What is Athlete’s Foot?

Today I’m going to talk about athlete’s foot or as it’s also known: tinea pedis. Athlete’s foot is a very common condition found in all sorts of different people of all sorts of hygiene and environmental situations and home situations. It’s not necessarily limited to athletes as the name implies. Anyone who is susceptible to getting fungal infections of their skin will most likely get athlete’s foot at least once in their lifetime.

How do you get athlete’s foot?

Athlete’s foot is mainly contracted through areas in which one walks barefoot. Usually it’s through community areas such as locker rooms, pools, shower stalls, but one can also get it on their own at home as well. Quite frankly, fungus is everywhere we are. People who are susceptible to getting skin infections will contract the disease by getting the fungus inside their skin. Now essentially fungus is a microorganism like a bacteria or a virus. There are larger versions of fungus that we know as mushrooms. There are also microscopic versions of fungus. Fungus is a unique organism. It’s sort of like a cross between a plant and an animal roughly speaking. Essentially what happens is that the fungal organisms enter into the skin either through a minor crack or break and start to cause an infection. This infection can include peeling and scaling, redness, itching and burning of the areas in between the toes as well as on the bottom of the foot. It’s much less common to find athlete’s foot on top of the foot. There are other types of fungal infections that usually involve the top of the foot including one commonly known as ringworm.Ringworm is essentially the same type of fungus, but athlete’s foot usually just describes the infection when it’s on the bottom of the foot on the sole, on the arch, as well as in between the toes.

How do you treat athlete’s foot?

Thankfully this condition is fairly easy to treat. Usually it can be addressed with over the counter medications. There are several really good ones out there that are found in most pharmacies that are used to eradicate the fungus and destroy it. However, there are certain chronic cases where the fungus is very persistent and therefore require a little bit more treatment. This treatment usually includes prescription medications and prescription creams to destroy the fungus. Sometimes an oral medication is needed to destroy fungus especially if it’s fairly widespread or found elsewhere in other areas of the body itself.

Is athlete’s foot dangerous?

Now the danger of having chronic athlete’s foot infections, which aren’t necessarily treated and don’t go away is that the athlete’s foot or the fungal infection can enter into the nails eventually. This can cause a very serious nail infection. Nail fungus is a lot more difficult to treat, and generally most over the counter creams aren’t going to do anything against it because it actually exists in the surface underneath the nail along the skin, which those types of creams and lotions just simply can’t penetrate to be any effective. That generally requires either an oral anti-fungal medication, or it’ll also maybe help with certain newer oil-based, top of the line antifungals which are starting to have a lot more effectiveness than previously they did before due to new, different formulations and different types of medication changes.

Wrapping it up

As I said, athlete’s foot is very common. It can be easily treated, and it definitely should be treated because it can be passed amongst family members, friends especially if there’s a common locker room such as at a gym or health club. It can also eventually enter the toenails and create a much more significant problem.