Athlete’s Foot Treatment: Understanding fungal infections and how to treat them
Often beginning as a rash, Athlete’s Foot appears in the spaces between your fourth and fifth toes, which can – if left untreated – spread to the bottom sides of your feet and around the toenails.
Athlete’s foot symptoms include dry, flaky, scaly and cracked skin, blisters, swelling and a burning or stinging sensation, most commonly if the infection is left untreated.
It is a common misperception that it is only athletes who can suffer from Athlete’s Foot. This is not necessarily true, but Athlete’s Foot is so called because the fungus that causes the infection is often found in areas where athletes reside; swimming pools, public showers, and locker rooms. People walk barefoot on these surfaces transferring the fungus onto their feet.
We all have bacteria and fungi present on not only our skin, but also inside our bodies – these bacteria and fungi can be both good and bad – but most are harmless until conditions change.
In the case of Athlete’s Foot, it is commonly caused by a particular group of fungi called dermatophytes. Your feet provide the ideal living conditions for these fungi to live and grow; warm, dark and humid – thus being found in areas such as swimming pools and locker rooms.
Dermatophytes cause infections in areas such as the nails, outer layers of the skin, scalp and hair. The main groups of fungi that cause fungal infections are:
• Dermatophytes (tinea)
• Yeasts (candida)
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