Myths and Facts about Athlete's Foot

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that affects the skin of the foot region. It is also known as ring worm infection or Tinea Pedis caused by a dermatophyte. This fungus can thrive well in a warm and moist condition; hence, wearing inadequately ventilated footwear like shoes may cause this infection. It results in peeling of the skin in the sole and toe web regions of the foot. When it affects the sole, it may manifest as reddish blisters.

There are certain commonly held myths of this fungal infection of the foot. Read them to find the actual facts.

Myth: It Affects Only Athletes

Fact: It is commonly believed that only athletes get this infection due to its name. However, this is absolutely false as anyone can get it and not all athletes suffer from this infection. The name came about due to its prevalence among athletes. Their rigorous training session causes the foot to remain in a warm and moist condition, and thus they get infected. Since all athletes use the same showering floor, the infection easily spreads from one person to another.

Myth: It's a Harmless Infection Requiring No Treatment

Fact: As this is a superficial infection causing the peeling of skin without any pain, it is commonly believed that it is a harmless infection. However, when left untreated, this ring worm infection can spread and become more severe. Over a period of time, it can lead to an aggressive bacterial infection in those areas of peeled skin. Hence, it has to be treated by taking medication for a specified period of time.

Myth: Cannot be Eliminated

Fact: Once infected by the dermatophytes, people are under impression that the condition cannot be eliminated completely. However, with proper medication, the condition can be eliminated from the body system. Depending on the severity of the infection, the duration of the medicine course may be short or prolonged.

Myth: Treatment Stops with Disappearance of Symptoms

Fact: People taking medicines for athlete’s foot generally stop taking the medicines as soon as the symptoms disappear. But, in reality, they should complete the course of the medication as otherwise there might be a return of the infection.

Myth: Contact Causes Infection

Fact: Coming in contact with a person affected by the athlete’s foot will not always lead to ring worm infection. Depending on the body’s immune system, the reaction occurs. However, it is better to take proper foot care after coming in contact with the fungus.

Myth: Wearing Shoes Causes Athlete’s Foot

Fact: This is false, as shoes with good ventilation will never create a moist or warm condition. By taking simple foot care steps like wearing cotton socks, wearing washed socks everyday and drying the foot after washing or bathing will keep the infection at bay.

In order to prevent the attack of any type of fungus on the skin, you have to follow a strict hygiene regimen regularly. So, with proper foot care, athlete’s foot can be controlled. However, if you feel you have got the infection, it is wise to consult a dermatologist and start medication in order to avoid complications.

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