Our feet are vulnerable to infection due to their proximity to the ground and the situations that they are subjected to every day. Fungus is often to blame for these including the condition called Athlete’s Foot. It may be triggered by the presence of several different species such as microsporum, epidermophyton and trichophyton. When the skin gets in contact with any of these, they could begin to growth and spread to the detriment of the host. It is more common that you think. Far from being exclusive to sportsmen, this affects roughly 15% of the global population.
Signs and Symptoms
The most common symptoms of Athlete’s Foot are itchiness, redness and scaling. The gravity will differ depending on the spread of the offending microorganism. The fungus could grow anywhere around the foot but they are typically found between the toes. Here they can thrive with minimum disturbance being protected from both sides. The bottom of foot is also prone to this as people may step on infected areas. Despite its name, the condition can occur in other regions of the body such as the hands. Go to a doctor if you are experiencing the aforementioned signs around your palms and fingers.
The Causes of Athlete’s Foot
This fungal infection is quite contagious. It can spread across a population through both direct and indirect contact of affected individuals. You can get it if you touch the feet of a person who has the disease. It can also proliferate through contaminated items like socks, towels, shoes, gloves, carpets, bed sheets, and clothes. Being in the same environment while being vulnerable can increase the risk as well. Pets may spread them around the house if an infected individual runs his fingers through their coat and other members of the family do the same afterwards.
Basic hygiene and sanitation are the best in preventing an escalation of this contagious disease. People should not share personal items like the ones mentioned above. They should wash them immediately, particularly those that absorb their sweat through active use. Having spare socks and shirts should be standard among workers and athletes who are constantly exposed to harsh environments. Take off wet clothes and put on fresh ones immediately to minimize risk. Never walk barefoot around gyms. Wash your feet thoroughly after using a public pool. Enhancing your immune system with a healthy lifestyle will also help.
Before commencing with any treatment plan, go to a doctor to get it diagnosed properly to make sure that you are on the right track. Visual inspection is usually enough to ascertain the problem. Microscopy can be used if there are any doubts. About a third of cases resolve themselves without medication. The rest will require topical antifungal creams, gels, powders or sprays. They will have active ingredients such as clotrimazole and miconazole nitrate. Doctors will typically recommend daily application for several weeks until the problem clears away. Additional medication may be given to reduce inflammation and relieve itching.