Risk Factors For Athletes Foot
Anyone can get athletes foot, but your risk is higher if you visit public places barefoot, especially showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Sharing socks, towels, and shoes with an infected person also increases your risk of this skin infection. Your risk is also higher if you have sweaty feet or you keep your feet wet for long periods.
The athletes foot can spread to other warm, moist body parts when left unresolved. It can spread from the feet to the groin since the fungus can spread through hands or a towel. Sometimes, an athletes foot can cause bacterial infections.
How Can I Prevent Athletes Foot
There are various ways to prevent athletes foot including:
- Change your socks regularly. If your feet get sweaty, change your socks at least once daily. Also, wear moisture-wicking socks such as cotton to keep your feet drier.
- Air your feet out. Instead of wearing closed shoes all day, put on sandals to let your feet air out as much as possible.
- Keep your feet clean. Use warm, soapy water to wash your feet daily and dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes. A medicated foot powder is recommended for individuals prone to athletes foot.
If you have questions about an athletes foot, consult your healthcare provider at Foot and Ankle Specialists.
Can Athlete’s Foot Be Prevented
Athlete’s foot often can be prevented. To avoid it:
- Keep feet clean and dry by washing them daily and drying them completely, especially between the toes.
- Wear waterproof shoes or flip-flops when walking around in locker rooms, public showers, and public pool areas.
- Switch between wearing shoes or sneakers to prevent the build-up of moisture. Choose ones that are well-ventilated with small holes to keep the feet dry.
- Avoid socks that trap moisture or make the feet sweat. Instead, choose cotton or wool socks or ones made of fabric that wicks away moisture.
- Change socks regularly, especially if the feet get sweaty.
- Use a powder on the feet every day to help reduce sweating.
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How To Cure Athlete’s Foot Between Toes And Toenail Fungus
Passionate about health, Alison is a freelance writer/researcher for clients working in nutrition, physiotherapy, and chiropractic.
Interdigital athlete’s foot between the toes and spreading around the side of foot.
This article will teach you all about athlete’s foot, toenail fungus, and what to do about these conditions. You will learn:
- How I cured my own athlete’s foot problem
- The best home remedy solutions
- How to cure it with proprietary medication
- How to prevent it from coming back
- How to know when to seek medical attention
How Do I Get Athletes Foot
Athletes foot commonly spreads through skin-to-skin contact or contact with a flake of skin. It spreads in areas used by large groups of people, like locker rooms, swimming pools and saunas.
It can also spread through contact with an infected surface. You can get athletes foot by sharing towels, socks or shoes with someone who has athletes foot.
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What Are The Symptoms
Symptoms of athlete’s foot vary from person to person. Some people have severe discomfort, while others have few or no symptoms.
Common symptoms include:
Your symptoms may depend on the type of athlete’s foot you have.
- Toe web infection usually occurs between the fourth and fifth toes. The skin gets scaly, peels, and cracks. If you get a bacterial infection, the skin may break down even more.
- Moccasin-type infection may start with a little soreness on your foot. Then the skin on your sole or heel may become thick and crack. In severe cases, the toenails get infected.
- Vesicular infection usually starts with a sudden outbreak of fluid-filled blisters. The blisters are usually on the sole but can appear anywhere on your foot. You may also get a bacterial infection.
How To Treat Athlete’s Foot
This article was co-authored by Neal Blitz, DPM, FACFAS. Dr. Neal Blitz is a Podiatrist and Foot & Ankle Surgeon who runs private practices in New York City and in Beverly Hills, California. Dr. Blitz is The Bunion King® and is the creator of the Bunionplasty® Procedure which has revolutionized bunion surgery. He has over 17 years of podiatric experience and specializes in minimally invasive foot and ankle surgery. Dr. Blitz received his DPM from the New York College of Podiatric Medicine, then completed a residency focused on Elective & Reconstructive Foot & Ankle Surgery at the Swedish Medical Center, and was awarded an AO Trauma fellowship in Dresden, Germany, focused on trauma and reconstructive techniques. He is board certified in Foot Surgery and Reconstructive Rearfoot & Ankle Surgery and is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Foot & Ankle Surgery and a fellow of the American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons .There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 92% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 299,638 times.
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Treatment For Athlete’s Foot From A Gp
The GP may:
- send a small scraping of skin from your feet to a laboratory to check you have athlete’s foot
- prescribe a steroid cream to use alongside antifungal cream
- prescribe antifungal tablets you might need to take these for several weeks
- refer you to a skin specialist for more tests and treatment if needed
Is Athlete’s Foot Contagious
Athlete’s foot is very contagious. It can spread widely and cause an infection in the affected skin of someone who has the fungi without having any active infection.
Athlete’s foot also spreads when you walk around barefoot on damp, contaminated flooring or hard surfaces of showers, pools, and locker room areas. There are many reasons why one gets athlete’s foot. You may get athletes foot if you have poor hygiene conditions, such as:
- If you dont wash and dry your feet after exercising, or getting them wet and sweaty
- If you share personal items, such as socks, shoes, towels, and clothes, with infected persons
- Wearing wet or damp socks or shoes, which can cause your feet to sweat
- Reusing socks wet with sweat without washing
- Wearing shoes that have become old and worn out
- Using alternate shoes between uses
Treatment for Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot is easily treatable, but it needs proper and continuous usage of antifungal lotions, gels, creams, and sprays. You can make use of powders that contain one of the following active ingredients, such as Clotrimazole, Miconazole, Oxiconazole, and Ketoconazole.
Treatment will need to be performed for a period of two to four weeks, as per the instructions given by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
While using these medications, one has to follow the rules regarding cleanliness and maintain hygiene in daily life.
Best Home Remedies for Athlete’s Foot
Below are two home remedies which can be used:
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot usually causes redness, flakiness, peeling, or cracking of the skin on the feet. It may itch, sting, or burn, or simply feel uncomfortable.
It’s usually on the soles of the feet, the areas between the toes, and sometimes the toenails. When the toenails are involved they become thick, white or yellowish, and brittle.
Best Footwear And Socks For Athletes Foot
Because Athletes Foot is brought on by warm, damp environments, your shoes and socks may actually be the cause behind the development of this fungus infection.
Choosing the proper footwear is not complex if you understand why the proper fit matters.
Wear Work Boots and Shoes that are Non-Restrictive.
Tight binding shoes cramp toes together and do not allow heat and moisture to evaporate off the foot, nor dissipate from the footwear. As a result, the moisture is held within the toe box area and moisture can easily build up between the toes, creating a warm, damp environment in which fungus will vigorously grow. Having naturally sweaty feet will only contribute to this condition.
Extra Room in the Toe Box Area is Crucial.
In the hotter summer months, this extra room accommodates the natural swelling of the feet that occurs over the course of the day. In the colder winter months, the extra space around the foot serves as insulation it is a space for your body heat to build up, surrounding the toes to help keep feet naturally warm.
This extra breathing room in your footwear allows sweat and moisture a place to move away from the feet. But in order to do that, you need to be wearing the proper socks to first wick away the moisture, along with wearing breathable footwear made from materials that encourages this moisture to evaporate and escape from the work boots or shoes.
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When To See Your Doctor
If you think you have athletes foot and it hasnt subsided after a week of home treatment, make an appointment to see your doctor. You may need prescription antifungals to get rid of the infection.
You should also make an appointment to see your doctor if you have athletes foot and diabetes. This is especially true if you have signs of a secondary bacterial infection, which can be more dangerous in those with diabetes due to their nerve damage.
Signs of infection include redness, pus, swelling, drainage, and fever. If you have diabetes, you may not feel pain in your feet due to nerve damage.
Your doctor will likely be able to diagnose athletes foot just by looking at it.
Home Remedies To Prevent Fungal Problems
- Sprinkle ordinary bicarbonate of soda inside your shoes and trainers when you take them off at the end of the day. This will absorb moisture, deodorize your shoes, and can be tapped out or vacuumed out the following day. Doing this will make your shoes and trainers much less likely to harbor the spores that causes the infection.
- Prevent future infections by wearing shoes that allow your feet to breathe and wearing open-toed sandals if you can in hot weather.
- Similarly, another preventative measure is to sprinkle cornstarch powder on your feet to absorb moisture before putting on your socks.
- Change your socks daily and after exercise.
- Wear different shoes on consecutive days and change out of trainers immediately after exercise to prevent a fungal infection from getting a hold.
- At home, after your bath or shower, use a cleaner containing antiseptic to prevent spreading fungus to other family members through the shower. Ensure you use only your own towel and change your bed linens frequently.
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What Is The Treatment Of Athlete’s Foot
Treatment for athlete’s foot should begin with general measures.
- Dry carefully between the toes.
- Use a dusting powder to keep the affected area dry.
- Keep toes apart using a cotton or foam wedge.
- Wear shoes that are loose around the toes or go bare foot.
- Apply a topical antifungal agent. These may also control many of the bacteria that live in the moist skin between the toes.
Whitfield ointment is particularly useful, as it removes the surface layer of moist peeling skin , and it eliminates bacteria and fungi.
Make sure that other sites of fungal infection are also treated effectively.
Causes Of Athlete’s Foot
You can catch athlete’s foot from other people with the infection.
You can get it by:
- walking barefoot in places where someone else has athlete’s foot especially changing rooms and showers
- touching the affected skin of someone with athlete’s foot
You’re more likely to get it if you have wet or sweaty feet, or if the skin on your feet is damaged.
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Prevention Is The Best Treatment
Keep your feet clean and dry. Here’s how:
- Wash feet with soap and water daily.
- Change socks daily or twice a day if feet sweat a lot.
- Wear socks that absorb moisture. Cotton is best avoid wearing synthetic materials for extended periods.
- Dry feet thoroughly after a bath or shower use a hair dryer if necessary.
- Sprinkle talcum powder to absorb moisture.
- Wash socks and towels in hot water.
- Let feet breathe. Wear open shoes or sandals when possible.
- Dont go barefoot in public showers or near swimming pools or hot tubs.
How Is Athletes Foot Treated
Athletes foot can often be treated with over-the-counter topical antifungal medications. If OTC medications dont treat your infection, your doctor may prescribe topical or oral prescription-strength antifungal medications. Your doctor may also recommend home treatments to help clear up the infection.
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Common Home Remedies For Athletes Foot
- Washing Feet 2 x a Day
- Gently Towel-Drying Between the Toes
- Using Medicated Powder
- Soaking Feet in Cool Water 10-15 minutes
- Soaking Feet in Salt Water to Dry up Blisters
- Soaking feet in 1 Part Vinegar to 2 Parts Water to Dry up Blisters
- Wearing Sandals to Air Feet Out
- Changing Socks 2x a Day
- Washing Socks in Hot Water of at Least 140 degrees
- Watered down Bitter Orange Oiled rubbed in 3 x day
- Tea Tree Oil 2x day
While walking barefoot is recommended by some as a good way to allow feet to air out, it can create transmission via the flooring in your house. Therefore, you should opt for open air sandals instead.
Prevention Of Athletes Foot
- Keeping feet clean and dry
- Washing your feet with soap after exercising
- Avoiding wearing heavy, closed shoes or thick socks
- Changing socks often
- Making sure socks are washed between uses
- Using antifungal foot powder on feet and in shoes
- Wearing flip-flops in gym showers or locker rooms to avoid contact with fungi
- Airing your feet out by taking your shoes off, or wearing sandals, as often as possible
- Avoiding public swimming pools and public showers
- Not sharing with others items used during exercise
Try wearing only cotton socks, which are more effective at absorbing sweat. If possible, choose footwear made with breathable materials, such as leather. Shoes made of vinyl and similar materials can retain sweat and create an environment for fungi to grow. When youre doing laundry, consider using hot water and bleach, which can kill fungi in ways detergent cant.
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Symptoms Of Athlete’s Foot
Typically, the first symptom of athlete’s foot is itching between the toes. Other symptoms, including red, itchy, stinging or burning skin, and oozing or crusty blisters, may develop in a short period of time. The skin may flake, crack or peel. If the fungal infection spreads to the nails, the nails may become discolored, and thicken or, possibly, decompose.
Fast Facts On Athletes Foot
Here are some key points about athletes foot. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.
- Athletes foot is a fungal infection by a fungus known as Trichophyton
- Generally, OTC medications can treat athletes foot.
- Sometimes, athletes foot can spread to the hands. This is called tinea manuum.
dermatophyte , related to other fungi that cause infections in human skin, hair, and nails.
These fungi exist harmlessly on human skin. As long as the skin is dry and clean, their reproduction is limited. However, under damp and warm conditions, they multiply rapidly.
Thick, tight shoes are more likely to trigger athletes foot because they squeeze the toes together, creating ideal conditions for the fungus to thrive. Experts say that plastic shoes, which warm and moisten feet the most, are more likely to bring on athletes foot than those made from other materials, such as leather or canvas.
If socks are damp and the feet are warm, there is a greater risk of developing athletes foot.
Athletes foot can be spread through direct and indirect contact:
- direct, skin-to-skin contact, as may occur when an uninfected person touches the infected area of somebody with athletes foot
- indirect contact, in which the fungi can infect people via contaminated surfaces, clothing, socks, shoes, bed sheets, and towels
Athletes foot commonly spreads around swimming pools and communal showers these places are generally humid and warm.
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What Will Happen If Athletes Foot Is Left Untreated
Athletes foot doesnt typically go away on its own. If its left untreated, it can spread to other areas of your body, including your:
- Nails: Fungal nail infections can be more difficult to treat. They are often more resistant to many treatments.
- Hands: A similar fungal infection can spread to your hands. This happens when you scratch your infected feet or use the same towel to dry off your infected feet and hands.
- Groin: The same fungus that causes athletes foot can also spread to your groin. Its a condition called jock itch. The fungus typically spreads from your feet to your groin after using a towel to dry off after bathing or swimming.
Prognosis Of Athletes Foot
Athletes foot usually responds well to self-care, although it can come back.
If you have a health condition that places you at increased risk for infections such as diabetes long-term treatment with antifungal medication and preventive measures may be necessary.
The infection can also spread to the toenails, causing them to crack.
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Complications Of Athletes Foot
Athletes foot infection can spread to other parts of your body, such as:
If you scratch or pick at the infected areas of your feet, you run the risk of developing a similar infection on your hands.
Finally, the condition known as jock itch may be caused by the same fungus responsible for athletes foot, and its common for the infection to spread from the feet to the groin via your hands or a towel.
The affected area of your foot can also become infected with bacteria in addition to fungus. If this occurs, your foot may become red or swollen and you may experience pain.
If you develop these symptoms, call your doctor immediately.