How contagious is athlete's foot?


Many people suffer from athlete's foot at one point in their life. The contagious disease spreads mainly in community facilities such as swimming pools, schools or sports clubs and can become a nuisance for those affected. Usually the space between the toes is affected. Severe itching and flaking of the skin are the result. But how contagious is such a athlete's foot actually? And what is the best way to avoid infection?

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In principle, there are a few things you can do yourself to avoid becoming infected with athlete's foot. There are places where it is particularly easy to get infected. If you know simple measures to avoid infection and pay careful attention to them, you can prevent athlete's foot infection in many cases. Wounds on the feet or dry and rough skin make it easier to get an athlete's foot. Tight footwear often leads to tiny wounds in the spaces between the toes, which are caused by the skin rubbing against each other.

Hygiene behavior also has an influence on the risk of infection. Too frequent cleaning of the feet with shower gels or disinfecting solutions destroys the natural skin barrier and makes it easier for germs to enter.

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Transfer to other parts of the body

Generally one is transmission of athlete's foot to other parts of the body is unlikely. In most cases it is limited to the spaces between the toes or the soles of the feet. In very pronounced cases, the back of the foot is also involved.

If the immune system is weakened, for example due to an HIV infection or diabetes mellitus, athlete's foot can also affect other parts of the body. In people with one intact immune system but it is very unlikely. However, those who do not receive treatment for a long time, months or years, increase the risk of the athlete's foot spreading to other parts of the body. Above all, scratching the feet promotes the colonization of other parts of the body, such as the hands, face or scalp.

Transmission within the family / to partners

Athlete's foot is one very contagious infectious disease the skin with a skin fungus (dermatophyte). Athlete's foot is the most common skin fungal disease in Central Europe. Of the Skin contact can become a Transmission of infection to lead. In particular, people who maintain close contact are at risk of being infected. In a partnership, close physical contact poses a risk of infection.

That too sharing towels, bedding or clothingthat have come into contact with the infected feet can lead to transmission. In families, it often happens that a towel is accidentally shared or otherwise in contact with a source of infection. This is a common example The children sleep in their parents' bed. Athlete's foot can spread to an entire family through bedding. Furthermore, the floor a source of infection as many people walk barefoot. However, this poses a risk for roommates, family or partners to become infected. Sharing a shower also poses a risk of infection. Therefore, especially if several people live in the same household, Hygiene measures be respected. This includes, among other things Avoid contact with the affected feet, the frequent one Changing the laundry and the separate use of towels.

How can you avoid infection?

There are some measures and behaviors that can prevent you from contracting athlete's foot. Athlete's foot mainly spreads where the skin is moist and warm. Therefore, one should always pay attention to the after showering or exercising Thoroughly dry feet. The spaces between the toes are often forgotten, although this is where athlete's foot can settle.

Facilities like Swimming pools, sports clubs and gyms, fitness studios, saunas, campsites or hotel rooms are places where a increased risk of infection with athlete's foot. In your own interest you should go there don't walk barefootbut wear shoes or slippers. In particular, sanitary facilities should not be entered barefoot.

Wearing Cotton socks and leather shoes can also cause athlete's foot prevent and is preferable to synthetic materials. The footwear should also fit well and not be too tight, otherwise small wounds will occur on the feet.

There are also various Sprays and powdersthat shoes and socks can be handled with, if one to Sweaty feet tends. Socks should in any case changed daily as the risk of infection is minimized. Towels and bed linen should be cleaned regularly. It is also advisable to Wash bed linen, towels and bath mats at temperatures above 60 ° C.

Good foot care is especially important for diabetics who are at increased risk of infection. A professional foot care is advisable in this case.

What must be considered when showering?

Showers should be in public institutions should not be used barefoot, as many people use these showers and the risk of athlete's foot is accordingly very high. Therefore, you should protect yourself Wear bathing shoes.

In your own household should this measure also taken if you or someone else has athlete's foot. This minimizes the risk of infection, which is very high for people in the same household. The shower must also thoroughly cleaned become. Towels should not be shared by more than one person.

Furthermore it is not recommendedwho have favourited feet with disinfecting shower gels or solutions to wash. The natural skin barrier becomes in this way weakened and the The risk of infection increases. The use of normal shower gels is preferred. The feet, especially those Spaces between the toes, have to dried well become. After showering, the feet can also be blown dry with warm air.

What should you watch out for when washing?

Since athlete's foot is a very contagious infectious disease of the skin, you can small flakes of skin lead to a transfer. Direct skin contact is rarely the cause of the transmission. Often, the infection with a skin fungus occurs through the joint use of towels, bed linen or clothing. To prevent infection, towels from infected people should not be shared with other people. If your partner suffers from athlete's foot, a daily change of bed linen is also advisable.

The Laundry should be at washed over 60 ° C become. In particular Towels, socks and sheets should best cooked become. Socks and underwear have to changed daily become. Clothing should also be washed and changed frequently. Do not use towels more than once and do not share them with other people.

What should be considered with babies?

Athlete's foot is in babies very rarely. As a rule, athlete's foot does not appear until children and adolescents. However, in rare cases babies can become infected with athlete's foot.

To prevent infection, care should be taken to keep the Baby's feet always dried well become. After bathing, especially the Spaces between the toes often forgotten. If you want to make sure that your feet are really dry, you can blow dry them with warm air. The same goes for other skin folds and especially for the Diaper area, since fungal infections show up mainly in these places.

Babies usually become infected from adults, so should Do not use your own towels to care for the baby utilized. In principle, however, the skin of babies and children is very regenerative and less susceptible to athlete's foot.