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Athlete’s Foot

Although athlete’s foot may look like a rash or even an allergic reaction, it’s actually an infection of the feet caused by fungus. Because athlete’s foot could be mistaken for other conditions, it’s important to know all the possible signs and symptoms of this particular type of fungal infection. The most common symptoms of athlete’s foot are:athletes feet

  • Cracked or extremely dry skin on heels, soles or sides of your feet
  • Peeling, scaling or flaking skin in between the toes or on the side of your feet
  • Red, itchy skin anywhere on the feet
  • Painful burning or stinging feeling on the skin
  • Oozing blisters
  • Toenails which become thick, discolored or crumbly

Your skin has two types of itch nerve receptors, A-Delta nerves that produce the sharp, pricking pain of a needle and type C nerves that cause itching, burning, stinging sensations and inflammation. Irritants such as chemicals, allergens or insect bites easily activate type C nerves.

The fungal infection causing Athlete’s foot may spread to other areas of the body and is known by a different name after spreading to another region. For example, the infection may be known as tinea corporis when the body or limbs are affected or tinea cruris (jock itch or dhobi itch) when the groin is affected. Athlete’s foot most often manifests between the toes, with the space between the fourth and fifth digits most commonly afflicted.

There are several lifestyle modifications that can be practiced to prevent Athlete’s foot. Effective preventive measures include keeping the feet dry, using socks made of synthetic materials designed to remove moisture, wearing well ventilated footwear, changing socks frequently, and wearing sandals while walking through communal areas such as gym showers and locker rooms.

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