What’s foot fungus?

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Foot fungus, also known as athlete’s foot, is caused by a microscopic fungus that thrives in warm, moist areas. Symptoms include itching, peeling, and blisters. Prevention includes good hygiene and keeping feet and shoes dry, while treatment involves over-the-counter or prescription medications.

Foot fungus is a contagious disease caused by a microscopic fungus, the symptoms of which can include itching and peeling of the feet and toes. The fungus that causes this common problem thrives in warm, moist areas, making feet a prime target. Some people are more likely than others to get foot fungus, and the problem can occur more frequently in people whose feet remain hot and sweaty for long periods of time. It is also commonly known as athlete’s foot and is also sometimes referred to as ringworm of the feet.

Usually foot fungus will start to develop between the toes before spreading to the arch, sole, heel and the rest of the foot. Sometimes it will make the bottoms of your feet red, scaly, and flaky. In some extreme cases, foot fungus will also cause blisters. When it spreads to different parts of the body other than the feet, it becomes known as ringworm.

The best way to prevent athlete’s foot is through good hygiene and keeping your feet and shoes cool and dry. It is important to know that foot fungus can thrive and be easily transmitted in humid environments shared by many people such as locker rooms or showers. Therefore, it is vital to keep feet particularly clean when subjected to a high traffic environment and to wear footwear such as sandals in public facilities. It can also be prevented in the home by using disinfectants to clean common areas, keeping towels dry and laundered, and not sharing items such as socks and towels.

Once a foot fungus has contracted, it’s usually relatively easy to treat it with over-the-counter medications designed to kill the fungus. If your toenails become infected, however, it may be more difficult to prevent athlete’s foot from recurring. In particularly long-lasting or extreme cases, someone should seek out a doctor who can prescribe more potent medications to treat the ailment. For someone with repeating symptoms special measures will need to be taken such as keeping the feet dry with talcum powder or keeping them medicated to prevent another relapse.

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