Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the skin on the foot which can occur especially between the little toes where it is often moist. It can also be found around the heels or arch of the foot. Symptoms range from intense itching, cracks, blistering and peeling skin which can lead to further bacterial infection if the skin becomes broken.
It is caused by fungi which are present in the air but survive in moist damp conditions so you are more likely to pick up in communal areas such as swimming pools, changing rooms, showers, or other areas where you may walk barefoot.
Once your feet have become contaminated, the warm dark sweaty environment between toes in cramped footwear and trainers provides ideal conditions for the fungus to breed. It can also occur in dry flaky areas and particularly in individuals with poor circulation or other conditions which can make them more prone to infection.
If left untreated the fungus can spread and skin can break open to provide entry for further bacterial infection. It can spread to other areas of your skin such as your scalp hands and groin, so it is important to use a separate towel just for your feet.
A Fungal Infection can spread into your toenails, particularly after an injury to the nail. This causes the nail to become thick, crumbly and often black or yellow in colour. (see Fungal Nails). This can be very hard to treat.
At Sale Podiatry we can make the correct diagnosis of your Athlete’s Foot in the first instance. Advise on all the do’s and don’ts in treating the condition with the right medications and the correct footwear to discourage the fungal infection.