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Treatment for Athlete’s Foot: Symptoms, Causes and Diagnosis

One of the parts of the body that we rely on the most is our feet. We use them to walk, run, stand, and even dance. They are strong and durable, but they are also susceptible to certain conditions and ailments.

Our feet are constantly exposed to different kinds of fungi, bacteria, and other microorganisms. In most cases, our immune system is able to fight off these invaders and keep our feet healthy. However, sometimes these organisms are able to take hold and cause an infection.

Have you ever had a burning, itchy feeling between your toes? Or red, scaly patches on the bottoms of your feet? If so, you may have had athlete’s foot. This is a common condition caused by a fungus that thrives in warm, damp places. It often affects people who wear tight shoes or who walk barefoot.

Athlete’s foot is a common condition that can affect anyone, even if you’re not an athlete and you don’t play sports! In this article we’ll explore the symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment of athlete’s foot.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that affects the skin on the feet. The scientific name for this condition is tinea pedis. It got its name because it’s a common condition among athletes, who are more likely to have sweaty feet and to wear shoes that provide a warm, humid environment where fungus can grow.

Man bending down to rub aching feet. Athlete's foot.

However, you don’t have to be good at sports to get it. Anyone can get this condition, especially if they wear shoes that fit snugly and don’t allow the feet to breath. People who have diabetes or a weakened immune system are also more susceptible to developing it.

Common Causes of Athlete’s Foot

The most common cause of athlete’s foot is a fungus that grows on or near the feet. This fungus is called tinea pedis and is usually found in warm, moist places, such as locker rooms, public showers, and pools.

Tinea pedis fungus, the cause of Athlete's Foot

The fungus enters the body through small cuts or breaks in the skin. Once inside the body, it multiplies and causes an infection.

Athlete’s foot is more common in summer because people are more likely to be barefoot or wear sandals, which don’t provide the same level of protection as closed-toe shoes.

Athlete’s foot is a contagious condition, and can be spread by direct contact with an infected person or object, such as a towel, floor, or shoe. It’s important to note that a person can get it without directly contact with the infected skin of someone else with the condition. The fungus can also be spread indirectly, for example, by walking barefoot in an area where the fungus is present.

The condition is more likely to occur in people who wear tight-fitting shoes or who sweat profusely. As mentioned earlier, the condition is also more common in people with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes.

Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot

The most common symptoms of athlete’s foot include itching, redness, and scaling on the skin of the foot. In severe cases, it can spread to the toenail and other parts of the body.

The symptoms of athlete’s foot vary depending on the type of infection. The most common symptom is an itchy rash. The rash can be red, dry, cracked, or blistered. It usually starts between the toes and can spread to other parts of the foot. If the infection spreads to the toenail, it can cause discoloration and deformity.

Fungus on the toe nails

Prevention

There are several ways you can help prevent athlete’s foot, including:

  • Change your socks often, and wash them in hot water.
  • Don’t wear someone else’s shoes.
  • Keep your feet dry. Dry your feet thoroughly after you bathe or shower, and make sure to thoroughly dry between your toes. Use a hair dryer if necessary.
  • Wear sandals or shower shoes in public places as opposed to going bare foot.
  • Wash your feet and shower shoes regularly.
  • Apply an antifungal powder to your feet every day, especially between the toes.

Treatment of Athlete’s Foot

Most cases of athlete’s foot can be treated at home with over-the-counter antifungal topical creams, ointments, sprays or powders. In severe cases, prescription medication may be necessary. The goal of treatment is to stop the spread of the infection and relieve symptoms. Treatment typically lasts for two to four weeks.

A dermatologist will be able to diagnose and prescribe the proper treatment for athlete's foot.

If over-the-counter treatments don’t work, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications. In some cases, you may need to take oral antifungal pills for several weeks or months to clear the infection.

It’s important to treat athlete’s foot as soon as you notice symptoms because the infection can spread to other parts of your body and to other people.

An important part of the treatment for athlete’s foot involves not causes more skin irritation and potential damage by scratching the infected skin. This can be quite difficult, because the urge to scratch can be quite severe. The best way to avoid scratching is to use an anti-itch cream like Dermeleve.

Dermeleve is an effective tool to manage itch as part of treatment for athlete's foot.

Dermeleve is formulated to stop itch dead in its tracks. Relief can be felt in as little as five minutes.

It also contributes to the overall health of the skin by providing natural ingredients and moisturizers like shea butter, ceramides, and vitamin C and E.

Unlike many anti-itch creams, Dermeleve is free of steroids. There is no risk of the side effects of long term topical steroid use, and no risk of the withdrawal symptoms that often can accompany prolonged treatment of this kind. This means that Dermeleve is safe to use as frequently and for as long as desired.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, athlete’s foot is something so common that many of us will unfortunately deal with it at some point in our lives. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to both prevent and treat the infection.

Prevention of athlete's foot is the best defense.

The best treatment for athlete’s foot is to avoid it in the first place. The best way to do that is to practice good hygiene and to keep your feet dry. However, if you do develop the condition, it’s important to treat it promptly to avoid further spread of the infection.

Over-the-counter antifungal treatments are usually effective, but in cases of severe infections prescription medication may be necessary. Dermeleve can also be helpful in relieving the itch associated with athlete’s foot.

Be sure to take measures to avoid getting it and spreading it, and see a doctor if you don’t see improvement with over-the-counter treatments.

Most importantly, try not to scratch!

When it comes to Athlete’s Foot, we know that can be quite a feet.