Can I have Athlete’s Foot even if I am not an athelete?
What is it?
Athletes foot is actually a term used to describe a fungal infection present in the feet. It is also known as tinea pedis. The fungus is a dermatophyte called Trichophyton. This fungus can affect any other part of the body (which then have different names for each part) such as your body, hands, hair and nails.
How do I get infected ?
The fungus is usually present on the skin surface, however it takes certain conditions for it to affect your feet. Conditions that helps it thrive are moist and warm, just like any condition that helps fungus grow in your house. Other ways that one can get affected are through direct (skin contact with someone who has it), indirect contact (contact with personal belongings such as towel, carpet, bed sheets, clothing, socks and shoes) or swimming pools and communal showers. If you have a weakened immune system or diabetes, there’s a higher risk of infection.
Signs & Symptoms:
While most of the time, one can just get over-the-counter (OTC) medications for it. Generally, topical antifungal treatment is applied once or twice daily for 4 weeks. People who have a weakened immune system or diabetes should see a doctor. If it does not get better with OTC medications, consult a doctor as well, most times there is a secondary bacterial infection on top of the fungal infection. Examples of OTC medications are: terbinafine 1%, miconazole 2%, clotrimazole 1%.
How can I prevent it from occurring?
Remove shoes immediately after exercise
Change your socks once it is damp
Wash your hands after touching the affected area
Always keep your feet dry and clean
Wear cotton socks
Wash bed sheets and towels regularly
Don’t wear thick and tight shoes - squeezing your toes together is not exactly a good idea as the fungus usually grows between one’s toes.
Don’t wear plastic shoes
Do not share personal belongings such as towels or even footwear
Do not walk barefoot in locker rooms or swimming pool facilities
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