Athletes Foot is a fungal skin infection which often manifests itself between the fourth and fifth toes of the feet, however, it can occur on any part of the foot.
It is also known as tinea pedis and has been known to spread to the soles of the feet and toe nails. Once toe nails have become infected they can be extremely difficult to treat, so prompt treatment is very important.
The symptoms of tinea can vary between individuals with the most common symptom being severe itching. This can often signal the beginning of a fungal skin infection. Other symptoms include redness, burning, stinging, scaling, peeling skin, foot odour and, in severe cases, blistering and weeping may be observed. Sometimes the skin can split open predisposing the sufferer to secondary bacterial infection.
Tinea pedis is a fungal infection primarily caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes.
Normally the skin acts as an effective barrier against any fungal invasion, with fungi being present without producing any problems.
If the fungi are exposed to the right combination of conditions they can become overactive and reproduce to excessive numbers.
Generally, a warm, humid, moist environment and/or a decrease in the body's natural resistance to infection are favourable conditions for fungal overgrowth.
Tinea pedis of the feet should involve:
1. Treatment of the infection, and
2. Prevention of infection recurrence
The following procedures can help:
These medications can have serious side effects and therefore should only be used if absolutely necessary and following the approval of your Doctor.
WARNING : This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional podiatric advice. Treatment will vary between individuals depending upon your diagnosis and presenting complaint. An accurate diagnosis can only be made following personal consultation with a Podiatrist, your Doctor or your foot specialist.
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