Athlete’s Foot : Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection that affects the spaces between the toes but it can also spread to the toe nails, sides and soles of the feet. The medical term for this infection is “tinea pedis”. It was derived from the word “tinea” which is a type of fungus and “pedis” which is the Latin word for foot. There are also other terms such as “dermatophytosis” and ringworm of the foot.
Among the many skin infection conditions that happen to our bodies, athlete’s foot is one of the most common occurrences of such skin infections. Most people will probably develop this particular skin infection for at least once or twice in their lifetime. Athlete’s foot can occur to teenagers, especially in adult males but it’s uncommon to children under the age of twelve and also to women in particular..
There are numerous sign and symptoms of athlete’s foot, although, you may not have them all if you’re infected with it. The common signs and symptoms are itchiness, stinging and burning sensation between the spaces of the toes particularly the last two toes of the foot. When the soles are also infected, you may also feel itching, stinging and burning sensations on the soles of your foot if one of them is only affected, the two feet if both are affected. You will also notice itchy blisters, cracking and peeling of the skin between your toes and also at the soles of your feet. The sides and the bottom of your feet will also experience excessive dryness and your nails will become thick and discolored which might already be pulling away from its nail bed.
The common cause of athlete’s foot is a group of nasty mold-like fungi which is called dermatophytes. The superficial layers of the skin are infected with the tendril-like sprout extensions of these nasty organisms. Because of the fungal growth the skin’s basal layer response is usually a production of more skin cells which results to skin thickness and scalier condition. The more the nasty fungi are spread the more the skin will produce more skin cells leading to more scales that makes the ring of scales advance wider and spreads the infection more. These nasty fungi that causes athlete’s foot lives, thrives and grows in moist and damp areas. The targets of these nasty fungi are tight shoes, sweaty socks and swimming pools.
Athlete’s foot should be taken care of once the symptoms are experienced and should not be at all ignored. Most of the time this skin condition is easily treatable with over-the-counters topical solutions or nonprescription medicinal ointments, antifungal creams, lotions, sprays or powders. Effective topical agents are Miconazole (Micatin), Clotrimazole (Lotrimin AF) and Terbinafine (Lamisil AT). This is only possible when the athlete’s foot is immediately taken care of.
In other cases where the athlete’s foot is already on it’s severe stage which is already resistant to treatments especially to antifungal topical solutions alone, prescription of oral medications are already necessary. Effective oral prescription medications are Terbinafine (Lamisil), Fluconazole (Diflucan) and Itraconazole (Sporanox).