Tinea Pedis, also known as Athleteӳ Feet, is a fungal infection on the skin. It is a disease that mostly affects adults. It is caused by microscopic organisms that can grow on many surfaces that we live around. The fungus lives on the layers of dead skin our body produces.
Common symptoms of a skin fungal infection are redness and scaly skin. The skin may be dry or moist. It may affect just the bottom or the foot, between the toes, or the entire foot. It may become very intchy. If breaks in the skin are formed a secondary bacterial infection may also occur.
Tinea pedis can be prevented by controlling the external factors that make it favorable for the fungus to live on your feet. Your feet should be washed daily with soap and water, then dried thoroughly between the toes to remove the dead skin. Hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating of the feet should be avoided and treated appropriately. Socks and shoes should be kept clean and not shared between individuals. Avoid wearing dark synthetic socks, pantyhose, and occlusive shoes like vinyl. Avoid going barefoot in public places like showers, gyms, locker rooms, and around a swimming pool.
The cause of a foot fungus is usually from any one of many microscopic organisms invading the skin when there is a proper environment for there survival. There is no way of avoiding fungus and microscopic organisms. High use of chemotherapy, antibiotics, and immunosuppressive drugs make you at risk for having the fungus. Those with a compromised immune system, such as those with diabetes or HIV infection may have an increased risk as well.
Diagnosis of a fungus on your skin can be done by laboratory test performed by your doctor to detect the organisms. Many times your podiatrist can look at the condition of your skin and have a high suspicion to make the diagnosis based on the physical examination. There are many skin conditions that can mimic the appearance of a foot fungus, you should see your podiatrist for a diagnosis before treatment is started.
Treatment of a foot fungus may be as simple as improving the hygiene by keeping your foot dry and clean. There are multiple creams, lotions, and powders that can act as an anti-fungal medication to rid the microorganisms from your skin. The biggest problem most people face is when they apply creams between the toes. The toes are a warm, moist environment for the fungus, when creams are rubbed in the area, they usually do not dry out properly and promote the fungus to remain. You should never use creams or lotions between the toes. See your podiatrist to determine the best treatment for your condition.