Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection that strikes the skin of the foot, especially the skin surrounding the toes and the heel. The fungus likes the skin of the feet because it is often moist and sweaty; an area where fungi can grow rampant. The infection may cause burning, itching, redness, cracks and fissures, oozing, and pain. There are two types of athlete’s foot: the dry type and the wet type. The dry type has cracks and fissures; the wet type has oozing of open areas. Cause The cause of Athlete’s foot is Athlete’s foot fungi grow in warm, wet areas commonly shared by people who walk barefoot; such as the shower stalls at health clubs, dressing rooms, swimming pool lockers and other similar types of locations. Treatment & Prevention Once you get Athlete’s foot, it must be treated medically with anti-fungal medication. The fungus is very stubborn and needs attention for at least 90 days to eliminate it, as the skin on the feet grows quite slowly. It’s easy to spread the infection from one place to another, especially if there are open cracks on the skin. If the Athlete’s foot fungus has infected the nail, then treatment may extend to six months. Prevention involves keeping the feet clean and dry, and not touching the area that is infected and then another uninfected area of the skin, even on other parts of the body. It’s important to wash your hands after cleaning the area or even after spreading the antifungal medication on the foot. Other preventive measures include: • wearing socks when wearing shoes • wearing shoes that allow circulation around the toes • using medicated foot powder • taking care of other infections in the body, including dental infections, yeast infections, and colds and flu There is another area of prevention that’s important to address: that of immune system function. When immune function is low, it’s easier for Athlete’s foot – and other fungi – to attack the body. Thus, diabetics are most prone to develop Athlete’s foot, even though they may not be athletes. Don’t give up on your Athlete’s foot infection until it’s cleared up. There are remedies and medical solutions for it that work.