Imagine that pesky mosquito that never seems to go away but is always there causing a nuisance. You don’t imagine that that one tiny mosquito can kill you but it’s definitely annoying the heck out of you, you want it gone.
That’s athlete’s foot, your foot is you, while the pesky mosquito is the fungus that attacks your foot to cause athletes foot. This disease will definitely not kill you but it can sometimes be so annoying and embarrassing. If not properly treated, it can spread to other parts of your body and treating it will definitely take a longer time before it finally goes away.
Athlete’s foot is a contagious skin infection and it is caused by the ringworm fungus called Trichophyton. Tinea pedis as it is medically called affects the skin on the feet and can sometimes spread to the toe nails and hand.
Despite the name athlete’s foot, athletes are not the only ones who contact or suffer from this disease. Any person from children to adults can contract athlete’s foot.
The fungus which causes this disease can be found in public places like locker rooms, showers, swimming pools etc. this fungus flourishes in moist warm environment. Any person who visits these public places like shower,. Locker rooms and swimming pool is susceptible to this disease. If you have sweaty feet or share shoes and socks with an infected person then you are likely to contract this disease. Thick, tight shoes are also likely to trigger athlete’s foot.
Athlete’s foot isn’t serious, it can’t lead to death but sometimes it could be hard to treat. It could take a lot of time before the fungus eventually disappears from your feet.
If an over the counter athlete’s foot cream doesn’t work within five or seven days, you should see a doctor. If you have diabetics or any other health issues, visit your doctor for prescription.
If the fungus moves from your feet to your toe nails, then it will take more than over the counter athletes foot cream to chase out the fungus, your doctor might have to prescribe oral medication for you.
- The skin on the toes becomes itchy and there is a stinging and burning sensation between the toes. The itching and burning sensation is also felt on the soles of the feet.
- Skin blisters appear on the feet.
- Peeling and cracking may develop on the side of the foot.
- Chronic dryness and flakiness of the feet. Scaly red rashes may appear in between the toes
- Athlete’s foot can also be characterized by bad foot odour. When the funal skin disorder is left untreated, it can spread to different parts of the feet and the whole foot may become smelly and sore and when the skin is broken, a secondary bacterial infection may develop in the area causing your feet to smell.
- Most treatments of athlete’s foot fungus can be done at home using an foot cream. These athlete’s foot creams are called antifungals. They are always the first resort depending on the severity of the disorder. These athlete’s foot creams antifungal) are clotrimazole, miconazole, terbinafine, tolnaftate and ketoconazole. Antifungals also come in sprays, liquids and powders. If after using over the counter antifungal athlete’s creams and symptoms still persist, ask your health care professional or pharmacist for a prescription. Treatment of athletes foot should be continued for four weeks or at least one week after all the external skin symptoms have cleared to make sure the fungus doesn’t re-infect you again.
- Soak your feet in apple cider vinegar: Pour 1 cup of apple cider vinegar into a plastic bad in and add 2 cups of water into the basin, if this is not enough, add more vinegar and water that will thoroughly allow your feet to soak in. Make sure to keep it at 1 part apple cider vinegar to 2 parts water. Soak your feet in the apple cider vinegar and water solution every day until the symptoms disappear and even after. This helps to relieve athlete’s foot.
- Air your feet: Wear footwear that is clean and open. It is helpful if you allow your feet air out as much as possible during any bout of athlete’s foot. Wearing open toed sandals while you are recovering from athlete’s foot would allow your feet breathe. Do not wear the same pair of shoes again twenty four hours after you have worn it. Always air out your shoes immediately after wearing them.
- Bleach your socks and showers: Always wash your socks and shower with bleach to kill off the fungi. This is to avoid another reoccurrence of the fungi infection.
- Wash with boring old soap and water: Use soap and warm water to wash your feet twice daily. Make sure to get in between your toes. Dry it completely using a towel. Dry in between your toes thoroughly. You can also use a hair dryer in drying the feet. The fungus that causes athlete’s foot flourishes well in wet areas, so make sure your feet is always dry.
- Fungi have a nasty habit of reoccurring long after treatment, so continue treatment even after the external symptoms have disappeared.
- Avoid walking bare feet when in you are in public area such as pools, showers, locker rooms. Wear flip flops or shower shoes made of plastic. Be sure to keep them clean and dry.
- Use talcum or anti-fungal powder on your feet and in your shoes, this is to keep your feet dry.
- Give your feet a chance to breathe. Take off your shoes while at home or wear sandals
- Wear clean socks every day and change them if the weather is hot or if you sweated in them
- Wear cotton, silk or wool socks
- Wash your towels frequently or preferably have two different towels for your body and feet
- Do not share your towels
- If you know any person who has athletes foot, encourage them to go for treatment to avoid spreading the infection around.