Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection that develops in moist areas between the toes and on other parts of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious, but most cases can be easily treated at home. Symptoms of Athletes foot include:
- Itching, stinging, and burning irritation in some areas of the feet,
- Dry, cracking, scaling, and peeling skin between the toes or on the soles of the feet;
- And ragged, thick, and discolored toenails that pull away from the nail bed.
First aid treatment of mild cases of athlete’s foot can be done at home. There are many over-the-counter antifungal ointments, lotions, powders or sprays available. When using an over-the-counter remedy:
- Thoroughly wash and dry the affected area.
- Next, apply a thin layer of the topical agent according to package directions.
- Keep your feet dry and let them air out as much as possible when at home.
- When working, wear socks that are made of natural materials such as cotton or wool. If your feet sweat a lot, try to change your socks at least twice a day.
- To prevent spreading athlete’s foot fungus, wear waterproof shower shoes or sandals in communal showers, pools, and fitness centers.
- If you don’t see an improvement after 2-4 weeks, or if the condition worsens, make an appointment to see your doctor. You may need a prescription-strength topical medication or oral medication to treat the athlete’s foot more effectively.
- Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/athletes-foot/DS00317
- Community Health Network: http://www.ecommunity.com/firstaid/adult/AthletesFoot.aspx
- First Aid Warehouse: http://www.firstaidwarehouse.co.uk/xpl-athletes_foot.html