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How to identify and treat Athlete’s foot

Symptoms and Causes of Athletes Foot

You may be familiar with the phrase “athletes foot”. But, what exactly is it? Athlete’s foot is a skin infection that afflicts the regions between the toes, as well as the soles of the feet. This is a fungal infection that can spread to other sites of the body, including the groin, or the palms. These infections are contagious, and for this reason they should be treated immediately. Not only can they spread to other people, but they can contaminate floors and objects, as well.

The condition can affect both athletes and non-athletes. The most common cause is fungus, but there can be other causes. The exact cause can only be determined with a medical assessment or exam. Typical symptoms of athlete’s foot include burning, itching, pain, as well as scaling. In some contexts, athlete’s foot can result in oozing also.

Athlete’s foot is caused by a fungus referred to as tinea pedis. However, many other fungi can result in athlete’s foot, and they can arise in a slew of different settings. Most commonly, these fungi are found in gyms, locker rooms, pools, salons, etc. This condition can also be contracted by wearing contaminated shoes or socks. Another way to contract this condition is by exposing your feet to a floor contaminated with the fungus. However, this fungus cannot thrive in all physical environments because they require specific conditions in order to proliferate and invade the skin. Warmth and moisture are required for fungus to multiply and yield this condition. It should be noted that an initial infection with athlete’s foot does not make one immune to future infections

Treating Athletes Foot

Athlete’s foot treatment is generally divided into two separate segments. The first part of the treatment process entails reducing the capacity for the fungus to grow, by making the environment less peasant for the fungi. Therefore, cleaning the area and removing all moisture is key. Specific shoe materials have a tendency to produce foot moisture, making the foot more susceptible to this condition. Some sufferers of athlete’s foot find it helpful to wear cotton socks, which deprive the foot of moisture. Powders can do this as well.

The second portion of the treatment involves the use of creams designed to stop the growth of new fungus, and to kill off existing fungus. For example, miconazole and ketoconazole treatments are best suited for this. There are many antifungal treatments available, however. Treatment should persist for approximately 4 weeks.

Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum is a Podiatric Physician and Surgeon serving patients in Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Boynton Beach.

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16244 S. Military Trail #290, Delray Beach, FL 33445



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