Contrary to the foot infection’s rather distinctive title ‘athlete’s foot’, it isn’t a contamination that affects exclusively athletes, but many of the population. In fact, studies suggest that every year between 15% to 25% of the adult UK population are likely to be affected by the infection at some point or another.

Common infections like athlete’s foot don’t always require a physical visit to the doctor. Internet-based organisations such as Anytime Doctor can provide a convenient and secure online GP consultation for common and treatable health conditions. 

Athlete’s foot, given its peculiar name due to the infection often being developed due to the foot having exposure to damp or sweaty environments as athletes often are, is not a serious disease, but if left untreated, it can result in itchiness, unfortunate odour, and dryness.

Luckily, athlete’s foot is highly treatable, and there are several steps you can take to reduce your infections or make the infection disappear entirely. But how do you know if you have a foot-related infection? Our broad guide of athlete’s foot will inform you of all the tell-tale signs you need to look out for. Let’s begin.

You Have an Itchy, Burning Sensation

An itchy, burning sensation in the feet is often the first symptom athlete’s foot sufferers report experiencing. The itchiness and burning are typically experienced between the toes, with the sensation being most emphasised between the fourth and fifth toes. 

These types of symptoms are often accompanied by redness and inflammation to the toes, causing sufferers to be more likely to scratch the itch and thus further irritating the skin and potentially incurring secondary infections.

Your Skin is Becoming Cracked and Flaky

As athlete’s foot progresses, sufferers are likely to experience the skin becoming dry, cracked, and flaking, resulting in plenty of discomfort. It isn’t just physical discomfort that sufferers need to worry about at this point; the infected areas can even begin to bleed.

At this point, infected areas often appear scaly or rash-like in appearance, and if continued to be left untreated, it is possible that the infection will spread to the soles of the feet and other parts of the body.

Your Feet Produce an Unpleasant Odour 

The odour produced by athlete’s foot is a distinctive smell that nobody enjoys. The smell, often described as cheesy or musty, is a result of the continual growth of the fungi on the skin and, besides the already existing physical discomfort, should be your sign that your developing athlete’s foot probably needs treatment.

Your Nails Start to Change

If you’re beginning to see physical changes in the appearance of your toenails, it could be a result of an untreated athlete’s foot. When athlete’s foot spreads to the toenails, it results in a plethora of nail changes such as thickening, discoloration, and crumbling, and these types of symptoms have significant implications on your nail health.

These symptoms are often associated with the development of the condition onychomycosis, which can be difficult to treat, and you may be required to partake in long-term therapy if a medical professional notices these changes in the appearance or texture of your toenails. It is imperative to seek medical attention at this stage to assess the extent of any underlying causes.

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