Athletes Foot Eguide
DermaTechRx Research Center has undergone extensive Athlete’s Foot fungus research. Our primary focus is to provide relevant information about Athlete’s Foot, its causes, and the signs and symptoms associated with Athlete’s Foot. Below you’ll find Athlete’s Foot pictures and information compiled through our research, on the internet and in-house findings.
What is Athlete’s Foot?
If you have ever experienced an irritating itching and burning between your toes and on other parts of your feet, then chances are you’ve had the symptoms of Athlete’s Foot. Athlete’s foot is medically referred to as tinea pedis and it is a form of ringworm, of the tinea family, which can be contracted easily. The tinea fungi are the type of fungus that generally infects warm-blooded creatures, such as humans and animals.
Results from studies on Athlete’s Foot in the US have shown more males, than females, are expected to contract Athlete’s foot in their lifetime. Children, as well as persons with weak immune systems are also susceptible to this infection.
How can one get Athlete’s Foot?
The name Athlete’s Foot may suggest that the fungus can only infect those who regularly take part in athletic activities. While infections are more commonly spread in places like locker rooms, fitness centers, swimming pools, and other public places, there is a chance that you can also get infected even in your own home. The fungus associated with Athlete’s Foot can be passed by sharing shoes or socks with an infected person. In addition, the fungus can live within the clothing, furniture, flooring, and even bed linens of an infected person.
Tight shoes, with little or no breathing room, and wearing damp socks are main contributing factors to the survival and spread of Athlete’s foot in humans.
Types of Athlete’s Foot and Symptoms
There are three known types of infections that cause Athlete’s foot. They are Toe web infection, Moccasin-type infection, and Vesicular infection. Each of these infections has different symptoms and appearance. What does Athlete’s Foot look like? Let’s take a closer look at each of them individually.
Toe Web Infection
Toe web infection, also known as inter-digital infection, is the most common of the three types of Athlete’s foot. It is usually formed between the fourth and fifth toes and pictures of athlete’s foot can show the appearance of scales on some people’s feet. Pale-white in complexion and usually very moist-looking, the infection can graduate into cracked and peeling skin. If this should happen, then it means that there are bacteria in the infection. Bacteria will produce a faint odor and is enough indication that your infection is in severe state.
Moccasin-type infection is one of the more difficult types of Athlete’s Foot to treat and it is longer-lasting than the other two infections. It takes on the form of thick and cracked dry skin either on the sole of one’s feet or on the heel which usually produces a minor irritation which graduates into itching and burning.
The infection can also target hands and toenails. Infected toenails in Athlete’s Foot pictures can show signs of a thick coating on the nails that are usually flaky and crumbly looking. Even if this type of infection is treated, the chances of it being infected again are very high.
When it comes to Vesicular infections, there are really no warning signs like the other two types of Athlete’s Foot infections. Instead, this type of infection tends to commence with an onslaught of blisters which are known as vesicles. Vesicles are visible between the toes, heel and top of the foot, and can be clearly seen in Athlete’s Foot pics of vesicular infections. The blisters, when infected with bacteria, eventually develop into cracks.
Of the different types of Athlete’s Foot infections, Vesicular infection is the easiest to treat, but like the other infections, symptoms can return if the complete treatment regimen is not completed in its entirety. Chances of being infected again can occur if one isn’t taking preventative measures to eliminate a new infection. In other cases, if the treatment actions taken are not sufficient enough to remove the fungus, then the fungi will continue to spread. An Athlete’s Foot itch can spread to other parts of the body if it goes untreated. It can spread to one’s groin where it is known as Jock Itch, and to the limbs and other parts of the body where it is referred to as Ringworm.
When Athlete’s Foot Turns Critical
Judging from Athlete’s Foot pictures, this is an infection that really should not be taken lightly. There are some who may be content on purchasing over-the-counter drugs as an Athlete’s Foot cure to alleviate their pain, but this may not be enough for some truly severe cases. In some instances, infections due to Athlete’s Foot need antibiotics to get rid of the fungi. If the fungi are not eliminated, then a secondary form of bacteria infection would immediately commence. A second bacteria attack can further break down the skin’s tissue even more, and can eventually contribute more pain to the infected area. Other complications with an untreated infection include an allergic reaction resulting from proteins entering the bloodstream. It can also cause blisters to appear on your fingers and hands.
How to prevent Athlete’s Foot
As the old adage goes “prevention is better than cure”. With that said, one should try to exercise all the preventative measures to avoid having to deal with the infections caused by Athlete’s Foot. Even if your started your medical treatment for Athlete’s Foot, it would still help your situation if you were to utilize the following foot care rules.
- Constantly air out your feet when you return home, especially if you have worn closed up shoes for most of the day, either at work or at school.
- For the athletic type, it is recommended that you wear shower shoes or waterproof sandals while at the pool or at the fitness center and other places that are deemed high risk for the infection.
- Stay clear of shoes that are made of either vinyl or rubber as these are not well-ventilated shoes. Instead choose light shoes that can easily let some air in.
- Always keep your feet dry and pay particular attention to the areas between your toes. Slipping your shoes off, for a few minutes at a time, throughout the day can help your feet and shoes air out between activities.
- Socks, stockings and even shoes should be changed often especially if your feet are likely to sweat.
- Cotton socks are best when it comes to avoiding the signs of Athlete’s Foot.
If you reside in a house with someone infected with Athlete’s Foot then you are at even higher risk to be infected. There are some people in the household who although exposed to the infection may not suffer from Athlete’s Foot. This does not prevent them from passing it on to someone else even if they are not showing signs or symptoms of the infection.
Therefore, if you reside with an infected or even if you are treating your Athlete’s Foot, we suggest that you take these precautions.
- Do not share your shoes, socks or towels with others in the home or with the infected
- Disinfect the shower stall on a daily basis.
- All bed linens, socks, underwear, towels the like should be washed in up to 140 degrees of hot water, so as to combat the fungi that may be living within the infected person’s laundry.
- The towels that the infected has used to dry his feet after a shower should be separated from other towels and should also be heavily sterilized
Athlete’s Foot Myths
There are a lot of myths surrounding Athlete’s Foot its infections. Here are the most popular and some clarification of them.
- It has been said that mouthwash can provide a cure for Athlete’s Foot fungus. This has been proven untrue. It’s a given that mouthwash has all the ingredients to fight bacteria in the mouth and even on the skin. But it cannot prevent a foot bacteria or fungus.
- Bleach is believed to be another agent that can contribute to the removal of fungus. Again, this is untrue as bleach is a drying product even when mixed with water so therefore this isn’t a product that one would want to use on their feet.
- Freshly brewed tea has also been the subject of cure for Athlete’s Foot but this too has failed to permanently rid the infection. During a test, the freshly brewed tea served as an astringent and was able to keep the outer skin layer dry if only for a short period of time but its repairing power never went past the surface.
- Baking soda has been often linked to warding off Athlete’s Foot. The question is can baking soda sprinkled in your shoes really eliminate Athlete’s foot? The answer is a both yes and no. While the baking soda could get rid of the moldy odor usually accompanying Athlete’s Foot infections, especially when applied in the sole of your shoes and left to soak it during the night, it fails as an anti-fungal product to eliminate any fungus or bacteria already on your feet, or your environment.
- Finally, another odor buster would be to spray antiperspirant directly on your feet.