What is athlete’s foot?

Athlete’s foot is the name given to a rash that usually appears in between your toes. The rash is caused by a fungus and can cause you quite a lot of discomfort. Athlete’s foot affects the skin and makes it red, itchy, scaly, cracked, dry or blistered. The condition is not too serious, however, it should be treated. This will stop it spreading to other people or other parts of your body.

What are the signs and symptoms?

The common places for athlete’s foot to affect are between your toes or on the bottom of your foot. It can also spread around to the top of your foot and also your toenails. If you touch the area infected and then touch another part of your body, that can also help the infection to spread.

The signs and symptoms to look out for are:

  • White, cracked and soggy skin
  • Red, scaly, dry and flaky skin
  • Sore skin
  • Skin covered in small blisters
  • Itchiness

Although it is rare, a severe case of athletes foot can lead to the damaged skin becoming infected. The infection can lead to cellulitis which will cause the skin to become hot, swollen and red.

Contracting athlete’s foot

The condition is caused by fungi growing on the skin. This fungi is what causes athletes foot to thrive and it loves dark, warm and moist places, just like your feet in socks and trainers. You can contract athletes foot in many different ways but some of the most common are:

  • Not keeping your feet dry and clean
  • Sharing socks, shoes and towels with other people
  • Wearing shoes that cause your feet to get sweaty
  • Walking around barefoot in places like communal showers, gyms and locker rooms
  • Having a weakened immune system

What is the treatment for athlete’s foot?

Athlete’s foot can be dispersed easily if you touch the infected skin and then touch another area of your body. It can also spread to other people in the same manner so it is important, if you have the condition, to be aware of this and wash your hands regularly.

The condition is very unlikely to get better by itself. However, the anti-fungal treatments available at all local pharmacies do work and most cases can be resolved without the need of seeing a GP. The anti-fungal treatment works by stopping the fungus growing. They come in a variety of forms including: liquids, powders and sprays.

The treatment should be applied directly to the athletes foot area after washing and drying the skin. You should continue to use the treatment even after the rash has cleared up, just to make sure the fungus has all gone.

We hope that this athlete’s foot article has been helpful to you, please explore our website further for more articles about common conditions.