What Is Athlete’s Foot?
Athlete’s foot, also known as tinea pedis and ringworm of the foot, is one of the most common forms of fungal infection. The infection typically arises between the toes and on the uppermost layer of skin, where it can cause a burning sensation. Athlete’s foot can also occur on the side of the foot and on other parts of the body.
Cases of athlete’s foot commonly arise when feet are confined in tight shoes, where they become warm and moist, and fungus begins to grow on the skin. Athlete’s foot is a contagious infection, that can be spread easily through the contamination of floors, towels and shoes.
Athlete’s Foot Symptoms
One of the first signs that you may have athlete’s foot is a red rash that normally originates between the toes; the rash is often very scaly and can cause irritation. There are multiple further symptoms associated with athlete’s foot, including:
Scaling on other parts of the foot:
- Flaky skin
If athlete’s foot isn’t treated, then the infection may spread to other toes, both feet, and to the hands. Very often, the infection is spread by scratching.
Brief History of Athlete’s Foot
It was once thought that athlete’s foot was caused by insect bites; it wasn’t until the 1800s that scientists first discovered that microorganisms were the true cause of the infection. The first description of the condition was in 1888, by Pellizzari, although it was in 1908 that tinea pedis was first reported, at which time the organisms responsible for producing tinea capitis (ringworm of the hair) were believed to be the cause.
Today, it’s known that the cause of athlete’s foot are dermatophytes, which are a group of fungi that feed on keratin. The multiple types of fungus that can cause athlete’s foot include different species of Microsporum, Epidermophyton, and Trichophyton, although Trichophyton species are the most common.
Common Ways People Get Athlete’s Foot
Despite the name of the infection, it’s not only athletes that contract athlete’s foot; men and women of any age can get the infection. The main cause of the infection is fungus growing on the skin, which can be spread through direct and indirect contact.
Due to the contagious nature of the infection, there are many ways that people can get athlete’s foot, including by walking barefoot around swimming pools, showers and gyms, and sharing towels and clothing with people who have the infection.
As the fungus thrives in warm, moist, and damp environments, wearing wet socks and tight shoes can increase the risk of developing athlete’s foot. Sweating and not drying your feet regularly can also increase the risk.
Is Athlete’s Foot Dangerous?
Athlete’s foot is not normally a dangerous infection, in many people the infection is just highly irritating. However, complications that increase the danger of athlete’s foot can arise.
Common complications of athlete’s foot include reactions caused by an allergy to the fungus, and further bacterial infections that can cause fevers, swelling, and pain. The spread of the fungus can also cause infections of the hand, groin, and nails.
The Importance of Athlete’s Foot Treatment Services
Seeking treatment if you suspect that you have athlete’s foot is very important to tackle the infection head-on, minimize the irritation caused by the symptoms, and prevent the infection from spreading to other parts of your body, or to other people.
Athlete’s foot treatment services will be able to give you advice on preventing re-occurrences of athlete’s foot in the future and suggest the best treatments to get rid of the infection, such as by using:
- Topical medications
- Oral medications
What to Do If You Need Athlete’s Foot Treatment
If you suspect that you have athlete’s foot, then you should visit an expert podiatrist in your local area. At the Vittori Foot and Ankle Clinic in Homer Glen & New Lenox, IL, we’ll diagnose your condition, make sure that you get the treatment you need, and advise you on how to stop the infection reoccurring.
By making sure that you visit a trained podiatrist in Homer Glen & New Lenox, IL, you can rule out any other conditions that may be affecting your foot, to be certain that you get the right treatment.
Contact Vittori For Athlete’s Foot Treatment Services in Homer Glen & New Lenox, IL
Athlete’s foot is an annoying condition to deal with by yourself, as it can often be very difficult to get rid of the infection without the right treatment. For professional treatment services for athlete’s foot in Homer Glen & New Lenox, IL, make Vittori your first point of call – we know just how to treat mild to severe cases of athlete’s foot to ensure a safe and fast recovery!