Even if they do a lot of work for us, our feet are often overlooked parts of the body. Aside from taking us to the places where we need to go, our feet carry our body weight, too. It’s, therefore, crucial to learn how to take care of our feet to prevent health issues from affecting how they perform.
One of the most common health conditions of the body that you must avoid is athlete’s foot. And yes, even non-athletes can get them. Many people think of an athlete’s foot as a harmless health condition. However, if an athlete’s foot goes untreated, it can present several risks and complications.
The Common Problems and Complications of Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot, or tinea pedis, is caused by dermatophytes, a type of fungi that prefer warm and moist environments. Dermatophytes can also cause ringworm and jock itch since it feeds on the nails, hair, and skin’s keratin.
Other types of fungi, like yeast, rarely cause athlete’s foot. You can acquire an athlete’s foot by direct contact with a person infected with an athlete’s foot. It’s contagious because you can also become infected by walking on floors and using shoes or towels with skin particles infected with an athlete’s foot.
Although athlete’s foot is not a life-threatening health condition, there are still more significant health problems that can arise by leaving it untreated. If you have the symptoms of athlete’s foot, it’s best to see a doctor immediately or visit easternidahofootclinic.com.
Here are the possible complications and health conditions that you can get from untreated athlete’s foot:
One of the problems that come with athlete’s foot are blisters on the skin. Some people develop blisters if they get infected with the fungi from an athlete’s foot, while some don’t. If the person has an allergic reaction to the fungi that causes athlete’s foot, it can cause skin blisters.
Avoid touching or picking on the affected areas to prevent spreading the infection to other parts of the body, like your hands, feet, and groin.
Over-the-counter medications are available to manage the symptoms of athlete’s foot to prevent blisters and other skin conditions.
Fungal Nail Infection
If you have thick and discolored toenails, the fungal infection from an athlete’s foot may have reached them without you knowing.
Aside from the crumbly appearance of your nails, there may also be an inflammation of the skin under them. This inflammation may cause pain when you walk around or wear shoes.
The doctor may prescribe an antifungal ointment or oral medication to clear the fungal infection.
Your hands are just as important as your feet, and they can get infected with the fungus that causes athlete’s foot.
Tinea manuum, or ringworm in layman’s term, has the same symptoms as an athlete’s foot except that it affects the hands and not the feet. Tinea manuum is not considered a common complication of dermatophyte infection. However, people who touch the areas infected with athlete’s foot fungi may contact tinea manuum by not washing their hands promptly.
To prevent the disease from spreading to your hands, avoid touching your feet if you have athlete’s foot and wash your hands immediately if you did.
Athlete’s foot is usually easy to treat. However, ignoring an athlete’s foot will not make it go away.
If an athlete’s foot becomes severe, the area can be infected with bacteria when it enters cracked skin. The bacterial infection is quite severe, so you need to have the affected area checked by a medical practitioner who’ll prescribe topical or oral antibiotics.
Cellulitis is a more severe type of bacterial infection because the bacteria has spread deeper into the skin. The symptoms of secondary cellulitis due to athlete’s foot are inflamed, sore skin that’s painful to touch.
If you have these symptoms, visit your physician immediately. Acute bacterial infection can damage skin, soft tissue, and bones if not treated promptly. It can lead to septicemia and other severe health conditions.
Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to get rid of the bacterial infection.
Simple and seemingly innocuous health problems, like athlete’s foot, can present different health complications if not treated promptly. Mild to severe health complications are possible if you choose to ignore it. Aside from skin allergies and cellulitis, the untreated infection from an athlete’s foot can lead to infected lymph nodes.
Our feet deserve proper care, just like our hands, eyes, and other parts of the body. When we understand the causes and symptoms of athlete’s foot, we can avoid developing other health problems that can be prevented with proper care and hygiene.