It’s not always the most comfortable topic to talk about but everybody should know about athlete’s foot. The reason is that it is a very simple condition to treat and so understanding it better helps to reduce the suffering that comes along with it. There are a number of options available to a person who suffers from athlete’s foot. Many pharmaceutical products work very well but they do have the potential to cause side effects. Natural products don’t produce any major side effects but they aren’t as well studied as pharmaceutical products. It isn’t necessarily saying they aren’t as effective, but customers should just be aware that some manufacturers of natural products don’t include researched ingredients.
Natural products aren’t as strictly regulated as pharmaceutical companies so customers should really try to choose the right manufacturer. Customer Review is a website that analyzes natural products systemically to help customers decide which one is the best for them.
Athlete’s foot is an infection caused by a group of fungi known as dermatophytes. The fungi, or it’s spores, end up on the skin through contact directly with an infected person or with a surface that an infected person has touched. Once they are on the skin they attach and release a whole host of digestive proteins that break down the skin to provide nutrients to the fungus. This causes a whole cascade of discomfort for the affected person.
Once the person has the infection, wearing closed shoes for long periods of time as people do nowadays because of long office hours, provides the fungus with a warm and moist environment to enhance its growth. In a few days, the person starts to feel the signs of the infection. An athlete’s foot infection is not too serious but it can have complications and does affect people with different health statuses differently.
It is difficult for researchers to say how common athlete’s foot is because everyone is at about the same risk for catching it. It does affect men more than women and older people more than younger people. People are at greater risk of catching the infection if they spend a lot of time in locker rooms or at public swimming pools because those are prime breeding grounds for fungus. Interestingly, scientists have found that there is a genetic predisposition. People who have skin allergies and particularly sweaty feet are more at risk of contracting the infection as well.
The bottom line is that just about anyone can get athlete’s foot though and it is important to look out for the symptoms and catch it early so that it is easier to treat.
The symptoms of athlete’s foot are quite easy to identify and make the diagnosis quite clear. That is to say the set of symptoms don’t generally suggest any other sort of skin condition. The main symptoms of athlete’s foot are:
Itching on the foot and between the toes
Flaky and red skin, that may become thick and white in a long-term infection
The skin may become cracked
People with poor circulation sometimes develop blisters and ulcers
The best thing to do is to identify the infection early and intervene. As mentioned earlier there are pharmaceutical creams and powders that can be used as well as natural ointments. The pharmaceutical products contain compounds that have been registered as a drug that is needed for a skin infection. Some athlete’s foot creams also include anti-inflammatory compounds.
The ingredients in natural remedies vary quite substantially, but many of the better ones use some essential oils and natural sources of anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. Top supplements also contain a natural compound called undecylenic acid.
On top of using these products it is suggested to keep your feet clean and try to limit the wearing of closed shoes for long periods of time. Another important aspect is prevention. Experts suggest that wearing flip-flops or sandals in the public locker rooms and swimming pools can reduce fungal contact. It is also a good idea not to share towels. It might also help to have various pairs of shoes which you rotate between.