What is Athlete’s Foot?
Athlete’s foot is the fungal infection of the skin of the foot. It starts usually in between the toes and then spreads upwards.
It occurs mostly due to the continued wearing of tight shoes which do not allow air to circulate and leads to excessive sweating of the feet. Fungi easily grow in such areas where the skin is moist and warm and causes infection.
The fungal infection spreads easily. A person can get it even by a mere touch of the person’s feet who already have it. Also, a person can get the infection by walking barefoot in moist areas where there is the growth of fungus like around the swimming pools or in locker rooms. The infection can also spread by using the infected towels, clothes or shoes.
Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot usually starts in between the spaces of the toes and then spread upwards. It usually presents as red, scaling rash on the affected skin on the feet. The itching is very severe and starts when the person removes his shoes and socks.
The infection can involve one or both the feet and can also spread to the hands if the person scratches the affected areas again and again.
- Toe web infection:
- This type of fungal infection occurs usually between the 4th and the 5th The skin becomes pale, itchy, raw and dry. Cracks are present on the affected skin. Bacterial infection can also be present in the affected areas of the skin which leads to more and more skin damage.
- Moccasin type infection:
- The skin on the soles or heels gets affected. It is cracked and thickened. In severe cases, the toe nails are also affected. The nails become thickened, crumbled and may even fall out. There is severe dryness and scaling of the affected skin which spreads upwards from the sides of the feet. This type of fungal infection can be mistaken for eczema or ichthyosis.
- Vesicular type of infection
- This type of fungal infection usually starts with the sudden appearance of fluid-filled eruptions (blisters) under the skin. The blisters are usually present on the soles of the feet but it can also be present in other parts of the feet. Bacterial infection can also be present along with this type of fungal infection which causes more skin damage.
Causes of Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot is caused due to a fungal infection. The common causes that can favor the growth of the fungus on a person’s body are:
- Using damp socks and shoes or using tight fitting shoes which do not allow air to circulate. The warmth and dampness help the fungus to grow easily on the skin.
- Contact with an infected person or by using the clothes, towels or shoes already used by an infected person.
- Walking barefoot very often in moist and warm areas like around the swimming pools or in locker rooms.
- Persons with the weak immune system due to certain diseases like HIV-AIDS, cancers or after an organ transplant.
- If the person has had athlete’s foot in the past, then he is likely to get it again if he’s again exposed to the trigger factors.
Diagnosis of Athlete’s Foot
The diagnosis of athlete’s foot can be made by merely examining the affected skin. The patient may be asked a history of any previous episodes of athletes’ foot if he has had it in the past.
If the symptoms do not get better even after the treatment, small area of the affected skin is scraped off and sent or lab testing to see which fungus is causing the infection.
Sometimes a skin biopsy may be done to rule out other diseases.
The following measures can help to treat and prevent athlete’s foot:
- Proper cleaning and drying the feet
- Dry the areas between the toes after bathing or swimming.
- Use shoes or footwears which allow the feet to breathe.
- Wear socks which absorb the sweat from the feet. Change the socks at least twice in a day. Use clean washed socks.
- Allow the shoes dry and air at least for 24 hours before wearing it again.
- Wear shower sandals before going to swimming pools or using public bath.
Homoeopathic Management of Athlete’s Foot
Homoeopathic Medicines will help to reduce the itching and irritation. The causative factor will be eradicated completely and prevent relapses and improve the immunity of the person.
- Sticky fluid
- Eruptions are accompanied by an itching, burning and stinging sensation.
- The skin dry and rough.
- Circular eruptions hard to touch
- The eruptions in the folds break easily and are very slow to heal.
- The eruptions are accompanied by violent itching or burning.
- Athlete’s foot with needle pricking < Scratching
- Eruptions on the covered parts of the body with suppressed sweat.
- Patient exhausted and emaciated
- Athlete’s foot is associated with boils
- Boils coming out in crops along with foul pus on the feet and toes.
- Intense itching, especially during the daytime and evening.
- Every little injury suppurates.
- Irritable sensitive nature, nervousness and obstinate character.
- Oversensitive to cold
- Athlete’s foot occurs with intolerable itching.
- Burning sensation and needle-like pricks with violent itching.
- Excoriating and oozing athlete’s foot cases with difficulty in healing
- skin is cracked and rough. Deep cracks in the skin fold, especially in the toes.
- The skin gets hard and raw, and the cracks bleed easily.
- Thick greenish crusts with marked burning, itching, and bleeding
- For feet swollen and stiff.
- Burning in the toes with redness.
- Suppressed perspiration of the feet.
- Boils and swellings with stinging pains.
- For red, swollen; itching intensely.
- Burning eruptions with a tendency to scale formation.
- Inflammatory swelling of in step, sometimes with pustules on the part affected.
- Blistering, itching, rash, stinging, burning.
- The humidity of skin.