What is Athlete’s foot?
Athlete’s foot is a common condition that can be painful and itchy. It is also known as tinea pedis, a fungal infection of the skin commonly found on the feet.
The fungus that causes Athlete’s foot thrives in warm, moist environments, such as locker rooms, public showers, and swimming pools. It can also be spread by sharing contaminated towels or shoes.
Athlete’s foot can affect anyone, but it is more common in people who sweat heavily, wear tight-fitting shoes, or have minor skin or nail injuries. The first sign of Athlete’s foot is usually a red, itchy rash on the bottom of the foot or between the toes. The rash may blister and peel, and a burning sensation may accompany it.
The itchy rash can be so intense that it disrupts sleep. The condition can also lead to blisters, peels and open sores.
If left untreated, the fungus spreads to the toenails, and it can cause them to become discoloured and thick, with a more severe infection. It can also lead to secondary bacterial infections of the skin.
Athlete’s foot is treated with antifungal medications available over-the-counter or by prescription applied to the skin or taken orally. The fungus can be challenging to get rid of and may require long-term treatment. Some people also find relief from home remedies, such as soaking their feet in vinegar or applying tea tree oil.
Prevention of Athlete’s foot can be difficult, but it is still could be done in simple steps:
- Keeping feet clean and dry is essential, especially between the toes.
- Wearing sandals or other open-toed shoes in public places can help to prevent the spread of the fungus.
- Taking good care of your feet and nails and changing your socks frequently can also help prevent Athlete’s foot.
The emotional toll of the Athlete’s foot (and many of other foot problems) can be significant. The constant itch can be frustrating and embarrassing. It can also lead to anxiety and depression. If you’re struggling to cope with the condition, talk to your doctor or mental health professional.