You might have seen the white patches between your toes, which don't go easily and are sometimes are painful and red. This fungal infection takes a while to heal. You might have heard the name the first time, and you might be curious about the athlete's foot. These white patches or cracks are known as athletes' feet. It appears as rashes and can be minor or severe. There are various treatments available for this condition.
You need to be very careful if you get these white itchy rashes because these are highly contagious and can spread through touch, clothes, and even contaminated floors. It belongs to the class of fungal infections and can be treated with antifungal drugs.
The main question here is what causes an athlete's foot and how you can protect yourself from this infection. This condition is caused by dermatophytes, the same kind of fungi that causes ringworm and jock itch. This fungus grows in humid conditions, and if you wear damp socks and shoes, you are at risk of getting athletes' feet. You can also get it through contact with a person suffering from this condition. Towels and shoes can also be the route of transmission of this condition. The worst is that if you scratch it or pick the infection, you can spread it to other parts of your body too.
You are at a higher chance of getting this infection if you are used to walk barefoot because of its contagious nature. Heavy sweating can also be the cause of an athlete's foot.
You must know Athlete's foot symptoms to understand this condition better. Common signs and symptoms of this infection are following:
- Scaly and cracking skin which peels off between your toes.
- You'll feel itchiness between your toes right after you remove your shoes or socks.
- Skin color also shows a lot about this condition; your skin appears inflamed, purplish, or grayish compared to your normal skin color.
- Tingling and burning sensations.
- The skin on the bottom of your foot may feel dry and scaly, extending towards your feet top.
The severity of it ranges from minor to severe. Minor problem can be cured through antifungal creams or powders. Most of the time, this condition is minor and cured with proper medication and treatment, but an allergic reaction might occur in some cases. It leads to the formation of blisters on the feet or hands. Moreover, this infection can be recurring.
In severe complications, a secondary bacterial infection can develop. In that case, the foot might feel painful, swollen, and hot. Accumulation of pus and fever can also be the signs. Possibilities are that this infection can spread to the lymph system.
Diagnosis and treatment
The symptoms or a skin test usually diagnoses this condition to know the causing agent. Moreover, a doctor recommends a widely used skin lesion potassium hydroxide test to diagnose this condition.
It is usually treated with over-the-counter antifungal medications. If these medicines don’t work, your doctor might give you topical or oral medications. Home treatments are also used to clear up the infection.
An athlete's foot is a contagious fungal infection and needs proper care to treat. This condition takes a while and constant treatment to cure. Skin becomes dry, itchy, cracks appear that are painful, and bleeding can happen in severe cases. It can be treated with antifungal creams and following the home treatments. People suffering from this infection should wear open and airy shoes instead of closed shoes. Also, wearing only cotton socks can help.