Basketball & Athlete
Athletes foot does not restrict itself to just athletes but it is more common in males than females. Some 75% of all American guys will in fact suffer from this infection at some time in their lives and basketball players will definitely be included in this statistic. It is also thought that some people are genetically predisposed to the fungus while it is likely that once you have had athletes foot, you are more likely to get a repeat infection.
The signs and symptoms of athlete's foot are mainly of a rash on the skin of the foot or the skin between your toes can burn and itch. The skin may also peel and crack. There are three main types of athletes foot with each type affecting different parts of the foot and each having a unique appearance.
- Toe web infection usually occurs between the fourth and fifth toes when the skin becomes scaly, peels and cracks. There may be an infection with bacteria which can cause the skin to break down even more.
- Moccasin type infection could start with a little soreness on the foot, before the skin on the bottom or heel of your foot becomes thicker and cracked. In severe cases, the toenails get infected and can thicken, crumble and even fall off. Fungal infection in toenails needs separate treatment.
- Vesicular type infection is the third main type and usually begins with a sudden outbreak of fluid-filled blisters under the skin and usually on the bottom of the foot although they can appear anywhere on your foot. A bacterial infection is also possible with this type of athlete's foot.
While many basketball players experience water blisters, some of these are unrelated to friction but instead caused by athlete's foot along with peeling and red skin that itches or stings. Prevention measures for basketball players should include wearing properly-fitted shoes and socks, washing and drying feet after play thoroughly, changing socks often and letting feet "breathe" by wearing open-toed shoes or going barefoot once off the court and out of the locker room. This contagious condition could easily be spread by walking barefoot in that warm and damp locker room, shower or gym.
When choosing basketball shoes, make sure the shoes are well ventilated so that feet can get some air because basketball can be the cause of lots of sweat, particularly in the feet. Well ventilated shoes will typically have meshed linings to enable any air to reach the feet. Look after your basketball shoes by saving them just for the game and practise sessions only. When not wearing them, your basket ball shoes should be kept in a dry place that is well ventilated. That means not in a damp basement nor in the trunk of your car. When buying new basketball shoes, go shopping at the end of the day when your feet are at their largest and take the same type of socks with you (that you wear to play in) to try on with the new shoes.
Playing basketball can be hard on the feet and sweaty socks only make things worse. Moisture is the enemy of healthy feet creating many problems and fueling the growth of odor-causing bacteria and fungal conditions of the skin, including athletes foot and nail fungus. Look for healthy natural sports socks that can repel or at least absorb moisture.
Once a player becomes aware of the presence of athletes foot, it is very important to start treatment immediately along with other home care measures, remembering that athletes foot spreads easily to others. You can even spread the condition to others even if you don't get the infection yourself. Topical medications (including natural athletes foot treatments) are usually effective and successful if used properly and applied without interruption until all the symptoms have completely disappeared.