Not everybody who gets athlete’s foot is an athlete. This itchy foot condition earned that title because athletes often offer the fungus a perfect breeding environment and many sports enthusiasts suffer from this infection. So what is it, how do you get it, and how do you get rid of it?
Defining Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot is a fungus that likes to live on feet. The technical name is tinea pedis. Anyone is susceptible to attack no matter your age, gender, or activity level. If you suffer from candida or have a weakened immune system, you are especially vulnerable to this fungal infection.
The symptoms of athlete’s foot include intense itching, especially between your toes. The skin involved becomes red and scaly and may even crack and blister. These symptoms can be mild or severe. The rash may take on a moldy look and spread across the soles of your feet. As the infection progresses it may move into your toenails, causing them to grow thick, yellowish, and crumbly. You may develop athlete’s foot on your hand as well.
What Causes Athlete’s Foot
Fungus love warm, dark, damp surroundings and human feet bundled up in socks and tight shoes offer ideal growing conditions. Many people get the bug first by walking barefoot in public places like pools, gyms, or showers. The fungus climbs on your feet and settles in between the toes, living off the dead skin cells there. Then you cover your feet up with shoes and socks, making the area warm and dark. Your feet then sweat and provide the moisture the fungus needs to grow.
Treatment for Athlete’s Foot
There are a variety of treatments available for athlete’s foot. You may choose to get a prescription for an anti-fungal treatment or select an over the counter option. Many home remedies are also effective: Here are a few you can try.
- Yogurt rubbed on the affected areas helps relieve the symptoms and the probiotics in the yogurt weaken the fungus. This is a cool, soothing treatment that may be applied as frequently as desired.
- Soak your feet in a mixture of equal parts apple cider vinegar and water. Do this for about 20 minutes twice a day. The vinegar is acidic and will help kill the fungus.
- Keep your feet clean and dry. Wear cotton socks to absorb sweat and sprinkle powder in your shoes. Choose shoes that are made from natural fibers because they are more breathable.
- Always protect your feet in public places by wearing shower thongs or shoes.
- Follow a healthy diet that limits fungi feeding foods such as refined sugars and flours.
The fungus that causes athlete’s foot has a cousin called Candida albicans. Skin conditions such as athlete’s foot are just one symptom that you may be suffering from candida overgrowth. Candida, or candidiasis, causes numerous symptoms that can be both uncomfortable and dangerous. Why not take a closer look at candida information and discover if you have any other symptoms?