What is Athlete’s Foot?
Everyone has heard the term, Athlete’s Foot. If you want to be technical, yes, athletes do have their own “brand” of feet you could say. Think of basketball players, football players, soccer players, and to many, ballerinas are considered athletes. Just think, their jobs and livelihood are their feet. However, they aren’t why I am here today. We’re going to discuss the other athlete’s foot. The one that can be helped with creams, soaks, and sometimes podiatrists.
So, what is Athlete’s Foot? Otherwise known as Tinea Pedis (who just knows its other name?), it is a fungal infection of the skin on the feet. It can occur when someone wears wet or sweaty socks inside tight fitting shoes. Any type of fungus loves warm, damp environments. Its usually a red, scaly rash that itches or burns. It can start on the bottom of your feet, but spread to in-between your toes.
Have you ever heard to not walk around a public shower with no shoes? That’s because Athlete’s Foot is contagious. The last person who walked around that same floor as you without shower shoes, just left all their fungi on the floors and it could spread to you. Think of it like this, there are still people in this world who still do not wash their hands. They use the restroom, walk out, open doors, shake hands, etc.. now, you’ve just touched that same door or hands!
Not only does it spread feet to feet, if you have athelet’s foot and decide you want to pick with it and touch other things without washing your hands, you could potentially spread to other parts of your body. The groin is another popular place to see these infections. Like we said, using a towel or your hand after touching your feet could spread it to other parts of the body.
How to prevent Athlete’s Foot?
There are simple things you can do to prevent it in the first place.
- If you have sweaty feet on a regular basis, take extra socks and shoes with you. Maybe you work in a wet environment. Investing in proper foot wear could save you in the future.
- Like we discuss all across this website: Keep your feet clean and dry. Wash them daily and dry them.
- Don’t walk around barefoot in public places. Showers, pools, locker rooms all harbor different organisms on the floor, or in the location in general. It’s best to buy some sandals for these situations.
- If you know someone who has athlete’s foot, don’t share shoes, socks, towels, bed linen, or anything else that their feet touch.
How to treat Athlete’s Foot?
Most of the time, people can figure out when they have athlete’s foot, so finding a home treatment can be helpful before seeing the doctor, if it hasn’t spread and if you don’t have underlying conditions.
- A foot cream is usually a great go to when you have itchy feet. It’s best to do it after your feet have been clean and dryed. Always read the directions carefully and consult a physician when needed.
- A foot powder for your shoes or feet. Let them air before putting them back on if you can.
- Soaking your feet things like peroxide, tea tree oil, rubbing alcohol or sea salt. (Disclaimer: Don’t mix all of these together) These items have been said to kill fungus when used properly.
Athlete’s foot doesn’t have to be scary, but can lead to complications if not taken care of when first noticed. If you do have it, some of the home treatments may help and if they don’t please talk to a doctor because you do not want to get a bacterial infection from broken skin.
As always, if you have diabetes, always keep a check on your feet and talk to a physician before trying to self treat.