Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s Foot or commonly known as Tinea Pedis is the type of fungal infection that occurs between the toes of the patients. Athlete’s Foot is common amongst the people who tend to have sweaty feet and confined within the tight fitted shoes for longer hours. The common symptoms of Athlete’s Foot include scaly rashes and the person tends to have burning, stinging and itching sensations. Since the fungal infection is contagious, it can get spread and contaminate the floor, clothing and towels. The fungal infection is commonly related to other fungal infections like jock itch and ringworm. So, proper diagnosis is required to identify the type of fungal infection you are having. Doctors may prescribe over the counter anti fungal medications. However, the infection tends to recurs. Prescription medications are also used for treating the fungal infection.

The Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot!

As mentioned, the most common symptom of Athlete’s Foot is scaly red rashes that tend to occurs between the toes. Patients may also experience itching sensation with extreme redness. Itching between the toes is common right after you take off the shoes. There are some different types of Athlete’s Foot where patients may also experience ulcers and blisters. Moccasin variety of Athlete’s Foot usually causes symptoms of extreme dryness as well as scaling on the soles which also extends up to the sides of the feet. Sometimes this condition is confused with eczema or dry skin.

Athlete’s Foot infection can affect both or one of your feet and may spread up to your hands, especially if you pick or scratch the infected part of your toes.

What are the Causes of Athlete’s Foot?

The fungus that causes jock itch or ringworm is responsible for causing Athlete’s Foot in patients. Humid conditions, warmness, damp shoes and socks are the breeding place of this fungus and favour the growth of the organism. So, you may easily have Athlete’s Foot if you wear damp socks or shoes for longer hours. This is the contiguous infections and can spread by contact with the infected person. If you come in contact with the contaminated surfaces like shoes, floor and towels, you may develop Athlete’s Foot.

Risk Factors of Athlete’s Foot

You are like to have Athlete’s Foot if you:

  • Are a man
  • Shares the same rugs, mats, clothes, bed linens, and shoes with the person having fungal infections
  • Wear damp socks or shoes or tight fitted shoes
  • Have weak immunity to combat against the infection
  • Walk without shoes in public places where infection is likely to spread easily like swimming pools, saunas, locker rooms, showers and common bathrooms.

Complications of Athlete’s Foot!

Athlete’s Foot can spread to other parts of your body and this includes:

  • Hands – If you scratch or pick the infected area of your body you may develop similar infection in hands
  • Nails – The toenails can also be infected by the same fungi linked with Athlete’s Foot.
  • Groin – As mentioned similar fungi is responsible for causing jock itch and hence it is common that the infection may spread from feet to your groin as the fungus can travel on hands and on towels.

Diagnosis of Athlete’s Foot

In most of the cases of Athlete’s Foot, doctors easily recognize it simply by looking at it. In order to confirm the diagnosis and to rule out the exact treatment plan, doctors may ask to undergo further tests.

  • Samples are collected from infected areas to be examined under microscope
  • Checking the feet under black light using a wood’s light

Treatments for Athlete’s Foot!

For all causes of mild Athlete’s Foot, doctors usually prescribed over the counter anti fungal medications like lotion, ointment and powder or spray. You will be observed after that for few days and if the medications are not effecting and not responding as intended, then doctors may ask you to use prescription strength medications which you need to apply on the affected feet. In severe causes of Athlete’s Foot, patients are asked to take anti fungal pills which you need to take from mouth with water.

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