Scratching Out Athlete’s Foot

Submitted by SharpHealth Team on Monday 11th October 2010
In this article
  • What is athlete’s foot?
  • What causes athlete’s foot?
  • How to avoid athlete’s foot.

Ever have an itch on your foot that makes you think about shoving your leg in the freezer? Ever try it? Before you start compromising the ecosystems of major household appliances, check out the facts about athlete’s foot and other steps you can take:

What is Athlete’s Foot?

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that begins in your toes and works its way up to other parts of your feet, and sometimes up your legs. It is characterized by itchy, scaly, irritated skin and thick, white nails — not a great look for summer.

What Causes Athlete’s Foot?

The athlete’s foot fungus develops when feet are exposed to moisture over some period of time. The most common cause is a SharpMan’s failure to let his shoes air out between wearings.

Is Athlete’s Foot Dangerous?

Athlete’s foot is more painful and unsightly than it is dangerous. The itchiness caused by the infection forces most SharpMen to scratch until their toes bleed. The resulting open sores heal slowly and are often exacerbated by further scratching. In this way, athlete’s foot spreads from one foot to the other and to other parts of the body. If left untreated, SharpMen can expect to develop scar tissue on their feet and loose portions of or whole toenails.

How Can Athlete’s Foot be Avoided?

The best way to avoid athlete’s foot is to avoid the circumstances under which it develops. A chief cause is remnant moisture in the inner leather lining of your shoes. Make a point of changing shoes as often as practicable, giving each pair a chance to dry. When you take off your shoes, don’t stuff your socks back into them. Instead, place the shoe in a well-ventilated area. For dress shoes, purchase and use cedar shoetrees. Quality shoetrees help absorb moisture and sustain the shape of your dress shoes. For athletic shoes, loosen the shoelaces and pull the tongues out, thereby exposing the interior to light and air.

Bathing is also a good idea. When you wash your feet, make a point of cleaning between the toes with soap and water. Then thoroughly dry your feet and the spaces between your toes. If you suspect that you’ve developed athlete’s foot, see a podiatrist, who can prescribe anti-fungal medication to control the fungus and the itching. In extreme circumstance, your doctor may recommend nail surgery.

This article last updated on Monday 11th October 2010
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