Reference Library

Athletes Foot Treatment

Athlete’s foot is a skin disease caused by a fungus usually occurring between the toes. The fungus usually attacks the feet because wearing shoes creates a warm, dark, humid environment which encourages fungal growth. Not all fungal conditions are athlete’s foot. Disturbances of the sweat mechanism, reactions to dyes or adhesives in shoes, eczema or psoriasis may mimic athlete's foot.

Causes

The warmth and dampness of areas around swimming pool, locker rooms, and showers, are breading grounds for fungi. Because the condition was common among athletes who use these facilities regularly the term became popular

Symptoms

The signs of athletes foot include the following:

  • Dry skin
  • Itching and burning, which may increase as the infection spreads
  • Scaling
  • Inflammation
  • Blisters, which often lead to cracking of the skin

Athlete's foot may spread to the sole of the foot and toenails. It can also spread to other parts of the body if you scratch the infected area and then touch another part of your body. The organism that causes athlete's foot may persist for long periods. If a fungus condition does not respond to proper foot hygiene and there is no improvement within 2 weeks, consult your podiatrist.

Diagnosis and treatment

Your podiatrist will determine if a fungus is the cause of your problem. A specific treatment plan, including the prescription of antifungal medication, applied topically or taken by mouth, will usually be suggested. Such a treatment prepares to provide better resolution of the problem when the patient observes the course of treatment prescribed by the podiatrist. IF is shortened, failure of the treatment is common.

Fungicidal chemicals, used for athletes treatment, commonly fail to contact the fungi in the different layers of the skin. Topical or oral antifungal drugs are prescribed with growing frequency. If an infection is cause by a bacterial, antibiotics that are affective against a broad spectrum of bacteria may be prescribed.

Prevention

It is not easy to prevent athlete's foot because it is contracted in dressing rooms, showers and swimming pool locker rooms, where bare feet come in contact with the fungus. However you can do the following things to help prevent infection:

  • Wash your feet daily with soap and water and dry them carefully, especially between the toes.
  • Avoid barefoot walking and use shower shoes.
  • Reduce perspiration by using talcum powder on your feet and in your shoes.
  • Wear light and airy shoes.
  • Change socks and hose regularly to decrease moisture.
  • Wear socks that keep your feet dry and change them frequently, if you perspire heavily. 

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