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Athlete's Foot - Causes, Symptoms and Treament

Athlete's foot is a fungal infection of the skin, usually between the toes, caused by dermatophytes. The skin becomes itchy, sore and peels away. Athlete's foot is also known as tinea pedis or foot ring-worm . The disease can be treated, but it is very difficult to cure the disease copletely.

A skin infection caused by a fungus called Trichophyton which can thrive and infect the upper layer of the skin when the feet remain moist, warm, and irritated. This fungus grows more well in warm, damp areas. It mostly occur in and around swimming pools, showers, and locker rooms. That explains why tinea pedis is called athletes foot: it occurs frequently among athletes who use these facilities.

What are the causes of Athlete's Foot ?

The cause of the Athlete's Foot is a kind of mold called a fungus. Following are the main causes of Athlete foot disease:

1) Group of fungi called dermatophytes causes athlete's foot.

2) Wearing the shoes of someone who has athlete's foot

3) Contact with surfaces (shower, swimming pool and locker-room floors) that harbor the organism

4) Wearing poorly ventilated shoes and socks that harbor perspiration provide an ideal breeding ground for the germs that quickly multiply to cause athlete's foot.

What are the symptoms of Athlete's Foot ?

Here are the list of some of the common symptoms of Athlete's Foot :

  • Itching, most notably in the creases between your toes on the sole of the foot or between the toes (often the fourth and fifth toes).
  • Cracked or blistered skin.
  • Toe or foot swelling indicates a superimposed deep infection (cellulitis).
  • Redness and scaling of the skin in affected areas.
  • Infection may involve painful blistery lesions, which can be weepy and may have a strong odor.
  • Discoloration or crumbling of the nails as the fungus progresses.

Treatment of Athlete's Foot:

Some of the Effective Treatment and Prevention Tips for Athlete's Foot includes:

  • Some antifungal creams like Daktacort HC, contain hydrocortisone , a very useful component for curing red and inflamed skin, as the hydrocortisone reduces inflammation and irritation. They should not be used for any longer than seven days.
  • Wear socks made of cotton or wool, and change them at least twice a day or when they have become damp.
  • Don't wear tight, closed-toe shoes. Moisture and heat cause athlete's foot fungus to thrive.
  • Don't go barefoot in public places. Wear flip-flops.
  • Everday wear washed socks only, and wash your socks in hot water.
  • Athlete's foot can be treated locally with antifungal creams, sprays, liquids and powders that are available from pharmacists without a prescription. One of the most effective creams is Lamisil Cream for the treatment of athlete's foot.
    Imidazole antifungals are the most effective for athlete's foot and include clotrimazole and miconazole .
  • Treatment should be continued for two weeks after the symptoms have disappeared to ensure the infection has been removed completely.
  • Keep your feet thoroughly dry, especially between your toes.
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