Athlete’s foot is one of the most common fungal skininfections. Basically, it is a rash that develops on the skin of the foot andit may affect different parts of the foot in different ways depending on thetype of the infection.
Athlete’s foot is caused by fungi that grows on top or on thetop skin layer of the foot because the area between the toes is wet and warmwhich makes it perfect for the growth of fungi. This type of infection spreadsvery easily in many different ways. A person can get it by touching the toesand feet of a person that is already contaminated. One can also gettheir feet contaminated when walking barefoot on contaminated surfaces such as lockerrooms or areas surrounding the swimming pools. Sometimes a person can spreadthe infection further without getting the infection themselves. Some people aremore prone in getting the infection than the others and once they had it, it isvery likely that they will get it again.
Depending on the type of athlete’s foot, the symptoms mayinclude burning, itching, cracking and peeling of the skin. Infection of thetoe web is most likely to occur between the fourth and the fifth toe. This typeof infection causes the skin to become scaly as it cracks and peels andsometimes the condition can get even worse if certain types of bacteria areinvolved as well. Moccasin-type of athlete’s foot starts with soreness which isthen followed by a thickening and cracking of the skin.
Sometimes a toe nailinfection can get developed and cause the nails to become thicker, crumble andin some cases even fall out. The fungal infection of the toenails requires acompletely separate treatment. Vesicular type of infection involves largeblister filled with fluid that gets developed under the skin and a bacterialinfection is pretty much common with this type of fungal infection.
Athlete’s foot can be diagnosed by looking at the feetand can be treated at home fairly easily. Nonprescription medications includemiconazole, tolnaftate, terbinafine and clotrimazole. These medications can bein the form of lotions, gels, creams, swabs, solutions, ointments, powders andsprays and are usually applied topically to the skin. The treatment may last upto six weeks. Vesicular infection is treated with Burow’s solution by soaking thefeet in it or by applying compresses. When the blisters disappears, the infectedarea should be treated with an antifungal cream.
In order to prevent athlete’s foot one should keep the feetdry and clean, dry the areas between the toes after bathing or swimming, wearshoes that allow the feet to breathe, wear socks indoors, wear cotton sockswhich are changed twice a day, use antifungal powder on the feet and alwayswear sandals in public areas.