Athletics Foot

Athlete’s Foot: Causes and Symptoms

What a wonder it is how some infinitesimal things like fungi could cause too much a problem. Athlete’s foot has been a common recurrent problem for so many people, whether real athletes or not. This parasitic communicable disease causes too much inconvenience, aside from upsetting one’s self-esteem. Thus, before catching this despicable microorganism that really loves to hang around much too long, one should know the possible ways this fungus could linger on your skin.

This skin predicament is caused by a family of fungi dubbed as dermatophytes. This fungi menace thrives mostly in public places like locker rooms, toilets, gyms, swimming pools, shower rooms, and nail salons which places provide the easy way to transmit it from one unsuspecting individual to another.

In the human body, athlete’s foot symptoms survives in moist and warm areas such as in between the toes or in the scalp. It usually steers toward active individuals who are into sports, is more common among male than female adolescents, and more prevalent on warm and humid conditions. Some fortunate individuals though have developed some kind of immunity from these dermatophytes which explains why members of the same household do not necessarily get the same fungal infection.

Athlete’s foot is caught by wearing tight footwear that leaves the foot moist and compressed, thus leaving the spaces in between the toes a perfect nesting place for these fungi. Poor ventilation of the socks and the shoes also promote athlete’s foot. Moreover, sharing personal items such as shoes, socks, and towels with another makes one a likely prey.

Spotting athlete’s foot when you see it is quite simple to do because all your senses would point you to it. This fungal mess is characterized by an itchy and smelly foot. The area in between the toes is the most likely favorite web where these fungi thrive. It appears as a rash that may lead the skin to crack, burn, scale, flake and peel off once it is scratched.

Bacterial infection could also worsen the blisters on the skin and may lead to the exposure of raw tissue and inflammation. This infection, when not immediately addressed, could spread to the other areas of the body such as the scalp, trunk, arms and legs, groin (jock itch), the toenails or the limbs.

While at its early stages, the spread of this athlete’s foot fungus should be brought to an end by submitting oneself to a visual inspection of the areas of concern. A pharmacist or a doctor could deal with a simple athlete’s foot problem.

For cases of really bad athlete’s foot though, such as when the diagnosis is not very reliable, it is more advisable to consult with a dermatologist or a podiatrist and undergo what is known as a KOH test which is actually a potassium hydroxide preparation. For worst cases, however, a biopsy of the areas infected might be necessary which examination calls for a living sample of the skin tissue. Further, a histological exam of the same can also be done by a gynecologist.