The Causes, Symptoms and Diagnosis of Athlete’s Foot

Tinea pedis, known more commonly as ‘athlete’s foot due to being common among athletes, is a common fungal infection which is very contagious. It is found on the skin of a person’s foot. The infection can also easily spread off to other body parts like the hands and nails of the toes and fingers. Although this infection isn’t serious, it can be difficult to cure, making it important for athletes and active people, in particular, to adopt preventative measures into their routine. Beyond washing one’s feet with soap and water, especially between the toes, it’s important to thoroughly wash socks and towels that have been exposed to sweat. Furthermore, regularly washing or disinfecting sneakers or other athletic shoes with antifungal wipes or powder is crucial for maintaining foot health. Athlete’s foot can also affect individuals who are neither athletes nor particularly active. Try to avoid going barefoot in public showers, change your socks daily, and wear fibrous, breathable fabrics that take the moisture away from the skin.

Information. Athlete’s foot can typically be treated simply with over-the-counter topical medications. However, with more serious infections, these are often insufficient for completely ridding the person of the fungal infection. Cases like these will warrant a trip to the doctor, who will prescribe either an oral or topical prescription-grade medication. Sometimes, athlete’s foot can lead to mild complications, such as allergic reactions and rashes. A fungal infection can also return, even after treatment appears to have cleared away the symptoms. Severe complications may also develop and include swelling, pain, pus, and fever, with the most serious concern being that the infection could pass from the toes to the lymphatic system.