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Health and Fitness

Is It an Athlete’s Foot or Dry Skin – Know the Difference

Is it athlete’s foot or dry skin? A lot of people don’t know what athlete’s foot looks like. In fact, health experts say a lot of patients visit a podiatrist after spending years in trying to treat their “dry skin.” The differences between the dry, scaly patches and the foot fungus can be hard to tell.

According to WebMD, athlete’s foot looks different in every patient. In some cases, people experience cracking and peeling of the skin between their toes. Others notice redness or dryness on their soles.

If you’re noticing something bad on your feet right now, here are some simple ideas that may help you determine if you have dry skin or athlete’s foot.

The Appearance of Normal Dry Skin

Dry skin happens when the skin of your feet doesn’t have oil glands, causing your feet to be dry in which case you want to use some of these for your feet. However, the dry skin of your feet can also be due to:

  • Excessive hot showers
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Soaps
  • Aging
  • Cold weather
  • Low humidity levels
  • Prolonged exposure to the sun

However, you may get athlete’s foot if you have been keeping your feet wet for too long. Oftentimes, the fungus causing this skin disease exists around the swimming pools, locker rooms, showers, park grass, gyms, or any other place exposed to moisture. You’ll catch this skin disease if you have been walking around these areas without shoes or slippers.

If you have dry skin, the affected skin will just crack and peel. If blisters started to appear, your condition is absolutely not dry skin. Please note that dry skin doesn’t turn red or blister.

Signs of Athlete’s Foot

To confirm that you have athlete’s foot, please observe your affected foot for the following symptoms:

  • A ring-like form of drying skin. Once you notice the moccasin distribution pattern, it means your condition has significantly progressed. A chronic case of athlete’s foot often appears as a ring of dry skin around your heels or on the sides of your affected foot. This ring extends up to your toes. The bottoms of your feet are also dry.
  • Dry toes.  It’s another tell-tale symptom of athlete’s foot. If you have this skin condition, the sky between your toes is dry, which is exactly not a normal thing. The skin between your toes should not be dry just like the skin of your soles.
  • Burning and itching. Peeling, burning, and itching are the common signs of athlete’s foot, though these things are less common in the minor cases of athlete’s foot. In the end, if you don’t seek treatment for your condition, it will progress and lead to discomfort, swelling, and infection.

What to Do with Normal Dry Skin?

If you have dry skin, the possible treatments include increasing your water intake which is for the skin and using moisturizing soaps and lotions that prevent skin from getting dry. You may also consult your doctor and seek help. Perhaps, he may suggest a change in your everyday diet and other simple things that can help restore your skin and make it healthy and hydrated.

What to Do with Athlete’s Foot?

If you suspect you have athlete’s foot based on the symptoms mentioned above, then you must do something about it now before it’s too late. If you’ve been suffering from having dry-looking feet for a long time, then it’s the right time for finding the real cause of your problem and treat it. There are natural and non-prescription creams you can buy at the pharmacies. Over-the-counter creams are common remedies used for treating fungal infections like athlete’s foot.

When you have athlete’s foot, you must continue taking the medicines for 4 weeks instead of quitting when the signs disappear. This will help prevent the infection from coming back. Likewise, you must apply for the provided medicine twice or thrice every day. According to experts, some cases of athlete’s foot, especially the severe or chronic ones, require prescription-strength topical medicine to kill the fungi and eliminate the problem completely.

Unlike athlete’s foot, visiting a good salon for a pedicure and foot spa is already effective for normal dry skin. However, if your condition is more than the normal dry skin, a doctor may suggest treating it like athlete’s foot because the medicine will still help in relieving the normal dry skin. Moisturizing your dry skin sometimes cause the athlete’s foot to worsen by keeping the infected area moist, which is favorable to fungi.

Once you got totally relieved from athlete’s foot, make sure the problem will never come back. If you have been wearing shoes while having athlete’s foot, clean your shoes by using a shoe sanitizer. This will kill the fungi that linger inside your shoes which can lead to re-infection. You can also leave your slippers and shoes exposed to direct sunlight which will kill the fungi. Do it while undergoing the treatment as it promotes faster recovery.