Athletes Foot

Athlete's Foot Definition
Athletes foot is a fungal skin infection causing red, dry, flaking, itching or painful skin. This usually occurs between the toes, ball of feet, sides and top, the heel area is least affected. The same organism affects toe nails and is called "fungal nail".

Cause

Fungal infections are often contracted in the shower, dressing room and other warm damp areas. Fungal spores can enter sores or fissures on the feet thru touch or scratching. The fungal infection can spread from the skin to nails or from nails to skin. Athletes fungal infections can spread from feet to other parts of the body, including underarms or groin. Athletes foot is of special concern to anyone with compromised immune systems.

Treatment and Prevention

Includes vigilant hygiene, washing and drying especially between the toes. Wearing shoes and socks with good ventilation is helpful. Once chronic infection occurs proper diagnosis and oral or topical prescription treatments are the best cure. Continued care from a podiatric doctor is recommended.