Hundreds of people suffer from some type of foot ailment, and most choose not to seek professional care, which can sometimes lead to more detrimental foot issues. One of the most common ailments is Athletes Foot. It’s annoying, contagious, and even painful at times, and according to Orthotics specialists Bradenton FL residents should be aware that this type of skin infection can spread to other parts of the body.
A Fungus That’s Incredibly Contagious
Athlete’s foot is a common skin problem and it’s caused by a fungus. This type of fungus that causes this problem is usually the Dermatophytes, and they flourish in warm, moist places. However, it is estimated that 98 percent of cases are caused by dermatophyte fungi and the remaining two percent from fungi like Candida or other bacteria.
People typically come in contact with Athlete’s feet infections in public places, like gym showers, where the soles of the feet come in contact with dead skin cells, shed from another infected foot. The fungus proliferates more easily on sweaty, damp and badly dried feet, so it’s best to wear shower shoes to protect the feet in public areas.
The infection typically moves up the feet, from the soles to in-between the toes. The skin might blister and crack, burn and itch, and can also infect the toenails. And in some cases, this fungus will spread to the groin area, thighs, or buttocks, also known as “jock itch.”
The infection can be eliminated with home remedies if caught quickly; however, in many cases, topical skin-based medicines are used. If the infection is severe and extensive, it may be appropriate to take oral medications. If a serious infection is not treated it can lead to a serious bacterial infection, thus one of the reasons to consult a podiatrist to ensure the infection is eliminated. Anyone can catch athlete’s foot, but certain behaviors can increase the risk of infection. The factors that influence the infection are:
- Walking barefoot, especially without shoes in the gym and swimming pool areas
- Share socks, shoes, and towels with an infected person
- Wear tight-fitting shoes with a closed toe
- Wet feet for long periods of time
- Sweaty feet
- Wounds on the foot
The epidemiology of athlete’s foot reaches its peak always in summer, for very simple reasons. In addition to enjoying the warm and humid environments, typical of summer, this fungus can take advantage of other favorable conditions, which occur in the summer months. In addition, the fungus finds a lot more ease of penetration of the skin because it takes advantage of the condition of our feet in certain situations. For example, certain shoes, like sneakers promote the penetration of the fungus as these shoes increase the sweating of the foot, softening and weakening the skin.
What Are Symptoms Of Athletes Foot?
There are several signs that indicate you may have athlete ‘s foot;
- Itching and burning between the fingers and on the soles of the feet
- Blisters on the feet
- Dead skin and overly dry skin
- Faded, brittle nails that break easily
Athlete’s foot may be asymptomatic at the beginning of the illness, but as the infection progresses the symptoms will begin to appear. Left untreated, the fungus will cause the feet to become uncomfortable, and then painful, therefore, feet should be always be checked for any abnormalities.