Athlete’s Foot, or tinea pedis,  is a common fungal infection.  There are several fungi that can cause this condition, and we all have one or more of them present on our feet.  The fungi are usually harmless, feeding on dead skin.  But if a person does not take care of their feet properly, it can cause more of a foot problem. 

Athlete’s Foot is a contagious condition, and is usually picked up in communal changing rooms, or other damp areas.  It can also spread by skin to skin contact or even by towels under certain conditions.  It can spread easily if a person has trouble with sweaty feet, wears athletic shoes for too long, or does not dry their feet properly.  The fungus can grow between the toes, eating dead skin.

Athlete’s Foot can be identified by different symptoms, some depending on the degree the condition has advanced to.  It can start with an irritation and itchiness between the toes.  It can also present as a rash, or small pustules.  The skin can start to peel, as it gets worse, and may blister.  There can be a bad odor from the feet.  Cracks can develop between the toes.  The toenails can become infected, and may fall out over time.  The infection can spread around the foot, and to other parts of the body.

To treat, work on keeping feet dry and cool.  Use an over-the-counter powder, such as Tinactin.  Avoid areas that the condition can spread.  Work extra hard on keeping the feet dry by changing socks more often than usual, and drying feet several times a day.

This will usually take care of the problem.  A person suffering from Athlete’s Foot can also try treating their feet with a garlic or clove salve.  These are usually available at a health food store.  However, these may create a smell problem of their own, so use carefully.

Modification of the diet has been noted to help.  Eat fresh vegetables and lean protein.  Try adding some unsweetened yogurt to the diet, to add friendly bacteria to fight the fungus.  Avoid sugar and processed carbohydrates that will help the Athlete’s Foot to grow and thrive. 

A few simple changes to a person’s lifestyle are easily done if they have contracted this condition, but want to make sure they are not trouble by it again.  When in areas that a person may come contact with Athlete’s Foot fungi, make sure to wear some kind of footwear, and wipe and clean the feet and the footwear after exiting the areas.  Most of the diet modifications listed above to cure the condition are good for a person at any time, so consider making them a permanent part of the diet.

If a person takes care of the feet properly, even if they come in contact with the fungus, they should be able to prevent an infection from from growing and causing foot problems.  Athlete’s Foot. or tinea pedis,  needs the correct growing conditions to live, so be sure to keep the feet dry, change socks often, treat with powder if necessary.