Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that affects upper layers of the skin. It is most common when the skin is hot, moist and irritated.It’s also known as tinea pedicilli or ringworm of foot. Trichophyton is the fungus responsible for athlete’s feet. It is often found on floors or in clothing.
The athlete’s foot fungus can only be infected if the conditions are right. It needs a moist and warm environment, such as the inside of a shoe. This is why only 0.75 percent of those who walk barefoot regularly are affected.
However, as many as 70% of people will eventually develop athlete’s feet.
Most commonly, an athlete’s foot develops between their toes. It can cause burning, stinging and reddening of the skin as well as itching. Some people also experience flaking of their skin.
This is the most prevalent type of fungal infection. Athlete’s foot is contagious but can be treated with an over-the-counter medication (OTC). Athletes with diabetes or a weak immune system should consult a doctor immediately athlete’s feet develop.
Tinea fungus can grow on the feet and cause athlete’s foot. The fungus can be contracted by direct contact with infected persons or touching surfaces that are contaminated. The fungus thrives best in moist, warm environments. It is most common in bathrooms, locker rooms, and around swimming pool areas.
Although anyone can get athlete’s foot, certain behaviors can increase your chances. A few factors that can increase your chances of getting athlete’s feet include:
- Public places should not be accessed barefoot, including locker rooms, showers, or swimming pools.
- Sharing socks, shoes, and towels with infected people
- wearing tight, closed-toe shoes
- You shouldn’t keep your feet wet for prolonged periods of time
- Having sweaty feet
- A minor nail or skin injury to your foot
- What are the signs of athlete’s feet?
- Itching, burning sensations between your toes and soles of your feet.
- Itchy feet and blisters
- Cracking and peeling of skin on your feet, primarily between your toes or on your soles
- Dry skin on the soles and sides of your feet
- Raw skin on your feet
- Toenails that are discolored, thick and crumbly
- Toenails that pull out from the nail bed
In some cases, complications can arise from athlete’s feet. Mild complications can include allergic reactions to the fungus that can cause blistering on the hands or feet. The fungal infection can also return even after treatment.
Secondary bacterial infections can lead to more serious complications. Your foot may become swollen and painful. Additional signs of bacterial infections include fever, drainage, and pus.
The bacterial infection could also spread to your lymph system. An infection of the skin can lead to lymph nodes or infections in your lymphatic system.