Understanding Athlete's Foot

Athlete’s foot is a fairly common skin disease. In fact, it is estimated to be the second most common skin disease in the United States, with acne ranking as first. While this disease is considered ordinary, it is also considered as one of the more shameful skin diseases, particularly because this infection is closely associated with the lack of good hygiene.

What is athlete foot?

Athlete’s foot is a parasitic fungal infection that goes by the scientific name Tinea Pedis. This skin disease infects the epidermis of the human foot and may recur even after treatment. It is a contagious skin disease which may be passed on through sharing socks, shoes and pool surfaces.

Causes of athlete foot

The human body hosts several types of bacterias and fungi. Some of these are advantageous to our health while others are not. Athlete’s foot is caused by the latter type of bacterias and fungi.

These are called dermatophytes. Trichophyton Rubrum and T. Mentagrophytes are two of the most common dermatophytes which cause Athlete’s Foot.

Symptoms of athlete foot

Due to the fact that athlete’s foot is an ordinary disease, most of us are also widely aware of its symptoms. Normally, athlete’s foot is characterized by scaling, flaking, and itchiness of the infected epidermis of the foot.

Blisters and cracked skin may also be experienced by someone who is infected with this skin disease. This is often manifested between the toes. The diagnosis for athlete’s foot can be performed by a pharmacist, a dermatologist, or a general medical practitioner.

How to prevent athlete foot?

Preventive measures against athlete’s foot include the following:

  • Dry your feet thoroughly after swimming or bathing
  • Don’t walk barefoot when you’re in public showers
  • Change socks daily
  • Use anti-fungal powders
  • Wear well-ventilated shoes

How to treat athlete foot?

Athlete’s foot can be treated using over-the-counter anti-fungal powders and creams. For best results, it is advised to use these products at least two weeks after the symptoms of the skin disease has ceased in order to prevent the onset of another infection.