Love them or hate them, our feet are a precious resource that need to be looked after. One of the most common conditions to affect them is Athlete’s Foot. This itchy, red rash appears between the toes and can be uncomfortable and a bit smelly, so how can you get rid of it? And what kind of foot care can be done to prevent it reoccurring?
Causes and Symptoms
Plenty of bacteria and fungus live on our skin happily and cause no problems. But, when a group called dermatophytes multiply excessively, Athlete’s Foot is the result. Athlete’s Foot is properly called tinea pedis and is a common fungal infection that develops between the toes.
In most cases, it is itchy and causes a red, scaly rash that sometimes flakes when the skin is dry. Some people find it spreads to the bottom of the feet and causes small blisters, which can crack and be painful. In severe cases, the skin cracks and the raw tissue under it is exposed. This is very painful and it also means the area is open to the risk of another bacterial infection, making things worse.
The condition is very contagious and easily spreads from one toe to another. It can also cause problems with toenails, making them dry and crumbly. If your feet come into contact with other parts of the body it can spread there as well. It can also transfer when your hands touch the infected area then touch another part of the body. If this happens, it is called tinea manuum.
Treating the Condition
There are plenty of different options available to treat the condition depending on the severity of it. If it is a mild case that has only been visible for a few days or weeks, over the counter treatments are available. These are anti-fungal medications that can come in the form of creams, sprays, liquids and powders.
If the condition doesn’t respond to these treatments, then it is worth seeing your Podiatrist. They can advise as to which combination of treatments will be most effective in your case and can also treat any other bacterial infections that have arised as a result of the condition.
Preventing Athlete’s Foot
Sometimes there’s nothing you can do to stop Athletes Foot and some people are simply more prone to it than others are. Regular foot care such as washing with soap and water and ensuring that feet are thoroughly dry are good measures. Wearing high percentage, clean cotton socks is another preventative measure. Changing your socks regularly is also important in case there is any of the fungus on the sock. Finally, if you think you have the start of the condition, don’t share towels with anyone else. Should you find the condition is occurring regularly, it might be worth visiting a foot care clinic to see if there are any further measures can be taken to help with the problem.