Athlete’s Foot: Everything You Need To Know

Share on Pinterest

Athlete’s foot, though not a life-threatening condition, is a disease that causes a great deal of discomfort and emotional distress for people all across the globe. The condition is very common and is decidedly unpleasant as it is literally a form of foot fungus. People all over the globe are affected by this condition, with many choosing to simply ignore it, and suffer in silence, as it were.

The frustrating thing about athlete’s foot, however, is that it can actually be treated fairly easily, in a variety of ways, plus it can easily be avoided. If you’re suffering from athlete’s foot, or if you’re worried you may suffer with it in the future, here we’ll be providing you with a detailed look at the condition, as we look at what it is, what causes it, what the signs and symptoms are, and how it can be treated and avoided. So, without any further delay, let’s learn more about what athlete’s foot really is.

What is athlete’s foot?

Sometimes known as ringworm of the foot, or tinea pedi, this infection is basically a rash that is caused by the fungus, which manifests itself between a person’s toes. The rash can sometimes be nothing more than a minor inconvenience, yet at other times it can cause so much itching and discomfort that a person may scratch themselves so hard that they break the skin and cause it to bleed, which as you might expect, will be incredibly painful indeed. Fungus, as you know, thrives in warm, moist, and dark places, and because of this, the feet and toes providing perfect conditions for the fungus to thrive.

what does athletes foot look like
What does athletes foot look like?

Even if we thoroughly dry our feet after we bathe and shower, they still become moist and clammy throughout the day, putting us at a much greater risk. Although the condition is not life-threatening or especially serious, it can cause people to become self-conscious, plus it can be very painful and uncomfortable. Ideally, the condition should be addressed and treated, to ensure that the infection doesn’t spread to the other toes.

Even if we thoroughly dry our feet after we bathe and shower, they still become moist and clammy throughout the day, putting us at a much greater risk. Although the condition is not life-threatening or especially serious, it can cause people to become self-conscious, plus it can be very painful and uncomfortable. Ideally, the condition should be addressed and treated, to ensure that the infection doesn’t spread to the other toes.

Main causes of athlete’s foot

Though you may not realize it, we can be affected by fungus in a variety of different ways, as it can affect the skin, the nails, and even the hair. The fungus that causes athlete’s foot, which incidentally, is known as Trichophyton, is related to other similar forms of fungus. Now, these fungi may actually be present on our skin all of the time, where they will remain dormant and harmless. If, however, the skin is slightly dirtier and damper, the fungi will then find it much easier to breed and reproduce. Some of the primary causes of athlete’s foot include the following:

  • Not bathing the feet frequently enough
  • Wearing shoes and footwear that squeeze the toes together
  • Wearing shoes, socks, and footwear that causes the feet and toes to sweat
  • Walking barefoot in places where bacteria and fungi are likely to be found, I.E gym changing rooms, locker rooms, swimming baths, gyms, etc.
  • Having a weakened immune system as your body will struggle to fight the infection
  • Sharing footwear, socks, and towels with other people
  • Not drying your feet properly before putting socks on
  • Wearing shoes with no socks
  • Coming into contact with another person suffering with athlete’s foot
Ahtletes Foot Fungus
Ahtlete’s Foot Fungus

Primary signs and symptoms associated with athlete’s foot

Some of the primary signs and symptoms associated with athlete’s foot include:

  • Itchy toes
  • Red flaky skin
  • Tender skin between the toes
  • Scaly skin on the feet and toes
  • Dry skin on the feet and toes

In some cases, the skin may become cracked, which may happen naturally, or it may happen due to the excessive itchiness associated with the condition, as people may scratch their toes so hard that they literally break the skin. This is dangerous as it can cause the skin to become incredibly sore and tender, it can cause bleeding, and it can cause the skin to weep and ooze. What’s more, these open lesions may then leave your feet susceptible to bacterial infections, which can then leave it vulnerable to harmful bacteria. This infection could then spread from toe to toe, spreading the athlete’s foot fungus in the process. In extreme cases, athlete’s foot has even been known to spread to the hands, though this is very rare.

The best treatments and home remedies for athlete’s foot

The good news is that because the condition is so common, it also happens to be very treatable as well. Some of the most common and effective athlete’s foot treatments include the following:

Creams and ointments – One of the best ways of treating athlete’s foot starts by speaking to your doctor or visiting your local pharmacy, where you can purchase creams and ointments, either over the counter or off the shelf, that are designed to kill the fungus and stop it coming back. These creams often have to be applied daily, and should be massaged between the toes and around the affected area, and should be left to soak in and be absorbed. Though results can vary, generally you should begin noticing improvements in a matter of weeks.

athlete's foot cream
Athlete’s foot cream

Washing the feet – If you allow bacteria to live on your feet, you run a greater risk of suffering from this condition. One of the best home remedies for athlete’s foot is actually quite simple: bathing your feet. Wash them daily, use an antibacterial soap, and make sure to get between the toes. Simply allowing your feet to get wet is not enough to remove the harmful bacteria.

atheletes foot soap
Atheletes foot soap

Antifungal medicine – If creams and ointments are not working, or, if you are suffering from an extreme case of athlete’s foot a doctor may prescribe antifungal medication which is often consumed orally and function by attacking the fungus and the bacteria from within. Again, this athlete’s foot treatment is only reserved for the most extreme cases.

athelete's foot medicine
Athelete’s foot medicine

Drying your feet properly – If you are guilty of putting your socks on before you allow your feet to dry properly, you need to change that, because as mentioned, bacteria thrives in warm, moist, and dark places. If you remove the moisture, the fungus will be unable to breed and thrive.

home remedies for athlete's foot
Athlete’s Foot Balm

Wearing socks with shoes – Another of the home remedies for athlete’s foot in this lists consists, as you can see, in applying a bit of common sense. When we fail to wear socks with our shoes, our feet not only smell unpleasant, but they also sweat, which again, is the last thing you want when treating athlete’s foot. Always try to wear socks with shoes if you are serious about treating your athlete’s foot.

Share on Pinterest