- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
What You Should Know About Athletes Foot
Athlete's foot, what is it?
Many people are aware that athletes foot is a fungal infection but are unaware it is not the same yeast infection caused by candidas or thrush. It is tinea pedis, it is the same fungus that causes jock itch, ringworm of the body or the scalp, and it is mildly contagious. It used to be thought if you got it once you would continue to get it but actually, if you change the things that are allowing the fungus to grow and get treatment, stay on the treatment and follow up with the physician there is no reason you should ever get it again.
The way it is caught, so to speak, is the fungus lives on warm moist areas and does not die like a virus and is harder to kill than bacteria so if you are warm and moist and you step in a pile of it, again, so to speak, then you could contract it. Put your feet into plastic or vinyl, tight shoes and socks, and it will get worse.
Soon your feet are red, peeling between your toes, have an unpleasant odor, patches of loose skin peeling and itching and or burning. Blisters can form then they really can be infected with a secondary infection. Sometimes not only topical antifungals like Monistat, is needed but also oral antifungals like diflucan are needed to clear up the problem.
If you are a diabetic even worse problems can occur so if you are a diabetic and suspect athletes foot or any problem with your feet, see your physician immediately!
The thing about athlete’s foot is that it is not related to being an athlete, although it is true more men than women contract it. It is simply a matter of putting your feet in harm’s way. If you know how it occurs and how to prevent and or treat it if it does occur then there will be no problems at all.
Have you ever had athletes foot?
Here is what you need to do
· Wear loose socks, diabetic socks are the best
· Have at least two pairs of shoes and switch them out daily
· Avoid plastic or vinyl shoes
· Avoid tight shoes and socks, even leather shoes can cause problems if too tight
· Avoid walking barefoot in public showers, swimming pool areas, or on bathmats, rugs if someone in your household has athletes foot!
· Wash your hands then wash your feet, especially between toes, with soap and water then wash your hands again and dry feet completely especially between your toes
· Avoid scratching, rubbing or aggravating the area
· Sometimes after the infection is gone a protein causes blisters to form on your hands or fingers, see your physician again, as this is an allergic reaction caused by athletes foot
· Sometimes a foot soak of vinegar will also improve the problem. Vinegar is a known solution that will kill fungus. Another name for a vinegar solution is acetic acid. You can make your own with a quarter of the solution being vinegar and three-fourths of the solution warm water. However, if there are open, running areas do not use this unless the physician is aware and approves.
· Even household pets can contract and spread athletes foot in a household
· The best way to clean bathrooms and hard surfaces in a home such as the kitchen is still with a 1:10 bleach water solution with one part bleach and ten parts water. Wear gloves to clean all areas
· Avoid touching, rubbing, treating someone with athletes foot unless you are wearing gloves and wash your hands before and after treatment
· See your physician if the over the counter skin ointment such as Lamisil or Monistat and all other measures such as new shoes and socks and increased hygiene do not improve the problem.
- Understanding Athlete\'s Foot -- the Basics
From symptoms to treatment to prevention, get the basics on athlete's foot from the experts at WebMD.