Athletes Foot is the name used to describe a fungal infection of the skin of the foot. Characterised by an itchy, blistering rash on the skin in the arch of the foot - which rapidly spreads to between the small toes and even the heels, it can ruin your Christmas.
Tinea Pedis is the medical name for this condition. It is worse in the hot summer months when feet are either trapped in their usual dark, sweaty environment, or exposed to areas where someone with the infection has walked.
Usually communal showers at the gym, in hotels, airplane carpets - the fungal spores are everywhere - just waiting for the perfect dark, moist environment to enable them to grow.
A fungal infection can also be spread by your favourite leather sandals, as the spores can live in the leather for ages!
Try to prevent Athletes Foot by following a few simple steps.
- AFTER WASHING ALWAYS DRY YOUR FEET THOROUGHLY, ESPECIALLY BETWEEN THE TOES
- WEAR CLEAN SOCKS EVERY DAY
- AVOID SYNTHETIC OCCLUSIVE FOOTWEAR IF POSSIBLE
- WEAR SLIP-SLOPS IN ANY COMMUNAL SHOWERING AREA
- USE AN ANTI-FUNGAL OR ANTISEPTIC FOOT SPRAY
- EXAMINE YOU FEET FOR SIGNS OF A RASH, SMALL BLISTERS IN THE ARCH OR WHITE ITCHY SKIN BETWEEN YOUR TOES
- BAREFOOT AND FRESH AIR IS GOOD, UNLESS THERE IS A MEDICAL REASON NOT TO BE
If you have a fungal infection treatment with oral medication can be costly, so start simple:
- GOOD FOOT HYGIENE
- SPIRITUS PEDIBUS FOOT SPRAY OR PROPRIETARY ANTIFUNGAL SPRAYS
- TOPICAL ANTIFUNGAL CREAMS
- HOWEVER, A COURSE OF ANTIFUNGAL TABLETS MAY BE NEEDED
Unfortunately, the fungal organisms that cause Athletes Foot tend to be very difficult to kill off. So even when your foot looks clear continue with the treatment for at least two more weeks.
One final word of warning. Not all rashes, or areas of itchy, moist skin are fungal infections. In the arch you might have a dermatitis. Between the toes it might be because your toes are stiff and bent. Or you might just need a good wash!!!