What is athlete’s foot and how is it formed?

ATHLETE’S FOOT

Inadequate hygiene, wearing closed shoes all day, and excessive sweating can all contribute to the development of athlete’s foot, a common fungal infection of the feet. Because infected people might be a source of infection, good treatment and adequate prevention are critical. Although the disease’s name relates to sports, athletes of all types are prone to athlete’s foot, as are any persons who spend a lot of time in tennis shoes and whose feet sweat a lot. To protect yourself against athlete’s foot, you must practice proper foot hygiene every day, and if you experience itching or observe changes in your feet, you should consult a doctor.

WHAT IS ATHLETE’S FOOT?

Athlete’s foot (lat. tinea pedis) is a common and contagious fungal infection of the feet, skin on the feet, or toes that causes peeling and intense itching. The name comes from the fact that it occurs frequently among athletes, although it can also occur with people who spend a lot of time in tennis shoes and whose feet sweat a lot.

In Europe, the condition has a 20% frequency, and it is more common in men. Fungal foot infection (athlete’s foot) is a skin disease that affects 70 percent of adults at some point in their lives. All the more challenging because at least half of those suffering from a fungal infection also have infected nails. Obesity and population aging, both of which are key risk factors, contribute to the global increase in the incidence of athlete’s foot.

A fungal infection of the foot is most commonly found between the toes, but it can also arise on the soles and sides of the feet. Even if you avoid having your feet in a poor condition, on occasion, you can still contract this fungal illness if you share a sanitary place, such as a shower, with someone who has a fungal infection.

A person can become infected by direct (skin-to-skin) contact or through indirect contact (contact with a contaminated surface, clothing, towels, bedding). While fungus on the skin cause most of the infection, bacteria can also develop and create additional symptoms such as foot odor.

CAUSES

A wide variety of microbes, bacteria, and fungi call the human body home. Some are beneficial to the body, while others might cause infection in particular conditions of increased reproduction. The infection is caused by dermatophyte fungus such as Epidermophyton floccosum, Trichophyton rubrum sensu stricto and Trichophyton interdigitale, although many additional agents can also be involved. They thrive in warm, humid areas such as wardrobes, showers, shoes, and socks, thus wearing closed shoes all day and excessive perspiration can result in repeated infections.

If the environment does not support the growth of the fungus, it will not be able to infect the skin. Furthermore, after the illness is healed, it does not provide you with lifelong immunity, indicating that it is possible to get infected again. The disease is most spread in damp, shared facilities where individuals go barefoot, and reproduction requires a warm, moist environment (such as, for example, the inside of shoes). Skin flakes that fall off an infected person and contain infectious fungus components are the origins of the infection.

N.R.
12.07.2022.