It is highly likely you have suffered from dry, itchy, peeling skin, and tiny irritating blisters in between your toes. Perhaps it just started as simply sweaty feat with stinking scent that bothers everyone when you remove your shoes. Perhaps you neglected it thinking it is because of wearing closed shoes for extended periods of time and thought that when you finally put on some open shoes, the condition will disappear on its own. There is reason to get concerned because you could be suffering from Tinea pedis, or simply athlete’s foot.
The web spaces in between the 3rd, 4th, and 5th toes are the most affected by the condition. On initial observation, you could describe the condition as a moist soft skin that peels off easily on scratching or rubbing and which then results to not-so-comfortable fissures or splits of the skin. Be advised that when you continuously neglect the condition with the hope that it will disappear on its own, your feet will turn from mildly inflamed to harshly inflamed, secondary to its close associate the stubborn bacterial infection.
So what causes athlete’s foot? It is a combination of several factors as there is no one single factor responsible for the condition. Very many factors apart from mould or fungal infection all work together to aggravate an otherwise sweaty environment into an itchy, irritating skin condition.
Putting on closed tight pair of shoes will contribute too much sweating meaning there would be moisture which is mostly worsened by humid climatic conditions and different physical activities. Moisture in itself is a platform for mould infection or multiplication of fungal.
There are also some predisposing factors of your medical history and lifestyle that could also put you at risk of acquiring the infection. Despite the name, the condition is not only limited to athletes, it affects everyone but mostly affects people who participate in sporting activities, or occupations that expect one to walk or stand for extended periods of time.
Not drying your feet, especially in between the toes after taking a shower, and subsequently putting on socks and shoes can also exacerbate the condition and lead to excessive moisture retention. If you have a metabolic condition that causes you sweat a lot could also put you at risk. Also, if you suffer from other skin conditions you could be more susceptible to getting affected.
How do you tell if you have the condition? Apart from identifying the abovementioned tell-tale signs, you need to consult a dermatologist in order to rule out any other underlying condition. Your doctor may recommend a series of laboratory tests to help determine the root cause of the problem and diagnose it accordingly. The treatment and cure for athlete’s foot should start with general measures such as ensuring you dry in between your toes, using foot powder, and putting on clean socks.
You should also ensure you wear loose shops especially around the edges, avoid walking bare footed, and with the recommendation of your doctor, use a topical anti-fungal agent. Keep in mind that fungal infections in the foot are very common but they are very much preventable. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure and as the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is much better than a pound of medication”