What is Athletes Foot?
Athlete’s foot is caused by a fungus called tinea pedis. It is a ringworm fungus. We typically see ringworms in children. The fungus is quite common and can be contagious under the right situations. You can find ringworms on the scalp, extremities, groin and just about anywhere else on the body.
Bacteria like moist places. When moisture is held in areas of the body, bacteria can have a chance to flourish. These bacteria are found in places where many people congregate: swimming pools, gym showers, locker rooms and other places where people tend to have bare feet.
When you don’t dry your feet completely, bacteria can grow and infect your skin. People with cuts and abrasions on their skin can be more easily affected when this fungus is present.
How will you know that you have athlete’s foot? One of the usual signs of a fungal infection is itching. The itching can lead to flaking skin, rashes and cracking due to dryness. You will also almost always have some sort of pain from the constant scratching.
Athlete’s foot is usually localized to the bottom of the feet. But, it can spread via scratching to other areas of the body. It occurs mostly in men but either gender can be affected. Once you notice that something is wrong, it is time to get some help.
Now that you suspect you have it, what is the treatment? If you’ve ever had any other type of fungal infection like a yeast infection, you know that the bacteria aren’t going to go away lightly. They want to stay where they are comfortable.
Turning the environment against the bacteria will stop the infection from raging out of control. Keeping the area dry and clean is your first priority. Wearing clean shoes that are breathable as well as socks that are made of cotton will help reduce the moisture in the area.
Other drying solutions include cornstarch or medicated athlete’s foot powders. Vinegar can change the pH of the area and keep bacteria from growing.
Now that there are no more bacteria coming in, it’s time to get rid of the ones that are left. Sprays, creams and pills that contain antifungal agents like miconazole and diflucan can get rid of the infection in a few doses. You’ll want to keep up the regimen until all signs of infection are gone.
Athlete’s foot can happen to anyone. The trick to keeping fungus away is to stay dry and eliminate the medium that they need to flourish and cause infection.