How Does Athlete’s Foot Occur
It’s no secret that we’re all about natural remedies around here. Every mom should have a few tricks up her sleeve for remedying minor ailments at home without resorting to harmful chemicals.
Athlete’s foot is the skin condition most often associated with stinky, sweaty feet and gym locker rooms. However, it doesn’t just affect athletes.
It may be surprising to learn that athlete’s foot isn’t just something that teenage boys catch. In fact, there is more to the root cause of athlete’s foot than infected showers or towels.
The body’s microbiome may actually have a lot to do with susceptibility to any infection, including athlete’s foot. Let’s first look at what really causes athlete’s foot.
What Leads to Athlete’s Foot
- Coming into contact with infected people or items, like towels, a shower floor, or a swimming pool
- Wearing tight, damp shoes
- Overall bodily microbiome imbalance
- Poor immune system function
So, while everyone knows that exposure to the fungus responsible for athlete’s foot (called tinea) promotes the spread of the infection, your own personal health may have a lot to do with how your body handles an exposure. When we have an overgrowth of harmful bacteria and fungi, we are more susceptible to infections of all kinds.
We have more bacterial cells than human cells, and it truly is all about the bacterial balance. I talk a lot about gut health and the importance of supporting the skin microbiome. The idea is that when your inner ecosystem is balanced, your whole body microbiome will be balanced, including the bacteria on and under the surface of your skin.
Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot can actually mimic bad eczema or dermatitis, so it can be hard to differentiate between the two. Symptoms include:
- Thick, red, scaly, or cracking skin
- Itchy rash
- Symptoms concentrated between the toes, where fungus is more likely to grow
- Discolored toenails
An Ounce of Prevention…
The best remedy is often avoiding the problem in the first place. Here are some ways to reduce the chances of athletes foot:
Wear foot coverings in wet public places, when possible.
Dry feet well when getting out of water, whether at home or in public places.
Wash towels if you suspect infection or if they’ve been used in a public place.
Mind your microbiome by eating a healthy diet, supplementing probiotics, and avoiding good bacteria-killing products like antibacterial soaps.
RIVERA FOOT & ANKLE: At Orlando H.Rivera DPM, our priority is to deliver quality care to informed patients in a comfortable and convenient setting. When you have problems with your feet, you need to turn to a podiatrist who listens and responds… an experienced doctor who knows the field and can effectively diagnose and treat your needs… a friendly physician who counsels you on the best ways to maintain and improve your health. Our physician(s) meet all these criteria. Plus, you benefit from a dedicated team of trained professionals who give you the individualized attention you deserve.
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