Athletes Foot: Its Causes and Its Cures
Athletes foot is a very common skin condition of which many people suffer, but it is manageable and treated in most cases by understanding its causes and methods of treatment currently available. Athletes foot, caused by a foot fungus called tinea pedis, generally affects the sole of the foot and the skin in the area between the toes. It is normally classified in one of three of its most common occurrences: the sole of the foot (called moccasin), between the toes (called interdigital), and a blistering or inflammatory type.
What causes athletes foot?
Athletes foot can be contracted in a variety of environments, included public swimming pools, gyms, contact with an infected person, and walking barefoot where others have walked. However, not everyone is prone to contracting the foot fungus, and those that do have athletes foot may not even know that they have it. Since the foot fungus affects people in slightly different ways, some people simply think that they have dry skin or itching of their feet. In more developed cases, this may evolve into bleeding, pain and cracking.
There are many potential causes of athletes foot, including yeast and bacterial infections, psoriasis, eczema, and allergic reactions from socks, shoes or creams. In any case, if you show symptoms of a potential foot fungus, it is important to consult your medical practitioner straight away before the symptoms become worse. This is especially important for those who have diabetes, HIV, cancer or women who are pregnant. People who have diabetes, and are more prone to infection, are at risk of athletes foot or other foot fungus developing into potentially dangerous ulcers.
How can I treat or cure athletes foot?
Luckily, in most cases, athletes foot and other types of foot fungus can be treated at home. Natural home remedies are becoming increasingly more popular as an effective method of treatment. The most effective is to dilute one part of white vinegar to four parts of water and apply to the area three to four times per day. There has also been a wide understanding that bathing in water mixed with oatmeal can also be very effective in controlling or treating the condition.
However, in more serious cases of athletes foot, it is important that you see your doctor if you begin to notice swelling, redness, bleeding or an infection which is not clearing, as topical creams and anti-fungal pills may be required. If left untreated, it may spread to nearly any other body area.
How can I prevent athletes foot from coming back?
Athletes foot can be prevented from future infections by making sure that you keep your feet dry and clean, staying out of moist environments, not walking barefoot in public areas, using cotton socks, and washing and disinfecting your shoes once a week or twice a month, and making sure that you do not come into contact with people of whom you know have the condition. Provided that you follow these simple steps you should be able to identify, treat and prevent athletes foot, but as a precaution, always check with your medical practitioner first.