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ATHLETE'S FOOT

INTRODUCTION TO ATHLETE'S FOOT

The term athlete's foot is a highly misleading word, as this condition does not only occur in athletes. Athlete's foot is a common name given to a fungus infection of the skin that predominately occurs in between toes but can occur anywhere on the foot. If left untreated the condition can spread to other parts of the foot, hands and can even affect the face.

This condition can cause a great deal of discomfort and can affect an individual's quality of life. The skin involved may be red, swollen and may contain sticky fluid. Patients may also experience a scaly dry rash on the bottom and sides of the feet. This type of athlete's foot is called a "moccasin" pattern. Cracks or "fissures" can occur between the toes, sometimes with a accompanied soft white scale .

Symptoms include dry and itchy lesions. Patients often report a burning or stinging sensation. A common associated condition with athletes foot is a fungal nail infection. If athletes foot is not treated the lesion can become infected and extremely painful.

Athletes Foot and Athletes foot treatment

Photograph 1 Shows the effects of an untreated athlete's foot condition. The lesion has become infected and is very painful.

CAUSES OF ATHLETES FOOT

  • Many people have the fungus present on their skin but are unaffected by the microscopic organism. Conditions such as bruising or cracks in the skin allow entry for the fungus.
  • Fungi thrive on moist, warm environments. Which is why this condition usually occurs in between toes due to an accumulation of moisture.
  • It may also spread between individuals. A common port of entry is found within bathrooms, showers, swimming pools and changing rooms.
  • Not changing your socks on a regular basis can also encourage the build up of fungi in between the toes.
  • People with excessively sweaty feet are more prone to this condition.

TREATMENT OF ATHLETES FOOT

  • Anti-fungal powders can be used in socks and shoes.
  • Creams and sprays can also be used. One of the most effective creams is Imperial Foot Solution.
  • Diabetic patients should not try and treat this condition themselves, they should seek immediate professional advice.
  • Wear cotton socks to absorb moisture.
  • Dry the feet thoroughly after bathing especially in between the toes.
  • Treat excessively sweaty feet.
  • Change socks daily.

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