Athletic foot

Athletic foot (tinea pedis) is a fungal infection of the feet skin between the toes which if left untreated can spread to other parts of the foot and fingernails. This fungal disease is most common in athletes or persons who spend most of their day wearing sport shoes which favor the emergence of an infection.

This disease is very hard to treat considering a very adverse, moist surrounding in which the foot is located. The disease is usually contracted from other people, in moist environments where you walk barefoot. Also, it can be contracted if you wear other people’s clothes or transmitted by use of toiletries of an infected person. If treatment isn’t administered in time and adequately, the infection can spread on the soles of the feet and foot fingernails. By touching it, the patient can spread the infection to other parts of the body.

Symptoms of the athletic foot

On the foot – red, cracked skin, sporadic skin bleeding, itch and tingling.
On the fingernails – change in the color of the nails to yellow or brown, fingernail thickening, and unpleasant smell.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is made after the examination of the foot by the dermatologist and taking a sample of the skin or chip off the fingernail which is sent to a laboratory for an analysis.

Treating the athletic foot

Treatment is done by antimycotics. If the infection doesn’t react to the application of the localized medicine, it is necessary to take pills. The feet should be washed once a day by a regular soap and warm water. After washing it is necessary to clean them well with a clean towel. The socks need to be changed often. It is best if the socks are made of cotton.

Prevention

If you are walking on wet floors in public spaces, wear shoes. Do not exchange clothes and personally hygiene items with others. If your feet are sweating excessively, change the socks a few times a day. Wear shoes that “breathes”. Apply powder on your feet from time to time.

Spec. Dr. Svetlana Djurisic, dermatologist
Dermatology center DERMATIM, Belgrade – Serbia