Athlete’s foot also called tinea pedis is a contagious fungal infection that usually affects the skin on the feet. This infection begins between toes; it can spread to the toe nails and the hands. It is common among people with very sweaty feet, confined within tightly fitted shoes.
Athlete’s foot is not a serious infection but it can be hard to cure. It is called athlete’s foot because it common among athletes.

Causes
Trichophyton is the fungus responsible for athlete foot. It is related to other fungi causing infections in human skin, hair and nails.
These fungi are harmless on human skin. Their reproduction is limited as long as the skin is clean and dry. However, they multiply rapidly under damp and warm conditions.

This infection can be spread through direct or indirect contact.
• Direct: this occur when an uninfected individual have a direct          contact with the infected area of an infected person.
• Indirect: this occurs when an individual get infected through contaminated clothing, shoes, bed sheets and towels. Athletes’ foot commonly spread around places that generally humid and warm.

People with suppressed or weakened immunity are more susceptible to developing athlete’s foot.

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Signs and symptoms
The skin on the foot is usually itchy, especially between the toes. The skin may become
• Dry
• Flaky
• Cracked
• Scaly
• Itching blisters
• Swelling
• Redness
When there are open sores, this make the foot more vulnerable to bacterial infections.
If left untreated, the infection might spread from toe to toe or to the hands.
Scratching the affected area and touching other parts of the body can spread the infection. It is important to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.

Treatment
Treatment ranges from basic hygiene to usage of topical anti fungal creams/ sprays.
• Wash feet often with soap and water
• Soak feet in salt water to clear up blisters
• dry feet completely after washing, especially between the toes
• Wear clean cotton socks
• To keep feet dry, change shoes and socks more often.
• Wash towels regularly and do not share.

Prevention
The risk of developing athlete’s foot can be minimized by ensuring a clean, dry feet, socks and shoes.
• Wash feet twice a day with water and soap. Always ensure you clean between the toes.
• Keep feet dry. You can walk barefooted at home as much as       possible.
• Wear loosely fitted well-ventilated shoes.
• Ensure feet are dry before putting on socks, stockings, or tights.
• Wear slippers when walking around public swimming pools or damp   places.
• Ensure shoes are relatively dry before putting them on by giving enough time for them to dry out. Do not share footwear.
• Wash sheets and towels regularly.

References

Cynthia,C. (2018) Athlete’s Foot. https://www.healthline.com/health/athletes-foot

Gary, C. (2019).Athlete’s foot, MedicineNet https://www.medicinenet.com/athletes_foot/article.htm

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/athletes-foot/symptoms-causes/syc-20353841

 

About Dr Habeeb Ali Tunde

Dr. Habeeb Ali Tunde provides the most effective treatments to patients by integrating both conventional and alternative medicine that address all aspects of pain and wellness.

Read more

Follow Dr Habeeb Tunde Ali

Facebook – Dr. Habeeb Ali

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