VERSUS – Athlete’s Foot vs.Dry Skin

Back by popular demand – the ever popular series – “VERSUS” 
This week we have two steady contenders to grab your interest.  The appearance of these two can cause  some confusion. 
Without further ado, I bring you
Athlete’s Foot vs. Dry Skin
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the feet.  It is often seen as an angry looking rash on your feet between the toes.  The skin can peel and blister.  It is generally painful and itchy.  As with other fungal infections, the fungus thrives in dark, moist places.  Public locker rooms and public showers are ideal breeding grounds.  If you go to the gym and you don’t wear shower shoes, then you are at risk to pick up athlete’s foot. The fungus is communicable between people so that sharing towels, socks, or shoes will spread the fungus. (Your mother told you not to do share those items and as you know, mother always knows best.)   An antifungal agent will need to be used to kill the fungus.  Over the counter medications often work but if that doesn’t do the job, then an oral medication from your friendly local podiatrist may be necessary. 
Trichophyton – the fungus that causes athlete’s foot
If your feet are really dry, they can look like you have a case of athlete’s foot.  The extremely dry skin will crack and peel.  When your feet are really dry and the skin cracks, it is an invitation for fungus and bacteria to enter your body.  It is really important that you keep the skin on your feet hydrated.  One of my favorite ways to do this is to lather up my feet with moisturizer and put on a pair of old cotton socks on my way to bed at night.  The socks will keep the moisturizer there to work on your feet during the night.  You should also moisturize your skin right after your daily shower.  Just make sure that you dry off the area between your toes and that the moisturizer is not just pooling there.  Now, it may be that your feet are too dry for a normal moisturizer.  In this case, you might want to try using a product like Aquaphor, Kerasal, or Amlactin.
So, is it really dry skin or athlete’s foot?
The best way to tell between this week’s contestants is to see your friendly local podiatrist.  The doctor can look at your feet and talk to you about the best course of action to get the skin on your feet back healthy.  If you have ignored either condition, it maybe that you need a prescription to help get the skin back healthy. 
Have you noticed the difference between this week’s contestants and the previous contestants on VERSUS?  With this week’s contestants, if you have one condition, it could make you susceptible to the other condition.  Yes, if you have really dry cracked skin, it can allow the fungus for athlete’s feet to have a pathway to infect you. 
Have a great week.  I hope you are looking forward to next week’s edition of VERSUS!


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