What is Athlete's Foot?

Athlete's foot is a fungal infection of the skin that affects the foot causing the affected area to be itchy, scaly and flaky. It is a very common skin infection of the bottom of the feet mostly caused by a fungus known as Trichophyton. Another name for Athlete's foot is also ringworm of the foot or tinea pedis.The disease thrills very well in moist and warm areas of the body.These are the areas that are mostly affected. People can get affected when they walk barefooted in places such as public showers, locker rooms, bathhouses, swimming pool areas and others.

Symptoms

Some of the common symptoms of Athlete's foot are:

  • Various degrees of itching and burning
  • Dry skin benefit the foot
  • Frequent peeling
  • Infection can spread to the groin
  • Blisters and cracks
  • Inflammation of the skin
  • Bleeding

In most cases affected persons do not get to know they have the disease thinking it is only a case of developing dry skin on the sole of the feet.

Prevention

Athlete's foot is naturally stubborn and it is almost certain that it will always return once there is an enabling environment for it.The following useful tips will however help you prevent the occurrence of Athlete's foot to delay it:

  • Keep your feet clean and dry always. Particular attention must be paid to the toe webs in this regard.
  • Use hot water to wash your clothes.
  • Always go for ventilated foot wears that allow allow air to reach your feet
  • Wear shower sandals (waterproof sandals) in public pools, bathhouses and locker rooms to prevent being infected.
  • Always keep your feet and groin areas dry after bath
  • Change socks and stocking on a regular basis. Make sure you always wear socks made of absorbent fibers.
  • Avoid sharing shoes with anyone and try as much as possible to alternate your shoes.
  • Do not wear tight and poorly ventilated shoes.

Treatment

Having discussed prevention of Athlete's foot, we shall also consider its treatment for the benefit of people who are already in contact with it. The disease can easily be treated at home with the use of antifungal medication such as clotrimazole, terbinafine etc. You can also soak your feet for about twenty minutes, twice a day as recommended by doctors in an aluminum subacetate solution. It is however better to always seek professional advice from doctors and medical personnel for better treatment.