Athletes foot is somewhat of a misnomer as not only athletes have experienced it. Have you had itchy feet or had the skin on your feet become scaly. This is sometimes not just an issue of dry skin that can traditionally happen at this time of the year. You may be experiencing Athletes Foot, a fungal foot infection. The feet are common places to experience a fungal infection, whether it occurs on the skin or on the toenails. This is because shoes and socks create an environment where fungus can grow – this is a warm, dark and humid environment. This environment carries over to areas with dampness and warmth around locker rooms, swimming pools and shower. Ask any of the future Pan Am athletes who are involved in a swimming sport, they spend so much time on the pool deck ind in change rooms that they have have likely at some point had or know teammate who has has athletes foot / a fungal infection or plantar warts. This can create the perfect storm as it is those areas where we are most likely to walk around with bare feet.
Fungal infections on the feet, or athletes foot causes redness, cracking, itching and even sometimes blisters between the toes. That being said, not all fungus conditions are athletes foot. It is important to have your feet properly assessed by a Foot Specialist or Chiropodist to differentiate if it is truly athletes foot or if it another condition that may mimic some of the signs of athletes foot.
Taking steps to prevent the fungus from spreading include drying feet well, wearing protective shoes / flip flops in change rooms and shower areas and applying talcum powder. In many cases a prescription topical medication is needed to treat / cure the fungal infection. A Chiropodist / Foot Specialist will be able to assess and see what would be the best course of treatment.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Fungal Infection / Athletes Foot?
- Dry skin
- Scaling Skin
- Inflammation / Redness
You may notice that itching and burning may increase as the infection spreads or increases.It is possible for fungal skin infections to spread to other parts of the body, most commonly in the groin and underarms. This can happen in people who scratch the infection then touch other areas of the body. The organism causing athlete’s foot is hearty and can persist for long periods of time. As a result, the infection can also spread by contaminated bed sheets / clothing to other parts of the body.
Tips to prevent Fungal Skin Infections / Athletes Foot:
- Practice good foot hygiene – Chiropodist / Foot Care specialist can discuss more regarding this and your particular habits
- Avoid walking barefoot; use shower shoes / flip flops in change rooms and pool areas
- Wear airy shoes
- Wear socks that keep your feet dry, and change them often if you sweat heavily (eg. after working out)
If you believe you have a fungal condition of your feet and it is slow to respond to the above suggestions within 2 weeks, Contact our Office. Our Chiropodist will be able to determine if a fungus is the cause of your problem.