What is athletes foot?
Athletes foot is a common skin condition that affects many people. 70% of people have athletes foot as some point in their life. It is a non-serious fungal infection that effects the feet. Athletes foot is characterized by itchy feet, redness scaly skin between the toes. Although anyone can develop the condition, it is usually men and teenagers who are most commonly affected. When treated correctly, the infection will last a few weeks.
Athletes foot is caused by a fungus that is common on the floors of public places such as Swimming pools, gyms, socks. The fungus is contagious and can be spread directly or indirectly by contact with infected locations. The fungus usually develops in warm, moist conditions.
- Itchy feet
- Red feet
- Scaly/Flaky skin in-between the toes
- Sometimes located on the side and top of the feet
Athletes foot is not a serious condition and can be treated by over the counter products. You should treat athletes foot quickly as it may spread to your toenails or other parts of your body.
- Wash your feet often and ensure fully dry after washing
- Wear clean socks
- Change shoes and socks regularly
Antifungal medication comes in a variety of forms; creams, sprays liquids and powders. These will help kill the fungi that causes the infection and are available in chemists.
Although athletes foot cannot always be prevented, one important way of preventing it is to have good foot hygiene. Try avoid walking barefoot in public places. You should ideally;
- Wash your feet daily
- Ensure feet are fully dry
- Clean socks
- When at swimming pools, wear flip flops