Athlete's food is a condition where the skin in between the toes and the side of the foot is inflamed and infected with fungus, it is usually red raw with weepy blisters. The medical name for athlete's food is tinea pedis, you could pick up this condition in locker rooms, gyms, swimming pools, and communal showers, especially when walking barefoot. It can also spread directly from person to person. In the defence forces this condition is also known as jungle rot.
Signs and symptoms
In the majority of cases the feet may be smelly or just have dry skin, but it can progress to burning and stinging if not treated, and can sometimes be unbearable and affect the performance of an athlete. In more severe cases the feet may be cracking with pain and itching between the toes with blisters. Nails could also get infected.
Is athlete’s foot contagious?
Potentially, yes, but some individuals are more susceptible than others, especially people who sweat excessively and diabetics.
The usual treatment is to provide a dry, clean, environment for the feet, antiperspirants are used, doctors also recommend bathing your feet in Barrows solution but it is advisable before starting any treatment to consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Some shampoos and Epsom salts are used, while some people use diluted white vinegar, but do not try this or any other treatment without asking your doctor.
In more severe cases your doctor might advise local or oral anti fungals especially when nails are involved. Other complications include spreading to other areas of the body or to other people. Other natural remedies include tea tree oil.
Foods that can be good include probiotic cultures, green leafy vegetables, nuts, avocados, salmon, ginger, asparagus, fresh mint, and red wine in moderation.
Lifestyle changes and mild exercise daily such as walking, along with mindfulness, counselling, and swimming might help relieve pain. A combination of complementary treatments such as acupuncture, restoration of gut health, mindfulness, massage, and careful use of essential oils can produce good results.
Always consult your GP before starting any new regime or self treatment. The contents of this article are for informational purposes only and are not intended to prevent, diagnose, or cure any medical conditions. The contribution of all authors and researchers is acknowledged.
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