is athlete's foot?
is a common fungal infection of the foot. It is often found between the toes,
although it can spread to the rest of the foot, and sometimes to other parts
of the body. It is also known as Tinea pedis or foot ringworm.
causes athlete's foot?
We all have one
or more of the fungi which cause athlete's foot living on our bodies. These
fungi survive on dead skin cells found on the skin, nails and hair. They grow
best in dark, damp places with poor ventilation. They are usually harmless,
and don't cause athlete's foot unless conditions are right.
include having sweaty feet, wearing tight shoes, and wearing socks that don't
absorb moisture. It is also extremely important to dry your feet properly after
swimming or washing.
athlete's foot contagious?
foot can be spread by skin-to-skin contact. It can also be spread indirectly,
for example through using the towel of somebody with the condition.
foot is often associated with swimming pools and gymnasiums, it is now thought
to be quite difficult to pick up the condition simply by walking barefoot on
a contaminated floor. However it is still possible, therefore precautions are
are the symptoms of athlete's foot?
- An itchy, red
rash, which often starts in between the 4th and 5th
toes, before spreading to the other toes.
- Scaling or cracking
of the skin may occur.
- Blisters can
occur. If these burst, they can cause pain and swelling.
- The infection
can spread to the rest of the foot.
- In some cases,
the infection can spread to other parts of the body.
can I prevent athlete's foot?
- Wash your feet
daily and ensure you dry them properly before you put on socks and shoes.
- Put powder on
your feet and inside your shoes.
- Change your
socks daily or change them if they become damp.
- Try to wear
- Avoid wearing
tight shoes, or shoes made of synthetic material, such as runners. If you
do wear runners, always wear cotton socks with them.
- If you are in
a hot climate, avoid socks altogether. Give your feet plenty of ventilation
by wearing something like sandals. Go barefoot as much as
- You can get
special, protective socks, which you can wear while swimming. These are especially
useful if you use public swimming pools.
- If somebody
in your family has athlete's foot, do not share clothes or towels with them,
and make sure possibly contaminated areas, such as the bathroom floor or the
shower, are regularly washed in hot, soapy water.
should I do if I suspect I have athlete's foot?
If you suspect
you have athlete's foot, visit your doctor, so that he or she can determine
the best course of treatment and rule out any other possible infections.
In the meantime,
make sure you wash and dry your feet properly, and avoid tight or synthetic
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