Athlete Foot the Equal Opportunity Fungus

Athlete Foot has been largely a male problem for ages, so much so that women get downright shocked and offended when they are diagnosed with it.‚ If doctors had named it Dirty Bathroom Floor Disease or Motel Room Nightmare, women might have been better sports.‚ But for years this condition was thought to be incubated and nurtured in ill kept locker rooms or fermented in Fraternity House caldrons.‚ How could a lady get that?

Because ladies, we are busting down doors and barriers left and right these days.‚ And as those walls tumble, women swim, race, participate in sports, travel, and conduct interviews in locker rooms all over the country.‚ And guess what?‚ We get athlete foot as often as men.

So what is this thing?‚ Where does it come from?‚ According to Revolution Health, Athlete Foot comes from, ¢‚¬Å“A group of mold-like fungi called dermatophytes causes athlete’s foot. These organisms sprout tendril-like extensions that infect the superficial layer of the skin. In response to this fungal growth, the basal layer of the skin produces more skin cells than usual. As these cells push to the surface, the skin becomes thick and scaly. Most often, the more the fungi spread, the more scales your skin produces, causing the ring of advancing infection to form.

The organisms that cause athlete’s foot thrive in damp, close environments created by thick, tight shoes that can pinch the toes together and create warm, moist areas between them. Damp socks and shoes increase the risk. Warm, humid conditions that promote heavy sweating favor its spread.

The fungus is carried on fragments of skin or other particles that contaminate floors, mats, rugs, bed linens, clothes, shoes and other surfaces. Plastic shoes in particular provide a welcoming environment for fungal growth and infection. Person-to-person contact is another means of transmission. Even household pets can pass along fungal infections. Although transmission can occur within a household, the infection is more commonly passed along in public areas – locker rooms, saunas, swimming pools, communal baths and showers. Not everyone who carries the fungus develops signs and symptoms of athlete’s foot.

Although it occurs primarily in adults, athlete’s foot can affect children. Men are more likely than women to develop athlete’s foot. Vulnerability probably involves a genetic component, but those who are known to be more vulnerable include people with weakened immune systems, for example, people with diabetes or HIV/AIDS.

If you have a rash on your foot that doesn’t improve or worsens after you’ve taken self-care steps, see your doctor. See someone sooner if you notice excessive redness, swelling, drainage or fever. In addition, if you have diabetes and suspect you have athlete’s foot, see your doctor.

Your doctor will want to determine if your signs and symptoms are caused by athlete’s foot or by another skin disorder, such as dermatitis or psoriasis. You’ll probably be asked about exposure to contaminated areas or contact with people who have athlete’s foot.

Your doctor may take skin scrapings or fluid samples from your foot to view under a microscope to identify a fungus. If the sample shows a fungus, an antifungal medication is the usual treatment. If the test is negative but your doctor still suspects that you have athlete’s foot, a sample may be sent to a laboratory to determine whether it will grow fungus under the right conditions. This test is known as a culture. Your doctor may also order a culture if your condition doesn’t respond to treatment.

The fungal infection can create an environment that invites a secondary bacterial infection. By producing an antibiotic substance, the fungus can kill off vulnerable bacteria and favor the overgrowth of hardier, resistant types. In turn, the bacteria release substances that can cause tissue breakdown – soggy skin and painful eroded areas between the toes.

After an episode of athlete’s foot, proteins might enter your bloodstream, leading to an allergic reaction that may cause an eruption of blisters on your fingers, toes or hands¢‚¬¦

These tips can help you avoid athlete’s foot or ease the symptoms if infection occurs:
¢‚¬¢‚ Keep your feet dry, especially between your toes. Go barefoot to let your feet air out as much as possible when you’re home.
¢‚¬¢‚ Go with natural materials. Wear socks that are made of natural material, such as cotton or wool, or a synthetic fiber designed to draw moisture away from your feet.
¢‚¬¢‚ Change socks and stockings regularly. If your feet sweat a lot, change your socks twice a day.
¢‚¬¢‚ Wear light, well-ventilated shoes. Avoid shoes made of synthetic material, such as vinyl or rubber.
¢‚¬¢‚ Alternate pairs of shoes. This allows time for your shoes to dry.
¢‚¬¢‚ Protect your feet in public places. Wear waterproof sandals or shower shoes in communal showers, pools, fitness centers and other public areas.
¢‚¬¢‚ Treat your feet. Use an antifungal powder daily.
¢‚¬¢‚ Don’t borrow shoes. Borrowing risks spreading a fungal infection.¢‚¬

Healing Leaf LLC has developed an athlete foot treatment that is powerful and effective.‚ It is called Fire Out!‚®‚ Try it.‚ And remember, it is just plain lady like these days to play hard, work hard and get a little case of athlete foot.‚ Got it? Get Fire Out!‚® and keep on keeping on.

Beverly Vines-Haines is the Marketing, Research and Text Coordinator for Healing Leaf LLC.‚ This is a company that tackles the toughest skin and nail conditions known to man.‚ A best-selling author for years before she became a part of Healing Leaf LLC, she is dedicated to natural healing and creating pure products that are both safe and earth friendly. To learn more about these effective products, visit


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