Athlete's foot is a very common skin condition — many people will develop it at least once in their lifetime. It is more frequent among teenage and adult males, but may also occur in women and in children under the age of 12.
Athelte's foot is a fungal infection, tiny plant-like "germs," that can grow and multiply on human skin, especially the feet. It grows best in a dark, moist, and warm environment. A foot inside a shoe is the perfect place for the fungus. The same fungus may also cause "jock itch" in the groin.
How is athlete's foot treated?
For simple cases, anti-fungal creams are effective and can relieve symptoms such as burning and itching fairly quickly. In more severe cases, or if your infection is resistant to usual treatment, antifungal pills may be prescribed. It is important to continue the use of your prescribed antifungal creams and to take all the oral medications properly. While your skin may look better, the infection can remain active for some time and could get worse again if you stop your treatment before completion.
What is the best way to prevent athlete's foot?
- Wash your feet daily
- Dry your feet thoroughly, especially between your toes, after bathing
- Avoid tight footwear, especially in the summer. Sandals and "flip-flops" are the best warm weather footwear
- Wear cotton or synthetic running socks which absorb sweat and change the socks daily (or more frequently if they become damp)
- Dust an antifungal powder on your feet and into your shoes