There are two main types of athlete’s foot. In the more common form, a crack appears in the skin, usually at the base of the fifth toe or between the fourth and the fifth toes. There is also some loose dead skin clinging between the toes. When this loose skin is removed, the skin is red and shiny.
The second type of athlete’s foot begins with a reddening of the skin between the toes, and it later becomes thick and begins to scale. Both these typed may spread to cover part or all of the sole of the foot. And they may appear on both feet, through usually one foot is attacked more than the other.
There are several other diseases that can produce effects similar to athletes foot, so a person who decides to treat himself with some medicine should be sure that he really has athlete’s foot. This is why it is safer to have a doctor examine the feet before the treatment is begun.
There are three types of fungi that cause athletes foot. They are present on the skin at practically all times, so it is possible to get an infection at any time. But when the skin remains moist for long periods, the fungi get into the dead outer layer if the skin and begin to grow. The fungi produce certain chemicals in the skin while they grow, and if a person is not allergic or sensitive to these chemicals he may not be bothered by the fungi at all.
Some mild cases of athletes foot requires no treatment and disappears as soon as the weather becomes cooler. But in more serious cases, the feet should be kept dry, socks should be changed frequently.
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