Often taken for granted, our feet are very important because we rely on them to get around. Since our quality of life is somewhat indirectly linked to our ability to function, it is vital that we take good care of our feet.
To start, you can inspect your feet daily so that you can immediately tend to any cuts, bruises, or blisters. Always keep your toenails trimmed but do not cut them too short. Also, try to wear clean socks every day or even change them more frequently if your feet tend to sweat profusely. Always scrub your feet down after a long day and follow up with foot cream to avoid all the cracks and dry patches. If your feet are not being cared for, there is a high chance for them to be diagnosed with medical conditions. Among these include plantar fasciitis, onychocryptosis, and athlete’s foot.
Continue reading to learn more about athlete’s foot and learn more about the importance of foot care.
What is Athlete’s Foot?
Athlete’s foot is actually a fungal infection that affects the skin on your feet. Also known as tinea pedis, the name, athlete’s foot originated from the reasoning that this infection is commonly found in athletes. While this condition is not serious, it is contagious and can be difficult to cure. However, if you have athlete’s foot on top of a diabetic condition, it is important to consult your doctor immediately.
There are a few factors that can cause athlete’s foot; it is either due to coming in contact with a person or a surface that is infected with the tinea fungus. This fungus is commonly found in environments that are wet, warm, or moist. Think; showers, locker rooms, or even in swimming pool areas. Because these areas are open to public, it technically means that anyone can contract this infection.
How to Decrease the Risk of Contracting Athlete’s Foot?
It is possible to come in contact with the fungus at many public pools and changing rooms but it is not certain that you will contract the infection. To further reduce the possibility of getting athlete’s foot, there are a few tips you can follow.
Firstly, refrain from walking barefooted in the locker rooms, showers and around swimming pools. You should also try not to share shoes, socks or towels with someone who is infected with the tinea fungus. Furthermore, try not to wear shoes that are too tight or if in humid countries, closed-toe shoes for long periods of time. Fungus thrives in wet and warm locations so if your shoes are wet, it might become a breeding ground for them.
Determining the Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot
Depending on individuals, certain people have different chemical reactions in their body and will, therefore, show different symptoms after contracting the infection. In some cases, you can feel stinging, itching, or even burning in between your toes and/or soles of the feet. There might even be itchy blisters or visible cracking and peeling skin on the feet. Another obvious symptom is noticing discoloured, thick, and crumbly toenails that pull away from the nail bed.
Treating Athlete’s Foot
There are antifungal medications that you can purchase over the counter at a pharmacy to treat athlete’s foot. Just follow the instructions listed on the packaging but if the medication is unsuccessful, you will most probably need to consult a doctor to get an oral-prescription. Other types of home treatments include soaking your feet in salt water or diluted vinegar.