Athlete's Foot - What Is It?Athlete's foot is a skin condition resulting from a fungal infection that may cause scaling, flaking and itching of the affected areas of skin. Athlete's foot typically originates in high foot traffic areas with moisture such as showers or locker rooms. It may also be transmitted by sharing footwear or in rare instances, through towels.
Athlete's foot can also affect other parts of the body including toenails and the groin.
Hygiene plays an important part of managing an athlete's foot break out, necessitating dry feet and footware as much as possible.
What Are Athlete's Foot Symptoms?Some people with athlete's foot may not be aware that they even have it. First symptoms may appear as dry skin on the bottom of the feet which may progress to itching or burning skin sensations.
Three types of athlete's foot are common: one the soles of the feet, also known as "moccasin" type; between the toes, known as "interdigital" and inflammatory or blistering.
Most often the condition is limited to the bottom of the feet. The condition may also move to the top of the feet or rarely, it may affect the hands.
Athlete's foot is contagious but not always. Some people are simply more susceptible than others.
What Are Athlete's Foot Treatments?Treating athlete's foot can include over the counter remedies including creams, sprays and powders, each with anti-fungal ingredients to kill associated spores. Many of these require application over a number of weeks to ensure eradication of the infection.
Medications or pharmaceuticals for athlete's foot can include topical applications or your physician may elect to provide you an oral prescription.
Athlete's Foot Home RemediesAs with most things, prevention is foremost and shower sandals are the first line of defense in addition to keeping feet dry and proper and thorough drying regimen.
From a dietary perspective, you may want to avoid yeast heavy foods in addition to alcohol, sugar, cola drinks and grains. While garlic may possess anti-fungal properties, it is not a cure.
A vinegar foot bath, combining a cup of vinegar in several litres of water and soaking twice daily is believed to help kill both the foot fungus and any infection beneath the toenails. A foot bath should be repeated twice daily for 15-20 minutes at a time.