Does Athlete's Foot Happen More Often to Men?

Athlete's foot is a fungal infection of the skin and/or nails that occurs in most people at some point in their lives. However, one gender does tend to get the infection more often, although that is due largely to environmental tendencies and not a gender-specific disposition.

How the Fungal Infection Thrives

To understand why athlete's foot happens more often to one gender, you must understand how the fungal infection thrives. The fungus, which is contagious, breeds in moist areas. Sharing a wet towel with someone who has the infection or walking barefoot in moist areas frequented by people with the infection--such as a public gym or swimming pool--increases your risk of exposure.

Once you've been exposed to the fungus, frequently wearing socks and closed-toed shoes (particularly those not made of breathable materials), not changing your socks daily or whenever they're moist (including moisture from sweat), and not thoroughly drying your feet before putting socks increases the likelihood of you coming down with the infection.

Men Get the Infection More Frequently

Because as a whole, men practice behaviors that increase their likelihood of exposing themselves to athlete's foot and giving the fungus a hospitable environment in which to thrive, men tend to get the fungal infection more often than women. However, women who share these behaviors also have a high likelihood of contracting the infection, just as men who take precautions to prevent the infection have a much lower risk.

If you suspect that you have athlete's foot, make an appointment with your doctor or dermatologist. The infection is treatable with medications and preventative measures that keep your feet dry.

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