Athlete’s foot is a very common skin condition that affects the sole of the foot and the skin between the toes. It is usually a scaly, red, itchy eruption and occasionally may be weepy and oozing. It is often misunderstood as a problem affecting the feet of athletes. On the contrary, it attacks non-athletes as much.
Experts say there are a variety of fungi that cause athlete’s foot, and these can be contracted in different places like gyms, locker rooms, swimming pools, nail salons, airport security lines, and from contaminated socks and clothing. Some people are simply more prone to this condition while others seem relatively resistant to it. Another common name for this condition is “jungle rot,” often used by members of the armed services serving in tropical climates with high humidity.
Dermatologists point out, “The main culprit is the moisture on the skin. Sweaty feet are most vulnerable as the fungus thrives in warm moistness.”
Types of Athlete’s foot
There are three common types:
● Soles of the feet, also called “moccasin” type
● Between the toes, also called “interdigital” type
● Inflammatory type or blistering
In some cases, it is possible not to have any symptoms. However, common symptoms include various degrees of itching and burning. The skin may frequently peel, and in severe cases, there may be some cracking, pain, and bleeding as well.
Dr Sunil Mam, Consultant, Dermatologist, Fortis Hospital, Noida emphases that any symptom should not be neglected at any cost.
Jacqualine Tara Herron, Director The Imperial Spa and Salon says, “Treatments vary from applying neat Ti-tree oil to anti-fungal foot powder to the fungal area. A good preventative ritual is also to apply oils such as neem, olive or body butters. Washing the feet with soaps that contain these ingredients also helps.” Some other home remedies are:
● Every evening, soak your feet in cooled salt water for 10 minutes. You can also add lemongrass to the water.
● Soak your feet in vinegar mixed water. Add 1/4 cup of vinegar to 2 quarts of water. Do this every day for at least 2 weeks.
● Put some baking soda between the toes to keep them dry.
Dos & Dont’s
● Keep your feet dry.
● Scrub and keep the skin under the toenails clean and dry.
● Do not wear any footwear that traps perspiration. Plastic and rubber footwear is a strict no.
● Spray an anti-perspirant deodorant between your toes.
● Wear open sandals.