Feet remain to be one of the most overlooked and easily neglected parts of human body, despite rendering the maximum services. Healthy feet help in locomotion, and even support healthy living by helping in weight reduction and leading an active life. Your feet remain exposed to all kinds of infection, so it is essential to take proper care of your feet.
One of the most prevalent and easily contagious forms of infection is tinea pedis, which is also known as Athlete’s foot. If you thought this ailment only affected athletes, you may be far away from reality. This annoying and uncomfortable infection can affect anyone from any age. It is one of the most common fungal infections that leads to scaling, itching and flaking of skin on your feet.
What Causes Athlete’s Foot?
Athlete’s foot, also known as tinea pedia is caused by the growth of fungus . This fungus tends to grow in warm and moist conditions. The possibility of getting Athlete’s foot increases due to the following risk factors:
- Closed shoes: There is no end to the brutalities we subject on our own feet. Wearing plastic-lined closed shoes for prolonged periods can easily lead to Athlete’s foot.
- Sweaty feet: Profuse sweating on your feet can lead to growth of fungi, especially when air supply remains closed. This leads to the painful and undesirable infection on your feet.
- Walking barefoot: Remaining barefoot for long can easily lead to Athlete’s foot because of its easily communicable nature.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
The symptoms and signs of athlete’s foot are different for every individual. While most individuals experience severe discomfort, some of them do not have any noticeable symptoms at all. Some of the common symptoms of athlete’s foot include:
- Itching or burning: The most common reason for discomfort caused by athlete’s foot is itching and burning sensation accompanied by this infection. Sometimes dryness and itching make the problem even worse.
- Peeling, cracking or scaling of feet: Athlete’s foot usually causes maceration of skin on your feet, and may intensify depending on the severity of the condition. If the condition deteriorates, the infection may spread to toenails, thighs and other parts of your body.
- Blisters or rashes: Most people indisposed with Athlete’s foot have blisters or rashes, which are filled with fluid.
- Bad odor: Athlete’s foot causes feet to emit a foul odor.
Any physician can easily diagnose and tell whether you have Athlete’s foot by simply looking at your feet. Your medical history specifying past fungal infection also plays an important role in determining whether you have Athlete’s foot or not. Let your doctor look at your feet and decide whether you have Athlete’s foot or any other infection on your feet. Your doctor may also consider taking a nail or foot sample to test for the fungal skin infection.
Make it a point to treat Athlete’s foot as soon as you start feeling itchy. This infection responds well to self-care, though there’s always a possibility of its recurring. Most over-the-counter anti-fungal creams and powders can help in treating this infection. These medicines may usually contain miconazole, clotrimazole or tolnaftate. Make it a point to use the medicines for long, even after the infection is cured so that it doesn’t recur.
In addition to conventional treatments, make it a point to expose your feet to fresh air and sunlight. Keep your feet dry and clean. Use tea tree oil and grapefruit extract as a home remedy for treating Athlete’s foot. You can also consider consuming garlic and cloves for supplying antifungal treatment to the affected area.
How To Prevent Athlete’s Foot?
Fungal infection on your feet can be easily preventable if you follow the steps discussed below:
- Wear shoes that allow your feet to breathe, and don’t allow sweat to set in.
- Consider wearing cotton socks, and never share your shoes, socks or towels with anybody. This is mainly because Athlete’s foot is an extremely communicable disease.
- Wash your socks and towels in hot water. You can also consider boiling your socks or towels, so that the fungi are killed.
- If you wear closed shoes most of the times, consider walking barefoot on a regular basis, to allow skin on your feet to remain dry.
- You must wash your feet regularly with soapy water. Consider using Defense Soap to get rid of pathogens that may lead to severe complications.