Athlete's Foot and Walking

Just about anybody can catch Athlete's Foot and it is not as the name suggests limited to the athletic ones amongst us. It has been estimated that 10% to 20% of the general UK adult population is affected by Athlete's Foot at any one time.

When you consider that Athlete's Foot is caused by a fungus that thrives in warm and moist conditions, it's not surprising that the average walking or hiking boot is a splendid incubator.

The good news is that there are 'steps' you can take to reduce the likelihood of it becoming a problem and the infection - whilst extremely irritating - is relatively harmless.

However, if you do get Athlete's foot the condition does need attention.

How can I catch Athlete's Foot?

Our bodies are quite capable of fighting off fungal infections, but occasionally under certain conditions the fungus can attack our skin causing Athlete's Foot.

You are more likely to catch an infection from floors of changing rooms or bathrooms or when using shared towels.

In hot, damp and enclosed environments like training shoes or walking boots the fungus finds it easier to grow and begins to penetrate into the skin.

What are the signs and symptoms of Athlete's Foot?

Athlete's foot can have the following symptoms:

NB These symptoms are not exclusive to athlete's foot and may be caused by other dermatological conditions. If in doubt you should seek qualified medical advice. For more information, visit the NHS Direct site.

Left untreated, the skin can crack further and bacteria can take hold increasing the discomfort and causing an unpleasant smell. One of the most common complications of Athlete's Foot is the spread of the fungus to the toenails, which may occur if the problem is not tackled. This is called a fungal nail infection. If your toenail is yellow and has become thickened you should seek advice from your doctor or podiatrist.

How do I prevent Athlete's Foot?



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