socks are always dry

 

Medical treatment options include:

Anti-fungal cream, gel, ointment, powder or spray – available over the counter

Anti-fungal tablets – available on prescription from your GP

Fungal nail treatment – if the infection has spread to the nails

 

Ways To Avoid Athlete’s Foot

 

There are several simple things you can do to protect yourself from contracting athlete’s foot.

Keep your feet dry and clean.  Always dry between your toes.

Wear socks made from natural fibres like cotton that allow your foot to breathe.

Choose shoes that allow circulation of air to your feet.

Always wear thongs in public or communal wet areas like changing rooms, swimming pools , nd bathrooms.