The infection is highly-contagious, so anyone with feet has a potential risk of contracting it, but the condition is more often seen in men. Besides gender, some of the other risk factors include:
Frequent wearing of tight-fitting shoes—particularly models that do not allow the feet to breathe—and damp socks.
A weakened immune system that has an impaired ability to fight the infection.
Walking in gym locker rooms, showering areas, and on indoor pool decks without adequate protection.
Exposure to items—rugs, mats, towels, socks, shoes, and even bed linens—contaminated by an infected individual.
Treating Cases of Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot can be irritating and even cause pain in some cases, but at least it is often treated effectively with over-the-counter antifungal products (powders, sprays, ointments). When you use one of these products, make sure to follow the instructions carefully. Symptoms may clear up before the infection is completely treated.
Mild cases that are caught early typically benefit from athlete’s foot treatment at home, but severe infections or ones that do not respond to over-the-counter products will likely need professional care. We can prescribe oral and/or topical medications that are stronger and will work.