Athlete’s Foot – How to Recognize Initial Stage?


Athlete’s foot a common disease in which the spores of the fungus affect the skin and toenails. Depending on the clinical form, it can manifest itself in different ways: red spots and plaques, vesicles, thickening of the nail plates and their subsequent destruction.

Causes of Appearance

The causes of the emergence of this disease suffers approximately 10% of the population of our planet, it mainly affects people belonging to certain professions – these are athletes, bathhouse attendants, miners, and so on. The disease is considered highly contagious, it is possible to get a fungus upon contact with a sick person or in common areas. Unlike the inguinal athlete, it is localized only on the foot and nails, without affecting other skin areas.

The disease is caused by a special type of fungus called Trichophyton mentagrophytes. By the way, it is this species that also causes athlete’s groin. It is very easy to get infected with a fungus, it is easily transmitted to a healthy person by contact with a sick person or in such places as:

The reasons for the appearance of the photo sauna;

  • beach;
  • pool;
  • bath;
  • gym.

For the development of the fungus requires a humid climate, so the spores are perfectly adapted to life in all of the above places. In general, the fungus is constantly in a saprophytic state, that is, inactive. However, when exposed to favorable factors, it is activated and begins to multiply.

The speed depends on the general condition of the person, as athlete’s foot can develop against the background of diseases of the endocrine and nervous systems, with a weakened immune system, lack of vitamins and so on. Also, the fungus on feet begins to behave actively at high temperatures.


Experts identify three forms of athlete’s disease:

  1. squamous;
  2. dyshidrotic;
  3. intertriginous.

Physicians call the athlete’s nails a separate stage, although this classification is somewhat arbitrary, since all these forms are inextricably linked with each other, and the course of the disease occurs with the transition of forms.

With a squamous form, the skin on the feet begins to peel off and turn red, the lesions can be of various shapes and sizes. Sometimes a slight itch is possible. At this time, athlete’s foot is considered one of the most dangerous in epidemiological terms, since the person does not notice the lesion and, as a result, does not take any measures to cure. During this period, it is a source of infection for healthy people, therefore, it is necessary to dispose of the squamous form of athlete after the diagnosis.

In the event of an aggravation, the squamous form becomes dyshidrotic. When it occurs, the first defeat of the foot, then the illness goes to the second. The skin on the feet begins to peel off and becomes rough.

The intertriginous form appears in people in whom the squamous phase is very weakly expressed, in some cases its independent formation is possible. With it, the fungus attacks the folds between the fingers, cracks appear there, surrounded by dead skin of white color, and foci of inflammation develop. Epidermofitiya stop at this time requires careful monitoring and as soon as possible the start of treatment.

Photo of Athlete’s Foot

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is the study of the clinical picture and taking scrapings. This is necessary in order to eliminate the mosaic fungus, which is the result of the breakdown of cholesterol in the upper layer of the skin. Examination of the sample under a microscope will not allow you to accurately determine the type of fungus, therefore, to identify the Trichophyton mentagrophytes it is carried out by sowing the material taken on nutrient media.

The treatment takes place in two stages. At the first specialist removes scales (with intertriginous form eliminates inflammation). For this purpose, keratolytic agents, antihistamines and anti-inflammatory drugs are used. If athlete’s foot has affected the nails, then the doctor removes the affected plate.

At the second stage, the affected skin is treated with antimycotic drugs. This will help avoid further progression of the dispute and prevent relapses. All treatment also includes preventive measures that include stricter personal hygiene (boil all socks, treat all shoes with disinfectants) and refrain from visiting public baths, pools and showers.

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