The previous post about the ringworm’s forms, now about the “Athelete’s foot”.
One of the most common fungual disease is the Athlete’s foot. In case of Athelete’s foot the skin becomes red, and it has an itchy feeling.
Athlete’s foot (also known as ringworm of the foot and tinea pedis) is a fungal infection of the skin that causes scaling, flaking, and itch of affected areas, and in severe cases, swelling and amputation of the foot. It is caused by fungi in the genus Trichophyton. The disease is typically transmitted in moist communal areas where people walk barefoot, such as showers or bathhouses, and requires a warm moist environment, such as the inside of a shoe, in order to incubate. This fungus only affects approximately 0.75% of habitually (frequently) barefoot people.
Although the condition typically affects the feet, it can infect or spread to other areas of the body, including the groin, particularly areas of skin that are kept hot and moist, such as with insulation, body heat, and sweat, e.g. in a shoe, for long periods of time. While the fungus is generally picked up through walking barefoot in an infected area or using an infected towel, infection can be prevented by remaining barefoot as this allows the feet to dry properly and removes the fungus’ primary incubator – the warm moist interior of a shoe. Athlete’s foot can be treated by a very limited number of pharmaceuticals (including creams) and other treatments, although it can be almost completely prevented by never wearing shoes, or wearing them as little as possible.
Athlete’s foot causes scaling, flaking, and itching of the affected skin. Blisters and cracked skin may also occur, leading to exposed raw tissue, pain, swelling, and inflammation. Secondary bacterial infection can accompany the fungal infection, sometimes requiring a course of oral antibiotics.
The infection can be spread to other areas of the body, such as the groin,and usually is called by a different name once it spreads, such as tinea corporis on the body or limbs and tinea cruris (jock itch or dhobi itch) for an infection of the groin. Tinea pedis most often manifests between the toes, with the space between the fourth and fifth digits most commonly afflicted.
Some individuals may experience an allergic response to the fungus called an “id reaction” ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8583850 ) in which blisters or vesicles can appear in areas such as the hands, chest and arms. Treatment of the fungus usually results in resolution of the id reaction.
There are some simple actions that you can take to prevent athlete’s foot. If you have athlete’s foot, these actions can also be used to lessen symptoms. The best way to prevent athlete’s foot is to keep your feet dry. Don’t let your feet stay wet for too long. The fungus that causes athlete’s foot grows in warm, moist places. Natural materials like cotton or wool can help keep your feet dry. Wear socks made from these materials. You should also wear shoes that allow for good air flow. Avoid shoes that are made from plastic, vinyl, or rubber. If your feet sweat a lot or if your feet get wet, you should change your socks frequently. You should also avoid wearing the same shoes all of the time. This lets your shoes air out and dry before you wear them again. Wearing shower shoes in damp public areas like pools and public showers can also help prevent athlete’s foot. You can also use anti-fungal powder on your feet daily to prevent athlete’s foot. The powder will also help keep your feet dry. You should never share shoes with another person. Sharing shoes can spread athlete’s foot.
The treatment of athlete’s foot is non-surgical. Skin moisture can be decreased with periodic sock changes throughout the day. Shoes should be rotated; don’t wear the same shoes two days in a row. Allow time for the feet to be exposed without any covering. After a shower, thoroughly dry the space between the toes; a hair dryer set on cold can help. Feet may continue to sweat after a hot shower, so it’s best to wait until they have cooled before putting on socks. These interventions are as important as treatment with a medication.
Anti-fungal agents are readily available over the counter and are marketed for athlete’s foot. These typically contain clotrimazole, miconazole or tolnaftate. Sprays, powders and creams can be utilized with success. Use the medication for several weeks after symptoms have resolved to decrease the risk that the infection will return.
Care at Home
- Ask your pharmacist to recommend an over-the-counter product for athlete’s foot such as an antifungal powder ( http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/lookup.cfm?setid=61561fd3-6712-47b5-993d-c728a59b9d80 )or lotion. Use the product as directed on the package. Do not use cortisone on a fungal infection.
- Wash your child’s feet twice a day.
- Dry the toes well after washing them. Use a hair dryer on a cool or non-heat setting to get the skin completely dry.
- Use an absorbent powder. Put on clean socks after the feet are washed. Just wear socks when in the house.
- Don’t let your child wear someone else’s shoes.
- For stubborn cases, have your child wear white cotton socks to help keep the feet dry.
- Have your child where open, cool type shoes (sandals( so their feet “breathe,” stay dry and don’t sweat. Let your shoes dry 24 hours between wearings.
- Have your child wear rubber or sandals (flip flops) in or round a community shower, gym or swimming pool.
When to Call the Doctor
- If the rash becomes infected so that the feet swell, there is pus, or the rash is painful.
- The fungus infection spreads to the hands.
- If home ringworm treatment doesn’t clear up athlete’s foot after 7-10 days.
- Your regular doctor or pediatrician can treat athlete’s foot.
Athlete’s foot usually responds well to treatment, but it is important to useall medication as directed, even if the skin appears to be free of disease.Otherwise, the infection could return. The toenail infections that may accompany athlete’s foot, are typically very hard to treat effectively
Good personal hygiene and a few simple precautions such as drying feet thoroughly, avoid tight shoes, shoes worn without socks, wearing bathing shoes in public bathing or showering areas, and using a good quality foot powder can help prevent athlete’s foot.
This worked for me. It may to work for you but after a few years of trying different medicine and treatments… sunlight, essential oils, and vinigar have helped tons! I also use foot powder in my shoes as well as cotton balls between my troubled toes. Keep in mind you don’t have to put a complete cotton ball in between your toes you can break it in two or whatever feels comfortable when you put your foot in your shoe. Also you can put a drop of Tea Tree oil in your cotton ball. I hope this helps. Also be sure to change your shoes and throw away your old ones to be extra safe.