Athletes Foot: Athlete’s Foot (Tinea Pedis) is an infection of the feet caused by fungus – the medical term is tinea pedis. It may last for a short or long time and may come back after treatment.
Causes, Incidence, and Risk Factors: Athlete’s foot occurs when a certain fungus grows on your skin in your feet. In addition to the toes, it may also occur on the heels, palms, and between the fingers. Athlete’s foot is the most common type of tinea fungal infections. The fungus thrives in warm, moist areas. Athlete’s foot is contagious, and can be passed through direct contact, or contact with items such as shoes, stockings, and shower or pool surfaces. Other risk factors include closed shoes especially if made of plastic, therefore wear shoes made of leather or mess and cotton socks to allow the feet to breath. Keeping ones feet wet for long periods of time. Excessive sweating of the feet. Injuries to the skin and toenails which can allow athletes foot to take hold.
Symptoms: The most common symptoms are cracking, flaking, peeling skin between the toes, bottom and sides of the foot. In addition one may experience red and itching skin, burning and stinging pain, and blisters that ooze and become crusty. If the fungus spreads to your nails, they can become discolored, thick, and even crumble. Athlete’s foot may occur at the same time as other fungal skin infections such as ringworm or jock itch.