Once again adding to my prior posts regarding this topic, I am discussing prevention of foot problems that we commonly see an increase of during the summer months. Once again, there are several common foot conditions that we see year round that become somewhat more prevalent during the summer months, for various reasons.
Today, I will discuss athlete’s foot infection. This infection is due to invasion of the foot skin by fungus, a microorganism similar to bacteria that is found everywhere. Fungus and related yeasts and molds are well known by their larger family members, including mushrooms. The kinds of fungus that infect humans are microscopic. There are a few species that take a liking to warm, dark, moist parts of the body. These include skin folds, the groin area, as well as the bottom of the feet and in between the toes. The resulting infection by these fungal species causes red, scaling, irritated skin that can itch and can also be blistery. It can easily pass from person to person, especially through contact with moisture and moist skin, such as seen in showers and locker rooms.
While athlete’s foot fungus is fairly easy to treat, it is a nuisance infection, and if present long term can spread to the toenails where it causes a much harder to treat infection. Preventing the infection is possible if one avoids direct contact with moist surfaces in shared bathing and changing areas. Shower shoes can help prevent spreading this condition, both for those wanting to prevent it and those with the condition. If one does develop the common symptoms associated with athlete’s foot, prompt treatment can help keep this condition from becoming chronic, and place family members at less risk for developing the infection. Fungus cannot be outright avoided, as it is found in multiple sources and some people may simply be more genetically likely to get the infection, but simple avoidance measures and early treatment of developing infections can help.
I will continue this discussion next post.