Athlete’s foot is a relatively common fungal infection of the skin which causes discomfort that usually affects in between the toes or on the sole of the foot.
Athlete’s foot is caused by dermatophytes which thrive in places such as the inside of shoes. This environment is dark, warm and moist which is the perfect environment for fungal infections to thrive. At its least severe, athletes’ foot can be mildly itchy but at its worse it can cause discomfort. As it causes changes in the structure of the skin, it can make the skin flake, peel or split. Itching the skin can increase the likelihood of the skin splitting which can then lead to a secondary infection and further discomfort. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the surrounding areas and the nails.
If you do have athlete’s foot, you should ensure you do not share towels and socks with others. To remove any fungal residue, towels and socks should be washed regularly. To allow your feet to breathe and prevent an infection from developing, you should wear fresh socks and hosiery every day.
Although this is a very common foot condition, people are often embarrassed when suffering with athlete’s foot which can be easily diagnosed and treated effectively.
There are many off the shelf treatments for athlete’s foot available, but if symptoms persist or provide discomfort, you should have a podiatrist take a look.