What Is Athlete’s Foot? 


An athlete’s foot is a contagious fungal infection usually affecting the skin on the feet. This infection is also called tinea pedis and can also spread to the toenails of the person. It is often observed in athletes and hence the name. Most of the time, the infection might not be serious, but it can prove hard to cure. If you are suffering from diabetes or if your immune system is weakened, and suspect that you have Athlete’s foot, you need to visit an affordable health clinic or any low income clinics in your area and get yourself tested.


Causes Of Athlete’s Foot 

This infection is caused by the fungal growth on the feet. You can contract the infection from an infected person or by getting in contact with surfaces that are contaminated with the tinea fungus. The fungus can easily survive in moist and warm environments and can be found in locker room floors, showers, etc.


People At Risk For Athlete’s Foot 

As per the experts, anyone can get Athlete’s foot, but some of the behaviors can increase your risk of contracting the disease. A few of the most significant elements that can enlarge the risk of contracting the infection include:

  • Visiting public places like locker rooms, swimming pools, and showers barefoot.
  • Sharing bath towels, shoes, or socks with persons with the infection.
  • Wearing tight shoes.
  • Having sweaty feet.
  • Experiencing nail or skin injury on your foot.


Symptoms Of Athlete’s Foot 

There can be many symptoms of athlete’s foot and some of the common ones include:

  • Stinging, burning, and itching between the toes or soles of your feet.
  • Blisters on the feet that itch.
  • Dry skin on the side of your feet and your sole.
  • Thick, stained, and embrittled toenails.
  • Raw skin on your feet.


Diagnosing Athlete’s Foot 

A medical professional can diagnose Athlete’s foot by symptoms or may order a skin test to ensure that a fungal infection is causing the symptoms. A skin abrasion potassium hydroxide test is the most common test performed to find Athlete’s foot. In this test, a small area of infected skin is scraped and placed in potassium hydroxide, which destroys the normal cells and leaves the fungal cells intact so that these cells can be easily seen and identified under a microscope.


Treating Athlete’s Disease 

OTC anti-fungal medications are used to cure Athlete’s foot disease. These medications are used topically and if these medications are unable to treat your infection, your doctor can prescribe oral or topical prescription-strength anti-fungal medications to treat the infection.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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