There is a common misconception that athlete's foot only affects athletes, after all, that’s what its name infers, right?
Wrong. Athlete’s foot can affect anyone who doesn’t keep their feet protected. At DM Foot & Ankle Associates, Dr. Emini and I treat many people who aren’t aware of the many ways that they can contract athlete’s foot and how important it is to protect your feet in public places. With this cold winter weather, the type of socks and shoes that we are forced to wear often times create the perfect environment for fungus to thrive.
So how do you get it?
Well for starters, athlete’s foot is contagious and is often spread in places where people go barefoot such as public showers or swimming pools. It grows in warm, wet places such as in between the toes. This is why it’s important to wear flip flops in places like the gym showers, public pools, saunas, locker rooms and all other common public spaces.
How do I know if I have it?
The condition ranges from mild scaling and itching to painful inflammation and blisters. It usually starts between the toes or on the arch and may spread to the bottom and sides of the foot. If untreated, skin blisters and cracks caused by athlete's foot can cause bacterial infections.
What should I do if I have Athlete’s Foot?
The treatment of athlete's foot depends on the type and extent of the fungal infection, so it is important to consult a doctor before choosing a therapy. Depending on the type of infection you have, various kinds of medication may be used in treating your fungal problem. Successful treatment usually involves a combination of medication and self-care. If your condition is mild, over-the-counter powders, lotions, or ointments can often help treat the condition. Foot soaks may help dry excessive perspiration. However, over-the-counter medications are generally weak and a prescription strength antifungal is more effective in moderate to serious conditions.
If you or someone you know thinks that they have contracted athlete's foot, make sure to seek professional care before you spread it to someone else! At DM Foot & Ankle Associates, Dr. Emini and I can assess your condition and get your skin healthy again. The same fungus can spread into the toenails, so be sure to get checked before this difficult to cure condition happens!
BY: Michelle Kim