“Tinea pedis” or popularly known as athlete’s foot is a common a fungal infection of the skin of the foot—normally found between the toes—caused by parasitic fungi called “trichophyton”.
This skin condition is considered common to people ages 15 and above. Although some symptoms may occur to children 12 years and below, experts say that these are not serious indications of athlete’s foot but skin allergy or any other skin condition.
Knowing The Causes
Statistics show that almost 70 to 80 percent of the world’s population has experienced athlete’s foot at one point of their lives. This is because it can easily be acquired by direct contact with the things or person who has been infected with the fungi.
Aside from having direct contact to the person or the object that has been infected, athlete’s foot can also be transmitted through contact with pets that carry it the fungus on their furs. Diagnosis of athlete’s foot usually depends on the appearance of the foot to know its status and what exactly caused it.
Experts say that a fungus known as “dermatophyte” causes athlete’s foot. This type of fungus is known to thrive in dark, warm, and moist environments where they can grow such as locker rooms floors, public showers or in swimming pools.
Technically, athlete’s foot is caused by a fungal infection that transpires between the fourth and fifth toes of a person. It is caused by a fungus that grows on or in the top layer of human skin that result to infections.
Fungi—the primary cause of athlete’s foot—are known to thrive in warm, dark, and moist areas like inside of the shoes. These fungi also thrive on dead body tissues like dead skin and nails.
Since it is very contagious, more and more people become prone to the skin condition. Experts say that people who have history of cellulitis, diabetes, and those who have weak immune system are more likely to develop the skin disease compared to those who haven’t. Since the fungi is quite persistent, a person who have had an athlete’s foot before is likely to develop it again or can pass it to others.
Aside from acquiring the skin condition by using the same facilities infected with the fungus, athlete’s foot can also be a cause of:
- Wearing tight-fitting and non-porous shoes.
- Using unclean socks or socks that are not made of natural fibers such as cotton.
- Keeping the feet sweaty and not changing socks once they get wet with sweat.
- Not washing the feet after it gets sweaty or soaked in water.
- Poor-ventilation of the feet.
- Using someone else’s shoes or socks.
- Not using talcum powder or anti-fungal medication to keep the feet dry.
Other factors that may contribute to the growth of the fungus that causes athlete’s foot include sweaty or wet feet, wearing tight shoes, using socks that cannot absorb moisture, a very warm or humid climate, and insufficient drying of the feet after bathing or swimming.