Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, is an infection caused by fungi. It causes intense itching, cracked skin, scaliness, and burning sensations on the feet, and in some cases, it can cause blisters. Because athlete's foot can cause significant foot pain, you may need to see your doctor for treatment.
Men are more likely than women to get this fungal infection, and other risk factors may include wearing tight shoes, sharing shoes or socks with someone who has athlete's foot, and walking barefoot in locker rooms. The following systemic illnesses may also raise your risk for fungal infections of the foot.
If you are a diabetic, then you may be at a higher risk of developing fungal infections of the foot than someone without diabetes. Fungi thrive in the bodies of those who have high levels of blood glucose, so if you have diabetes, disease management is important to make sure that your blood sugar levels remain within normal limits.
Not only can diabetes raise your risk for fungal infections of the feet, but it can also heighten your risk for oral fungal infections such as candidiasis. If you have diabetes and experience peeling skin or a scaly rash between your toes, or if the skin on your feet burns or itches, see your foot doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will recommend an over-the-counter antifungal medication, however, your fungal infection is not responsive to over-the-counter antifungals, your doctor may prescribe a stronger medication.
People who have compromised immune systems are also more likely to develop athlete's foot. They may also be more likely to develop severe symptoms and be resistant to antifungal treatment.
If your immunity is suppressed because of a serious illness or as a result of taking immunosuppressant drugs, your doctor may recommend that you eat nutrient-dense foods and take a vitamin C supplement.
It is essential that those will poor immune function dry their feet well after showering or bathing because wet feet are hospitable environments for fungal growth. Using an over-the-counter anti-fungal powder will also help prevent athlete's foot from developing in those people who are immunocompromised. After drying your feet, sprinkle the powder on the tops and soles of your feet and between your toes.
If you have symptoms of athlete's foot, make an appointment with your doctor. The sooner your condition is diagnosed and treated, the more likely you will be to enjoy faster healing.
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