Athlete’s foot is caused by a micro-fungus which infects the skin. The skin can become itchy, red and sore or white soggy and cracked in between the toes. It can spread to the nails, causing a fungal nail infection which can be very hard to treat.
I’m no athlete! How did I get it?
The term Athlete’s foot probably came about because of its association with sweaty feet and communal changing areas, common factors in many sports! In fact anyone can get it as it is an opportunistic infection, waiting for a breach in the skin’s defences to attack. This may indeed be caused by sweaty feet or generally poor foot hygiene where the skin breaks down, allowing the infection in.
Aagh! It itches like hell! What can I do?
Don’t scratch it! Scratching the area can make the skin more sore and can cause a wound, increasing the possibility of a secondary bacterial infection.
Can I pass it on to my family?
Athlete's Foot is infectious, so it is probably best not to share towels, shoes and socks while it is active, just in case.
How can I get rid of it?
Fortunately, the Athlete’s Foot fungus is very vulnerable to modern anti-fungal medications and a short course of medication applied to the skin usually fixes it. It is important to practice good foot hygiene however to stop it recurring.
How can a Podiatrist help?
A Podiatrist can help by taking a full medical history to ensure there are no complicating factors, such as Diabetes or a weakened immune system, followed by prescription of a suitable anti-fungal medication with advice on ongoing foot hygiene to ensure it stays away!
I have a small favour to ask you.
I produce these blogs for the benefit of the running community and I want as many runners as possible to benefit from these. It would really help me if you could take a moment to share these articles with your friends on social media and any relevant groups or forums that you may be subscribed to.
Please feel free to post any questions and comments if these blog post raise any issues for you. Thanks from a fellow runner!