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A foot itch can be an inconvenient thing. Being stuck in a meeting, on a date, driving in traffic or pretty much doing anything where you can’t take the time to stop and scratch your foot if it starts itching is a real nuisance. But how do you know whether it’s just a passing itch, or possibly a case of athletes foot? You’ll want to know because if it is Athletes Foot you don’t want to waste much time in treating it. Here are 5 common ways to tell if you might have Athletes Foot.
What is Athlete’s Foot?
Before you can treat anything, you need to understand what it is. So what exactly is athlete’s foot? As the name implies, it impacts those who are typically active. Whether you are an athlete or not, if you are constantly moving around and are wearing shoes that are not designed for that movement, then athlete’s feet is something that you may deal with.
Essentially, athletes foot is a fungal infection. It is known in the medical community as tinea pedis. This fungal infection will typically appear between the toes but it can happen on the sides of your feet and even the front of your foot as well. The major cause of athlete’s foot is having your feet become excessively sweaty and confined in a shoe that does not promote breathability. Typically, you will find that shoes that are ill fitting will be the number one reason for developing athlete’s foot. Also, if you are in that ill fitting show for an extended period of time, you will be susceptible to athlete’s foot as well.
Once it is developed, Athlete’s foot must be taken care of rather quickly. If it is not, a scaly rash will develop soon after. This rash is one that can blister up, and in extreme cases puss up and cause excessive pain.
Lastly, because it is a fungal infection, you can expect that if gone untreated, a foul odor can come from your feet.
1. Cracking, Peeling, and Scaling
Athletes Foot can be difficult to catch sometimes because it doesn’t always show symptoms at first. However, if you appear to be suffering from extreme dry skin on your feet, if the skin is cracking and peeling off in sheets like scales, then that’s a pretty good sign that you might have Athletes Foot. If that’s the case and lotions just don’t seem to be doing the trick, then your best bet is probably to seek out treatment for Athletes Foot right away.
There are plenty of over the counter preventative measures products you can use to help stop athlete’s foot before it begins. Some of these may include high moisture lotions that help prevent the dry skin from cracking. Other times, you may want to use a type of talcum powder that you can sprinkle in your shoe to help soak up any excess moisture that develops when you are out and about.
Before you make a doctor’s visit, you will typically be able to take care of the beginning states of athlete’s foot before it develops into anything more serious.
2. Infected Toe Webs
There are different types of Athletes Foot infections. The one most commonly experienced is toe web infection, where the skin turns pale and moist between the toes, followed by severe itching and burning. You’ll know if you have it, and you’ll want to treat it quickly because left unattended the infection will begin to worsen with severe skin peeling, the possibility of bacterial infection, and the type of foot odor that is going to keep anyone from wanting to rub your feet anytime soon. If you are experiencing these kinds of symptoms seek treatment immediately.
There is also a type Athletes Foot condition medically referred to as Vesicular Infection. It’s relatively rare, but definitely one of the nastiest varieties. It starts with a profusion of blisters filled with fluid swelling up underneath the skin. Their known to pop up in multiple parts of the foot, including on the heel, the in-step, in between the toes, on the soles of your feet or even on the top of the foot.
As with some other versions of Athletes Foot, blisters present a risk for bacterial infection. What’s even worse about this Vesicular Infection is that its symptoms are known to spread to the hands, fingers, and even the chest. Having this kind of Athletes Foot is one of the least pleasant experiences you’ll ever have. Odds are, though, that if you have it, then you’re not waiting for anyone to tell you that you need to get help.
4. Moccasin Foot
One distinctive form of Athletes Foot results in a thickening of the skin on the heel of the foot, as well as the sole of the foot and even of the toe nails. When it has advanced to this stage the skin on the foot will begin to peel and crack severely, with the nails falling out or crumbling. The condition begins, however, with a similar irritation, dryness, itching and burning that characterizes other kinds of Athletes Foot infections. Even if you experience these initial symptoms beginning to take shape, do the smart thing and don’t wait to see what sort of malady it develops into before seeking relief.
5. Rashes and Redness
If you are seeing rashes and severe, ongoing redness on your feet, those are also likely signs of Athletes Foot. Even if they do not seem severe, it is better to have them looked at or to try treating them before they worsen. As we’ve seen, relatively minor symptoms can progress into very ugly conditions if they are not taken care of before long, so do not spend too much time wondering what exactly it might be. One thing that makes the mild, early symptoms of Athletes Foot dangerous is that when they are not that bad people get lulled into the idea that they can ignore with them. That’s definitely not a good thing.
Athletes Foot of all kinds are fungal infections. They tend to occur when the feet are exposed to warm, moist environments like gyms, locker rooms, etc. If you know that your feet have been exposed to that kind of environment and you being suffering any of these kinds of symptoms, that’s a pretty good clue. Keep your feet (and the rest of you) washed and cleaned, and be on the lookout for any sign that Athletes Foot might be trying to put you on the disabled list.