Athlete's Foot Part 1 - The Cause

Your nose was designed to smell and your feet were engineered to run.  But what happens when everything is backwards: your nose runs and feet smell?

Most people would deduce that if their nose is running unexpectedly, in the absence of allergies, they are probably sick. The same can be said for feet that continue to smell even with good hygiene.

Tinea pedis, commonly known as Athlete’s Foot, is a common problem that may affect as much as 70% of the world’s population at least once throughout their lifetime. That means 4,978,400,000 people have had stinky feet caused by the world’s most prevalent dermatophyte infection!  The causative agent, Trichophyton rubrum – or known as a fungus -  is believed to have been brought back with soldiers returning from World War I in the 1920s; and this stubborn little fungus has been living the American Dream ever since.

The name Athlete’s Foot can be misleading, as this fungal infection is not limited to athletes.  Since it seems no good deed goes unpunished, gyms and workout facilities are a great place to pick up this contagious fungi.  Anyone attending one of these facilities is at an increased risk; especially males who have had previous fungal infections.  Fungi prefer to live in a moist environment; therefore, communal locker rooms, pools and showers are all likely places for this fungus to call home.  Once you have come in contact with this fungus, it uses enzymes called keratinases to literally get under your skin! Once this fungus has set up shop on your skin it can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms.  

On Wednesday, when we will discuss the symptoms of Athlete's Foot.

If you think you have Athlete’s Foot, please consider making an appointment with Dr. Jay Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists in Glendale Arizona. 

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