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Athlete’s Foot

Introduction

A serious infection of skin rash which is mainly present to the bottom of the foot or between the toes caused by a fungal attack (dermatophyte) mostly occurs in the homeless people is called Athlete’s foot. Infection caused by fungus is tinea and if this infection effects the foot, it is called tinea pedis, as this fungus attack mainly occur in foot with sweat and damp situation. Fungi exists in two forms i.e., unicellular (yeast) and molds (hyphae which are branched like) which can live on live dead tissue for their survival or on parasites.

The fungi causing the upper/superficial parts of the nails or skin are called as dermatophytes which affect the top most layers of the skin i.e., keratin of the skin (epidermis) or nails and cause athlete’s foot or tinea pedis. Dermatophytes need special condition to grow like moist, damp or some plosive environment. Some diseases favor the growth of dermatophyte by disturbing immune system.

Causes

Athlete’s foot is caused by a number of fungi which infect the feet through sweaty or damp conditions. Or it may be infected when walking barefooted or go to some public place like public showers, swimming pools or in locker room. When the fungi get favorable conditions to grow on the foot like damp, sweaty or warm, then their growth will be increased many folds and start to show/cause the symptoms of tinea pedis.

Symptoms

The possible and main symptoms of Athlete’s foot are given below

  • Burning sensation
  • Inflamed area
  • Itchy
  • Sore
  • Feet with dry skin
  • Scaly skin
  • Redness of the skin
  • Cracked or peeled areas on your toes and bottom of the feet.
  • Flaky toenails with discoloration (yellow or brown)
  • Thickened and disoriented nails.
  • Brittle and smelly nails.
  • Foot skin maybe crumbly with small blisters.
  • Can bleed easily. Treatment
  1. Non-pharmacological
  • Wear good quality shoes with cotton socks which are basically of leather quality. This avoidance can keep your feet to breathe.
  • Dry your feet quickly but slowly after washing them,
  • The socks must be fresh and wear tight.
  • The shoes should be changed daily or after two days to give them space to dry.
  • Keep your feet skin undamaged
  • There should be no sharing of bathroom things like soaps, shampoos, or towels and towels should be washed regularly.
  • No walking in the rooms (locker rooms), public bathrooms or swimming pools
  • Avoid to use moisturizer ion the foot or between the toes to not to get damp condition for the foot.
  • Use some type of powder to keep the foot in dry conditions like talcum powder.
  • Wash your feet after any activity like sports or exercise.
  • Dress the flip-flops shoes
  • Avoid using/wearing closed shoes and fabric socks (made from nylon)
  • to keep the foot in dry, cool and clean condition.
  • Bath in hot water increase the chance of killing fungi.
  • No sharing of sports things like shoes or towels.

2.Pharmacological Treatment

  • Azole (antifungal agent)
  • Terbinafine
  • Griseofulvin
  • Topical Agents

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