What Is Athlete's Foot?

Despite the name, athlete's foot can strike anyone, not just athletes. However there are some things to protect the foot athletes can do on a regular basis to avoid this condition, which we will talk about here.

The problem of athlete's foot is caused by a fungus called Trichophyton. The scientific name for this is tinea pedia, although you might hear it referred to as ringworm of the foot. The reason people get this fungal infection is often due to walking barefoot in locker rooms or swimming pool showers. It is mildly contagious.

The symptoms of athlete foot include a scaly, itchy rash, flaking skin and peeling skin. Often these symptoms occur between the toes and the soles of the feet may be red and dry. This can become quite uncomfortable if not treated right away. There are powders on the market you can find at most any drugstore made for eradicating this problem. They often contain the active ingredient micanazole. Creams such as Lamisil are also available for treating tinea pedis. If you want to try a home remedy, try soaking the feet in one part white vinegar to four parts water.

If these remedies do not get rid of the problem, your doctor can prescribe an oral medication to get rid of the fungus. This is not often done because many of these medications can be hard on the liver. Also, the above mentioned strategies for getting rid of this condition usually work quite well. If an oral medication is prescribed, your doctor may want to monitor liver and kidney function and may not prescribe the drug if you have issues with these internal organs or are taking certain other medications.

There are ways to prevent athlete's foot that can help you avoid the problem altogether. Always wear sandals, flip flops or water shoes when at the gym, pool shower or even outside. Socks should be made from absorbent material and shoes should be breathable. Leather shoes are a good choice when looking for a shoe that can circulate air. And as previously mentioned sandals and flip flops are wise choices because they protect the heels and toes while allowing air to get to the foot. Athlete foot is a preventable and treatable condition, so if you get it don't panic as there are a variety of ways to treat the fungus.



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