Some common conditions are clear from their name and athlete’s foot is no exception. Basically the sweatier your feet get and the more time you spend in trainers, the more likely you are to suffer.
Athlete’s foot is simply a fungal infection of the skin on the feet and symptoms classically include flaky itchy skin, particularly between the toes and often associated with a red rash. If left, the skin can crack and become white; it may even peel and blister and it will also make your feet smell quite unpleasant.
If untreated the infection can spread and involve large areas of the foot, even the toenails, causing them to go flaky and yellow.
The condition is easily spread in communal changing rooms and showers but anyone can develop it if their foot comes into contact with skin from an infected person.
Fungus that causes athlete’s foot thrives in warm moist areas, but the good news is athlete’s foot can usually be treated quickly with over-the-counter anti-fungal creams, powders or sprays. Your pharmacist will be able to advise on appropriate treatment but if you’re no better after two or three weeks you should see you doctor to confirm the diagnosis.
And to avoid athlete’s foot in the future, change your footwear daily and allow shoes 28 to 48 hours to really dry out properly. If that’s not feasible, then use a hair dryer on a cool setting to help them dry out more quickly. Your feet are more likely to sweat in trainers so try to avoid wearing them as much as possible and never wear shoes without socks or tights. Don’t share footwear or towels and in communal bathing areas, wear flip flops.
When it comes to feet, nature knows best so when at home spend as much time as you can barefoot.
Quick Health Advice: Athlete’s Foot
If you spend a lot of time with your feet crammed into sweaty trainers, then you might be familiar with Athlete’s Foot. In this exclusive guide, Dr Harper discusses the symptoms of this common fungal infection of the skin on the feet, and how it is spread. She also advises on the quick and effective over-the-counter treatments available, and offers practical tips to ensure that your feet don’t mature into something that would feel more at home on a cheese board!
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