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Athletes Foot Causes

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The Causes of Athlete's Foot

Athlete's foot is a very common skin condition and many people will develop this at least once in their lives. Although it is more frequent among teenage and adult males, it can occur in women and in children under the age of twelve. Athlete's foot can be easily treated but it may recur if care is not taken to avoid this. So What causes athletes foot?

Athlete's foot, known as tinea pedis, is a fungal infection and like other fungal infections, it loves dark, moist and warm conditions. The tiny fungi grow and multiply on the human skin and especially the feet. A foot inside a shoe provides the perfect home for this condition and if left untreated, will continue to worsen leading to blisters and cracks that may result in infections.

This disease is very contagious and can be easily caught by walking barefoot particularly in areas used by the public such as gyms, locker rooms and showers. Sometimes this disease affects the toes, and especially then skin between the last two toes, which can peel and crack. Other times, people develop small patches of extremely itchy blisters or even dryness on the soles and along the sides of the feet. It may even lead to fungal infections of the toenails. The toenails can become badly damaged with scaling, crumbling and thickening and even their partial loss.

While it is not exactly known who is likely to contact athlete's foot, there are certain conditions that make it easy for the fungus to take hold such as sweaty feet as well as tight socks or shoes. Neglecting to dry your feet properly after swimming, exercising or washing can all help to make matters worse.

What about treatment?

Once the athlete's foot is diagnosed, treatment can begin immediately. It is very important with athlete's foot to continue such treatment to the end of the course as while your skin may look more normal, this infection can remain in your system for some time and could easily return if the treatment is halted too soon. If untreated, the athlete's foot can lead to secondary bacterial infections which could be more difficult to treat.

Go to our H-Athletes Foot page

Resources

*http://www.ucsf.edu.org

*http://www.familydoc.org




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