Athlete’s foot (Tinea Pedis) is a fungal infection which mainly affects the feet (it can also spread to other parts of the body). The condition is recognized by dry scaling and cracks in the skin surface between the toes. If left untreated, the fungus progresses to large patches of flaky, itchy skin.
Soccer players are prone to athlete’s foot as weather conditions vary throughout a season. Sweating, contact with other players, personal hygiene, and soccer boots all add to the risk of infection.
Symptoms include pain and itching, along with scaling and flaking of the skin. Small pimples, blisters and cracked skin can also occur. Scratching leads to inflammation.
More tips at the Province Sports Academy.
Keeping your feet as dry as possible and the application of anti-fungal cream or powder will help combat the fungus. Ensure that the common locker room is kept clean and regularly disinfected and make an effort to wear sandals/flip-flops when using public showers. The athlete should also powder their feet and shoes, and change their socks frequently.
If powders or creams fail to control the problem, a visit to a Podiatrist, Dermatologist or General Practitioner is required. While it could be a nagging problem, training and game play can continue as usual.
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