The athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that occurs on the skin of the feet mostly between the toes or on the soles. The infection is most prevalent in summer or spring due to sweaty foot and can spread to other parts of the body if not treated. It is not a major condition but should be treated immediately. People with a weak immune system and those with diabetes should seek medical help if they have this fungal infection.
Causes and Symptoms
It is called Athlete’s foot as it is commonly seen among athletes. It is a condition that can be cured but the treatment is sometimes difficult, especially for those with diseases like diabetes. There are many causes of athlete’s foot and it includes;
- Walking without any shoes or socks in public places like change rooms, toilets, swimming pools, etc.
- Sharing your towels, socks or shoes with infected individuals.
- Keeping your feet wet or leaving it sweaty for a long time.
- Wearing tight-fitting and closed-toe shoes.
- Injuries to the skin or nails in your feet can lead to a fungal infection.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of this infection can help in early detection and treatment. A person having this condition will have an itching or burning sensation between toes. Skin can have blisters, peeling and cracking due to this infection. You can notice it is dry and raw on the soles of the feet. Toenails will look discolored, crumbling and pull from the nailbeds.
Treating Athlete’s foot
There are many over the counter medications that are available in drug stores which can be used to treat this fungal infection. However, it is recommended to see a specialist ensure that the situation is dealt with immediately. As the athlete’s foot has the ability to spread to other parts of the body, it is better to consult at the sign of infection. Specialists mostly would advise you to use external applicants such as medicated ointments or may recommend oral prescription drugs.
Preventing Athlete’s Foot
Anyday, prevention is better than cure. To ensure that you do not get infected, there are a few precautions that you can take. Mentioned below are a few that might help.
Avoid Tight Shoes
Tight shoes not only squeeze the feet but also increase perspiration as there is no air circulation. Air helps keep the feet dry and tight shoes hence do not help. This increases your chances of developing an infection. Also, consider investing in a good pair of quality shoes made of the right material. Avoid plastic shoes as they tend to get hot faster and do not allow the feet to breathe.
Avoid Gyms And Swimming Pools
If you have a weak immune system, then it is best to avoid public pools and gyms. This is because the infection thrives where there is moisture and in warm conditions.
Do Not Share Footwear
The fungus is present in sweat and even a small contact with an infected person can cause infection. So it is recommended not to share footwear at all. Since the fungus lies between the toes, it may be difficult to detect.
Keep Feet Dry
Ensure that your feet are dry. The fungus thrives on heat and moisture. Keeping it dry at all times ensures that there is no moisture-build up.
Wear Moisture-absorbing Socks
Wear socks that are breathable and those that can absorb moisture. That helps the feet to keep cool and dry and prevent fungus or bacteria.
Preventing Athlete’s foot is easy if you know the right methods to treat it. Apart from this, also improving your immunity by boosting your diet with proper nutrients has been seen as beneficial in preventing infections.