Understanding Fungal infection (Athlete’s Foot, tinea pedis)
Fungal infection of feet is very common skin conditions seen by podiatrists. The fungus most commonly attacks the feet, especially in between the toes or on the soles of the feet because shoes create a warm, dark and humid environment that encourages fungus growth. It occurs more among teenage and adult males and more in diabetics and people that work or exercise in warm, wet conditions. The warmth and dampness of areas around swimming pools, showers, and locker rooms are also breeding ground for fungi.
As the infection is common among athletes who used these facilities frequently, the term “athlete’s foot” became popular. In short, it is the moisture, sweating and lack of proper ventilation of the feet present the perfect setting for the fungus of athlete’s foot to grow in.
It is crucial to note that not all foot rashes are athlete’s foot. In addition, other conditions, such as disturbances of the sweat mechanism, reaction to dyes or adhesives in shoes, eczema, and psoriasis also may mimic athlete’s foot. It is also important to note that toenails can also be infected with fungus.
What are the signs and symptoms of fungal infection?
Common signs and symptoms of athlete’s foot include:
itching - itching and burning sensation may increase as the infection spreads
blisters – blisters often lead to cracking of the skin, causing pain and swelling
and in some cases, odour
What can be done to treat fungal infection?
There are many effective medications that can be used to treat and help control fungal infections. Usually, an anti-fungal cream or ointment will be prescribed. Our podiatrist can assist in recommending the one that is suitable for your condition. In severe cases of fungal infections, an oral anti-fungal may be necessary.
4 Simple method to prevent fungal infection
At Passion Podiatry, we believe prevention is the best treatments of all. So, how do you prevent fungal infection? Good foot hygiene is the best defense against infection, these include:
Daily washing of the feet with soap and water
Drying carefully, especially in between the toes
Changing shoes and hose regularly to decrease moisture
Daily use of a quality foot powder or a mild antifungal powder
Avoid walking barefoot; use shower shoes in public shower areas
Reduce perspiration by using foot powder in shoes
Wear shoes of leather or canvas, or perhaps nylon mesh, which allows good air circulation avoid rubber or plastic shoes; change to a different pair of shoes each day if you perspire heavily. Click here to learn more about choosing the right foot wear for your feet.
Wear socks that keep your feet dry, and change them frequently if you perspire heavily
Diabetics should inspect their feet daily for any signs of fungal infections or changes, lesions or any skin conditions
THIS WEB SITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your foot health. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or your podiatrist.