Athlete's Foot

By: Kaitlin Wiseman

DESCRIPTION:

A fungal infection that usually begins between the toes. It mostly occurs in people whose feet have become sweaty in tight fitting shoes. It can be treated with over-the-counter anti-fungal medications, it may reoccur in the future.

Causes:

Athlete's foot is caused by the same fungus that creates ringworm. Damp and warm socks and shoes, humid conditions cause the organisms growth. Athlete's foot is contagious and can be spread by contact of an infected person or from contact with contaminated surfaces such as towels, floors, and shoes.

STATISTICS:

Around 15% to 25% of people are likely to have athlete's foot at any one time. It's most prevalent if you wear closed toed shoes that are plastic-lined.

SYMPTOMS:

Some of the most common symptoms are cracked, flaking, peeling skin between the toes or on the side of the foot. Other symptoms include: red and itchy skin, stinging and burning pain, and blisters that pop and get crusty. It is possible for the spread to go to your nails and they may become discolored, thick or even crumble.

DURATION OF DISORDER:

Athlete's foot can be a mild or severe case. Sometimes it heals up quickly and other cases are long term. Usually athlete's foot does well with anti-fungal treatment and goes away. However if the fungal infection continues to return, a long term treatment will be necessary with anti-fungal medications.

POSSIBLE TREATMENTS/CURES:

First you must keep the area clean and dry. Make sure you are not exposing the feet to a closed toe vinyl or plastic lined shoe. Use cotton or some kind of absorbent sock to absorb the moisture. Use medicated powders to keep your feet from becoming sweaty and locking the moisture in. Also soak your feet in aluminum acetate for around 10 min. the second part of the treatment use anti-fungal creams and washes. Use medications that include miconazole and econazale nitrate such as sprays and creams,and ect. Some cases may require a tablet by mouth.

PREVENTIONS:

Keep your feet dry and use well ventilated or light shoes( avoid rubber, plastic, or vinyl) . Change your socks frequently when they sweat. Alternate shoes don't wear the same shoes everyday so they can dry. Protect your feet in or near public areas wear waterproof shoes or shower shoes. Treat your feet using powders, creams, and sprays. Finally DON'T SHARE SHOES.