It is an infection of the feet caused by fungus and medical term is tinea pedis. This condition may last for a short or long time and may recur after treatment.
The most common symptom is cracked skin, flaked and that emerges between the toes or on the sides of the foot. Other symptoms may include:
- Red and itchy skin
- Burning or stinging
- Blisters that ooze or crust
If the fungus spreads to your nails, they can become discolored, thick, and even crumble.
Athlete's foot may occur at the same time as other fungal skin infections such as ringworm and jock itch.
Your doctor can diagnose athlete's foot simply looking at your skin. If tests are needed, these may include:
- Skin culture
- Skin lesion biopsy
- Examination of potassium hydroxide in skin injury
Athlete's foot occurs when a certain fungus proliferates on the skin of your feet. In addition to the toes, may also occur on the heels, palms of the hands and between the fingers.
Athlete's foot is the most common type of ringworm fungal infections. The fungus thrives in warm, moist areas. The risk of this condition increases if you:
- Wear closed shoes, especially if it is coated with plastic.
- Keep your feet wet for prolonged periods.
- Sweat a lot.
- Develop a minor injury to the nail or skin.
Athlete's foot is contagious and can be transmitted by direct contact or by contact with items such as shoes, socks and shower or pool surfaces.
To prevent athlete's foot, follow these steps:
- Dry your feet thoroughly after bathing or swimming.
- Wear sandals or flip-flops in public shower or pool.
- Change socks as often as possible to keep feet dry, this should be done at least once a day.
- Use antifungal or drying powders to prevent athlete's foot if susceptible to contracting or if you frequent areas where the fungus that causes it is common (like public showers).
- Use well-ventilated shoes and preferably made of a natural material such as leather. It may help to alternate shoes each day so they can dry completely between sunsets. Avoid shoes with plastic coating.