Athlete’s foot. (Dermatomycosis, Tinea Pedis)
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the skin on the feet and especially in-between the toes. Not only athletes or sportsmen get it, but they are more prone to it because of their sweaty feet while exercising. A fungus is microscopic organisms similar to bacteria and viruses that invade our bodies. This is why feet and in between the toes are commonly infected with it.
Also if you scratch the area you may spread the infection to other areas of your body or to other people around you. It is very contagious especially when walking barefoot in wet environments like at the gym or in communal change rooms and showers. An incorrect fact about fungus is that you only get it in summer. Well no you don’t, as you can get it in winter too as your feet are nice and warm and sweaty in your shoes even though the external temperature may be cold.
Prevention is better than cure with fungal infections.
Do not walk barefoot in these wet areas of the gym or communal showers.
Wash and dry your feet carefully and make sure that in between your toes are kept dry.
Use a prophylactic foot powder in your shoes, socks and in between your toes daily, as part of your cleanliness routine.
Use clean socks daily. Socks with a higher wool or cotton content will help contain the sweat better. (See sock guide)
Go barefoot and aerate your feet when you get the chance.
Wash your running shoes regularly, but take care with the washing of your shoes as not to damage them.
If you do have a fungus, use an antifungal cream or ointment twice a day after washing your feet.
Lamisil cream is one the best although there are many others available.
Also use a medicated foot powder in your shoes and socks.
The antifungal cream will take the itch away and that will stop the need to scratch, which reduces cross infection. Any associated smell will also go away with time and treatment.
This information and / advice is the opinion of the author in his capacity as a qualified and registered podiatrist.
The information and advice is meant as a guide only and is intended to be easily understandable to the lay person.
Anyone seeking health and/or medical advice is strongly advised to consult a qualified professional of their choice. If you have any specific questions about any podiatric or medical matter or are in need of treatment you should consult your podiatrist, doctor, or other professional health care provider.