Anyone can be at risk for experiencing Athletes Foot Symptoms!
Athletes Foot is a form of fungal infection and it doesn’t spare anyone. In the medical world, it is more formally known as tinea pedis. The feet are the pole of the body; it takes all the weight of the whole human anatomy, and if it isn’t in tiptop condition, other parts of your body can be affected. The vulnerable groups are men, teenagers and by the name itself, athletes. Children below the age of 12 years have a reasonably rare incidence. Even if you don’t think you are prone to it, it’s still best that you know how to treat it.
What are the Causes of Athletes Foot Symptoms?
As mentioned earlier Athletes Foot can be caused by a fungal infection that can occur to either or both feet. The natural flora of the skin on the feet comprises of fungi and other bacteria in a minimal count that makes them harmless to the body. In some instances, they can rapidly multiply and can be a reason for a skin infection.
Fungi are creatures akin to plants. They feed and survive through broken down tissues like human skin tissues but unlike plants, they don’t have the ability to produce their own food through photosynthesis. This is the main reason why they reside on hosts like humans to continue to exist. Athletes foot is caused by a a certain group of fungi called dermatophytes. The feet are the perfect site for its inhabitance because it offers a dark, humid and warm environment. Other types of fungi group can also be the reason for the incidence of this disease such as yeast and mould formation.
This disease can spread through indirect and direct contact through an infected host or contaminated fomites. Direct contact would involve a personal encounter with the infected that involves skin to skin contact. And for indirect contact, there is the involvement of contaminated fomites like clothing, bed sheets and towels.
What are the Athletes Foot Symptoms?
A person can develop symptoms after being infected with the groups of fungi mentioned above. The symptoms always manifest on the feet and a rash usually occurs in between the toes.
The skin can be scaly, itchy, dry, flaky and red. At the same time, other symptoms can arise like cracked skin, swelling of the skin, blisters which can be crusting or oozing, a stinging or burning sensation in the skin and scaling patterns approximately on your sole and on the rim of your foot. On severe cases, this condition can be painful when the tissues beneath the skin are exposed due to the cracking of the skin.
The spread of infection entails the rash that commence in the spaces of the fifth and fourth toes. The rash can spread on the sides and bottom of the feet if the disease is not treated. The toenails as well can be crumbly and dry when the infection can eventually spread on that area. Scratching the affected area can lead to the extension of the spread of infection to other parts of the body. The Athletes Foot Symptoms can last for a range of 1-10 days and if not properly treated it can last for a much longer period, for numerous months or even a number of years.
How is the Disease Diagnosed?
In diagnosing the disease, it is utmost important to rule out different conditions with similar symptoms. Adhesive cements, dyes and other chemicals inside the shoe can cause the nuisance. Scabies, psoriasis and eczema (See: eczema treatment) have similar symptoms of this disease. The physician may order a series of skin test to confirm the occurrence of Athletes Foot. It comprises of a skin culture of fungi coming from specks of skin, a skin lesion biopsy (tests may show fungi under a high definition microscope), and a skin lesion examination of KOH by scraping the skin in a potassium hydroxide preparation under a microscope.
What are the Treatments for Athletes Foot Symptoms?
Majority of the people affected of this disease takes care of their condition at home since this infection can be mild and can quickly respond to managements or home remedies. Athletes Foot can be treated by self care and antifungal medications. Thus, if the infection already has swollen and sore skin, it is suggested to use hydrocortisone therapy.
Self care is imposed by changing socks and shoes at a regular basis, washing your feet thoroughly and frequently using soap and water, drying your feet particularly the spaces between the toes, wearing clean socks (cotton), and not sharing your personal belongings to other to prevent the spread if the disease.
Athletes Foot Symptoms can be managed through Antifungal treatment which destroys the group of fungi that gives rise to this infection. The preparation of this drug varies from liquid, cream, spray, tablet and powder with generic names of econazole, terbinafine, miconazole, ketoconazole and clotrimazole.
Hydrocortisone therapy can help control the inflammation process because it is a steroid medication. However, when the condition is severe, it is strongly suggested that you see a Podiatrist and let him check the situation of your feet.