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Athlete's Foot

FootSmart Health Facts from The Podiatry Institute
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One of the most annoying, common, yet easily treated foot conditions is athlete's foot. Though often found between the fourth and fifth toes, athlete's foot can appear anywhere on the foot, and is contagious.

Causes:
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As the name suggests, the most common cause of athlete's foot is perspiration, meaning everyone – not just athletes – are susceptible. Wet feet trapped in closed-in shoes, socks and hose provide the perfect environment for the athlete's foot fungus, which thrives in warm, dark, moist climates.

Symptoms:
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Do your feet itch or burn? Do they feel like they're on fire? Also called tinea pedis, athlete's foot can result in red, burning, scaly, itchy feet, and usually appears as a scaling rash, making your feet feel like they're "on fire." Some strains can cause small blisters or fluid-filled vesicles to appear on inflicted areas.

Relief and Prevention:
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The best way to prevent against athlete's foot is to keep your feet dry. If you do get athlete's foot, however, careful hygiene and the regular use of anti-fungal creams and powders should alleviate symptoms.

Make sure you practice the following to guard against athlete's foot:

  • Wash feet with an anti-bacterial soap.
  • Dry feet well after showering or bathing.
  • Apply anti-fungal powders and creams to absorb excess moisture.
  • Change your socks often, especially after exercising or perspiring.
  • Wear rubber sandals when using public showers or pools, or when you go to the gym.

If the problem persists or reoccurs on a regular basis, recommends that you see a podiatrist to determine if the skin rash is due to another cause.

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