Athlete’s Foot: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment
Athlete’s foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a fungal infection that is quite common to the general public. This infection is found in the warm and damp places of the skin and covers the skin in scales, blisters, cracks and inflammations. The skin in the infected area can be white or red. The skin often feels like it is itchy, burning and stinging. Most cases of the infection are found between the toes. This infection is very contagious.
In extreme cases of athlete’s foot, there are other infections caused such as ringworm. A cut or a bruise around the area of the infection can be a cause of this transmission.
The Symptoms and Causes
The symptoms of this condition include red and white scales, itching, stinging, burning, the appearance of blisters around the soles of the feet as well as cuts, cracks and even oozing.
There are some cases of this condition that stem from overusing antibiotics as these substances kill good bacteria that normally get rid of bad bacterium. The most common places that this infection is contracted include showers, swimming pools and locker rooms or other such places that are warm and damp.
The Diagnosis and Treatment
The diagnosis is made through observation but there may be skin biopsies on the lesions as well.
The best treatment is to catch it early. Individuals are recommended to clip and clean their toenails regularly to prevent flare-ups of the infection. This condition can spread from the foot to the groin so it is important to keep in under control. Socks and underwear should be kept separate even in the wash and they should be put on clean. Clean socks should be put on before the clean underwear to prevent spreading the infection to the groin. The feet need to be kept dry especially the places in between the toes. Towels used to dry the feet should only be used once.
Boosting the immune system to fight the infection can be done through increasing vitamin A, B, and C. To treat the infection, wash the feet once a day using salt water. Soak the feet in diluted vinegar once a day for ten days. Apply olive oil to the infected areas to keep them moisturized. Avoiding products with yeast can help this infection also.
Sufferers are advised to avoid wearing tight shoes and not to wear the same shoes every day. Anti-fungal drying powders can be used to dry up sweat. Wearing open shoes as much as possible is a wise idea and even going barefoot at home can help.
There are herbal treatments available for this infection:
- Place garlic in the shoes;
- Apply tea tree oil on the infected areas;
- Add grapefruit extract in the laundry water;
- Apply myrrh and lavender oil to reduce the redness and itchiness.