Athlete's foot is a skin infection caused by fungus. A fungal infection may occur on any part of the body; on the foot it is called athlete’s foot, or tinea pedis. Fungus commonly attacks the feet because it thrives in a dark, moist, warm environment such as a shoe.
Fungal infections are more common in warm weather when feet tend to sweat more. Fungus thrives in damp areas such as swimming pools, showers, and locker rooms. Athletes commonly have sweaty feet and use the facilities where fungus is commonly found, thus the term "athlete's foot."
Athlete's foot usually produces itchy, dry, scaling skin. It is commonly seen on the soles of the feet and in between the toes. In advanced cases, inflammation, cracks, and blisters may form; an infection caused by bacteria can also result. The fungus can spread to other areas of the body, including toenails.
Avoiding walking barefoot combined with good foot hygiene can help reduce the spread of the fungus. Feet should be washed every day with soap and water and thoroughly dried, including between the toes. Feet should be kept as dry as possible. If your feet sweat a lot you may need to change your socks during the day. Anti-fungal powders, sprays, and/or creams are often utilized to treat athlete's foot. Your foot and ankle surgeon will recommend the best treatment for you.
Nail & Skin
Athlete's foot and fungal nails are the most common fungal problems with feet.
Many people don't realize they have a fungal nail problem and, therefore, don't seek treatment. Yet, fungal toenail infections are a common foot health problem and can persist for years without ever causing pain. The disease, characterized by a change in a toenail's color, is often considered nothing more than a mere blemish. Left untreated, however, it can present serious problems.
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Ingrown toenails occur when the corners or sides of the toenail dig into the skin, often causing infection. Also known as onychocryptosis, ingrown toenails, start out hard,swollen, and tender. Left untreated, they may become sore, red, and infected and the skin may start to grow over the ingrown toenail. They are usually caused by trimming toenails too short, particularly on the sides of the big toes, and may also be caused by shoe pressure (from shoes that are too tight or short), injury, fungus infection, heredity, or poor foot structure. A common ailment, ingrown toenails can be painful. Click here for more information on ingrown toenails.
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