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Athletes Foot

Athletes Foot

Athletes foot is an infection of the skin on the foot. This is a fairly common infection that affects the areas between the toes. Severity can range from mild to extreme. This infection is easiest to cure if caught early. Athlete's foot may spread to the toenails in extremely bad cases, as well as the hands and fingernails. If treated early, it is a minor inconvenience. Once it takes hold and really develops into a severe infection, it is very difficult to eradicate completely.


Symptoms of athlete's foot include dry skin, itchiness, a burning sensation and red skin that may scale, flake and peel. As the infection gets worse, small blisters may form, the skin looks inflamed and eventually the redness will be covered with a wet, white surface. In extremely bad cases, the infection can spread to the toenails, which then become thick, crumbly and they may have an unpleasant odor. Once in the toenails, it is very difficult to treat.


Athletes foot is caused by a fungus. Fungi like damp surfaces and this particular fungus can be picked up from the floor of public showers, health clubs or in locker rooms. Sweaty socks and damp feet give the fungus the perfect place to grow. To prevent the condition, dry your feet thoroughly. Wear cotton socks that are absorbent and wick moisture away from the feet. Wear open sandals or go barefoot frequently to allow air to circulate around your feet.


If you notice athletes foot, treat it as soon as possible to prevent its spread beneath the nails. Extreme infections may require treatment by a physician.

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