Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Athlete's Foot

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the skin on the foot. Dermatophytes are the mold-like fungus that causes athlete’s foot. Other names for athlete’s foot are tinea pedis, dermatophytosis and ringworm of the foot. The fungus causes the basal layer of the skin to produce excess skin cells. This fungal infection is similar to other fungal infections that affect other parts of the body, such as ringworm and jock itch.

Athlete’s foot is most common in men between teenage and middle age. Athlete’s foot normally occurs between the toes. The fungal infection can spread to the toenails, sides, and soles of the feet. It can be easily transmitted in public showers, swimming pools, and locker rooms.

Symptoms of athlete’s foot include itching, stinging, burning, cracking skin, peeling, itchy blisters, and excessive dryness of the skin of the foot. If the athlete’s foot infects the toenails, it can cause them to become discolored, crumbly, ragged, and thick. It can also cause the toenails to separate from the nail bed.

There are over-the-counter cures for athlete’s foot that are usually effective in treating the condition. The over-the-counter treatments are anti-fungal medications in the form of sprays, ointment, lotions, and powders. A doctor may prescribe other treatments such as an oral antibiotic or vinegar soaks.

To prevent athlete’s foot, keep feet dry, especially between the toes. Socks made of natural materials, such as cotton, allow air to reach the feet and prevent moisture from building up between the toes. Socks should be changed at least daily. Wear some sort of protection, like sandals, in public showers and locker rooms. Never borrow shoes or socks from someone else. Shoes should allow some ventilation. Rubber and vinyl shoes are not the best choices. Treat the feet with an over-the-counter antifungal treatment at the first sign of infection.


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