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What is Athlete’s Foot and How Do I Avoid It

By Maria Bantellis Subscribe to RSS | December 21st 2011 | Views:

Everyone always asks, ‘What is athlete’s foot?’ A common misperception is that only athletes can contract it, which is not the case.

Athlete’s foot is so-called because of the way it can most typically develop.

Most commonly, it develops because the fungi that cause athlete’s foot can be found living in areas such as swimming pools, public showers and locker rooms; which is where the connection between athlete’s and the infection itself materialises.

Such areas are not only warm and moist – making an ideal breeding ground for such organisms – but people are often barefoot, making it easy for the fungi to transfer onto their feet.

What causes it?

As mentioned above, fungi is the cause of athlete’s foot.

Fungi are organisms, similar to plants; they survive by feeding off broken-down tissue, including that of humans.

Feet provide the ideal living and breeding conditions for these fungi to live and grow; warm, dark and damp.

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 such as athlete’s foot are:

• Dermatophytes (tinea)

• Yeasts (candida)

• Moulds

How To Avoid Athlete’s Foot

The first step is to try to avoid those with it and areas in which it may be spread. Athlete’s foot is a contagious fungal infection; meaning it can be spread through direct and indirect contact.

Direct Contact

Skin-on-skin contact; someone can develop the infection if they touch infected skin and do not wash their hands afterwards.

Indirect Contact

The fungi could be passed via contaminated towels, bed sheets and clothing.

Maria Bantellis - About Author:
Maria Bantellis is a health writer willing to explain to her readers what is athlete’s foot.

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