What Is Athlete’s Foot?
Athlete’s foot is a very common fungal infection which will affect up to 70% of people at some point in their lives. It is easily picked up from surfaces in damp communal environments like public showers or swimming baths, or by direct contact. The good news is that it is quite straight-forward to treat. The bad news is that it will not go away by itself and if untreated it can spread and eventually cause a nail infection.
Athlete’s Foot: The Symptoms
Athlete’s foot affects the area between your toes, and also the soles (underside) and sides of your feet. To treat it, firstly you should be sure that what you have is athlete’s foot, and not damaged skin or a skin condition. Typical symptoms include:
- Itchy patches of white skin between your toes
- Cracked and bleeding skin
- Sore, red and flaky patches of skin
How To Treat Athlete’s Foot
Often, athlete’s foot seems to go away, and then comes back. This is because, as a fungus, it can lie dormant for a period before resurfacing. So you need to ensure that you use the treatment for long enough to kill off the athlete’s foot completely, usually for a few more weeks even after all visible signs of infection have vanished. We stock a range of treatment-strength skin care products: anti-fungal creams, lotions and solutions which will clear and remove athlete’s foot:
- Do not feed the beast! Athlete’s foot is a skin fungus, and while skin can become flakey it isn’t the same as dry and hard skin. If you moisturise the affected area, you are actually just feeding the fungus with the fat content found in moisturers!
How To Avoid Athlete’s Foot
If you have ever had this pernicious little fungus, then you will be glad to know that there are things you can do to prevent it coming back. The first thing is your general health; your body will try to fight off infections like athlete’s foot, and the healthier your body is then the harder your immune system will fight for you! In sickness and in health, try to rest well, eat well, and look after your body.
As well as looking after yourself, you can take extra care to keep your feet dry. This is especially important in an environment where athlete’s foot may be present, and always wear clean socks. We stock anti-bacterial socks to give you an extra assist by preventing contamination and the spread of infection, and they are suitable for adults and children. Our great range of sprays, powders, creams, and even mousse and bath salts will help you keep your feet extra healthy and help stop athlete’s foot returning.
What To Not Do
Try to avoid catching and spreading athlete’s foot with good hygiene and some common sense. If possible, do not walk barefoot in areas where it is likely to be spread, for example by wearing flip-flops when you go to the swimming baths. Dry your feet carefully and gently, including between and under your toes. Don’t share a towel with someone else, and always use a clean and dry towel. Do not change your socks over from foot to foot, as this can spread the fungus from one foot to another, and be sure to change your socks every day. Try to wear different pairs of shoes through the week and not the same pair for more than two days in a row.
Finally, if you are diabetic or have a weakened immune system, you need to see your GP rather than trying to treat it yourself.