Athlete's foot is fungal infection which usually develops on the bottom of the feet and between the toes. It can cause severe itching and burning. There are 2 main types of fungal infections which cause athlete's foot.
Trichophyton Mentagrophytes is a very common type of athlete's foot and is easily treated. It begins between the toes where the skin is moist, and usually starts between the 4th and 5th toes. The skin becomes pale white and begins to itch. It can also cause burning and some odor to the feet. Althlete's foot can also cause blisters to form. The blisters will begin between the toes and will be filled with fluid. They can then spread onto the bottom and top of the foot. This type of athlete's foot can easily be treated an anti-fungal cream. Anti-fungal creams can be purchased over the counter.
Trichophyton Rubrum is also called moccasin-type athlete's foot. It begins on the bottom of the foot with minor irritation which can cause itching, burning, dryness and scaly skin on the sole and heel of the foot. It can then cause the skin to become rough and hard. The skin may then crack and peel. It can even infect the toenails. If it does infect the toenails, it can cause them to become brittle and fall off. This type of athlete's foot is harder to treat since it can be chronic. If you develop this type of athlete's foot you may need to see a doctor for treatment.
Public Showers and Sweat
Athlete's foot is also very contagious. The fungus grows in moist areas such as locker room's or public shower's. There are a number of ways to prevent getting athlete's foot. If you are in locker rooms or public showers, make sure to wear a pair of flip flops or water shoes while walking on the floor. Also, do not share towels with anyone. Make sure that if you do get a fungal infection make sure that you get treatment as soon as possible to prevent spreading it to another person.
Try to wear shoes which allow the feet to breath, and if your feet do sweat, try changing your socks throughout the day to prevent excess wetness. You can also place an anti-fungal foot powder inside your shoes to try to keep the feet dry. Washing your feet with an anti-fungal soap can help.
It can also be transferred from one person to another by sharing towels, shoes or socks. Animals can also carry athlete's foot and pass it to other animals or to humans.
Athlete's foot can cause severe itching and burning on the feet, which can be very uncomfortable. If you think that you have developed athlete's foot, talk to your doctor to determine the exact diagnosis. They can then either recommend an over-the-counter treatment or give you a prescription for an anti-fungal cream. Take the proper precautions to protect yourself from developing athlete's foot.