During the warm weather a lot of us look forward to enjoying the outdoors. We’ll cheerfully sport bare feet when we can.
But the freedom and comfort of bare feet comes with a caution for you and your family. Bare feet can leave you vulnerable to athlete’s foot.
What’s Athlete’s Foot?
Athlete’s foot is a fungus (a microorganism called tinea pedis) that grows on the feet. It’s commonly found in the spaces between the toes, but can spread to other parts of the foot or even areas on your body.
It’s important to know that anyone — including children — can get athlete’s foot. It’s only named that because athletes are routinely exposed to environments where the fungus can live and spread. You don’t need to be an athlete to get this annoying fungus.
It’s pretty easy to get athlete’s foot. Only two things need to happen to get it started:
If you touch the fungus, your fingers can transport the fungus to other body areas, such as the groin or underarms, so washing hands carefully after contacting an area affected by the fungus is important.
With athlete’s foot, you may notice:
Treatments include over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal creams. The creams may include medicines such as miconazole, clotrimazole, terbinafine or tolnaftate.
For cases that don’t respond to OTC treatments, see your health care professional or a podiatrist to discuss additional treatment options. Your provider may do a test called a KOH exam or take a skin culture or skin biopsy to check for fungus or yeast. The test will help in choosing the best treatment.
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