Athlete’s foot

Athlete's Foot Definition

Athlete's foot is a fungal infection that affects the skin and happens in between the gaps of your toes. Fungi found in humid, dark, and warm environments cause this infection to happen (like sweaty socks and tight shoes or public showers). Conditions such as allergic reaction to shoe dyes and adhesives, sweat mechanism disturbances, eczema, and psoriasis can also display the same symptoms as athlete's foot, thus mimicking it.

The Causes of Athlete's Foot

There are many causes to this condition, chief among them walking barefoot in public pools, showers, bathhouses, and shower rooms without shower shoes on. These places are potential breeding grounds for fungi. As for why it's called "athlete's foot", it's because sweat, physically active athletes regularly get victimized by this condition since they're regularly exposed to locker room environments and damp public places while sweating a lot themselves.

Athlete's Foot Symptoms

Here are the symptoms of this fungal skin infection between the gaps of your toes:

  • Swelling and pain when blisters break (raw tissue is exposed)
  • Itchiness and swelling that gets worse as the infection spreads
  • Burning
  • Scaling
  • Blistering
  • Dry skin
  • Skin cracks

If you don't fix it immediately, the spread of the fungal infection can go from toe gap to the soles of your feet and even your toenails too in the form of fungal nails. Other parts of your body can be infected too, like your underarms or your groin. When you scratch your toes then scratch yourself elsewhere, fungus can spread. These microorganisms are hard to get rid of because of how invasive they are. Contaminated clothes and bed sheets can also result in the spread of this skin disease.

The Right Time to Go to a Podiatrist

If engaging in better hygiene doesn't do the trick within two weeks, then contact your foot doctor immediately. Your podiatrist will diagnose your foot's problem then tell you what steps or measures you should take to deal with your condition (it will probably involve anti-fungal medication of some sort). If your condition is severe, a more intensive treatment plan is called for, such as taking stronger oral or topical medicine.

Athlete's Foot Diagnosis and Treatment

Resolving your athlete's foot issues requires not rushing or shortening treatment. Follow your doctor's advice to the letter to ensure the condition won't come back. Fungistatic or fungicidal chemicals will be utilized to kill the infection and hamper its spread. However, topical therapy is limited because they tend to not penetrate into the hornier layers of the damaged skin.

You can also avail of the newer antifungal drugs for treatment of athlete's foot. They're superior to traditional methods of dealing with this skin disease. Of course, if you're dealing with something bacterial instead of fungal, then antibiotics like erythromycin or penicillin is called for.

If you want to prevent athlete's foot, then you should dry your feet and sprinkle them or your shoes with foot powder. Every night, you should wash your feet and keep them dry. In particular, you should towel them off right between the toes since that's where athlete's foot starts.

Athlete's Foot Prevention

It's not easy to prevent this condition if you're an athlete and you're regularly exposed to public places that are damp and have sweaty feet all the time. However, it's not impossible to get rid of this fungal infection.

  • Every day, you should wash your feet with water and antibacterial/antifungal soap.
  • Dry off your toes and the areas between them. This cannot be emphasized enough.
  • Don't walk barefoot in public showers and locker rooms. Use shower shoes.
  • Use foot or talcum powder to keep your foot perspiration-free.
  • Get shoes with airy, light material that "breathes".
  • Change your shoes often and hose them down as much as possible (i.e., clean them).
  • Wear socks to ensure dry feet. Change them more than once a day.

Dr. Arshia Roohian is presently offering her podiatric services to the following cities: Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, Lake Forest, Rancho Santa Margarita, Irvine, and Laguna Woods. She also provides professional and dependable therapeutic foot procedures dealing with athlete's foot. She even does athlete's foot therapy every day, so make your appointment with her online.

Friday, October 15, 2021