Athletes’ foot. (Tinea Pedis)
Athletes’ foot is a common infection of skin affecting the foot. It is caused by a fungus. Athletes’ foot can present on the foot in a number of different ways.
One of the most common presentations is between the toes. With this infection the skin between the toes appears white and moist, it may also split. The skin on the top of the foot, by the affected area, can become red and may itch. Athletes’ foot may also infect the skin on the sole of the foot. This may be in patches or across the entire sole of the foot (moccasin distribution). The skin appears dry with small dark blisters. The skin is often dry, may crack, be sore and itchy. Irritation is usually worse in warm weather.
The fungi responsible for athletes’ foot thrive in dark and moist environments. This is exactly the environment created within a shoe. The presentation of athletes’ foot is very similar to that of a number of other skin conditions. For this reason it is essential that you seek the advice of a health care professional if troubled by a skin condition.
incidence / Age
Athletes’ foot is very common. It is more likely in those sharing communal washing facilities. Poor foot hygiene is also a predisposing factor. Any age can be affected, however it is unusual in young children.
Athletes’ foot should be treated immediately. If you have classical signs of athletes’ foot, it is advisable to consult a Pharmacist. However if the condition appears severe or is painful, it is necessary to consult a Doctor or State Registered Podiatrist.
It is essential to change the environment within your foot wear that encourage the growth of fungi. Socks should be changed when damp. Shoes should be ventilated, leather uppers are considered better than man made materials. Treatments available for athletes’ foot are conservative. They usually involve the application of a cream or spray to the infected area. Follow the directions of the drug used carefully. They often need to be applied for some time after the infection has appeared to be resolved. This helps prevent recurrence. In some severe or persistent cases of athletes’ foot a Doctor may prescribe tablets.
Outcome / Prognosis
Athletes’ foot is a common skin infection. Effective treatments are available to eradicate infection and simple self-care measures can prevent recurrence in the long term.