Tinea Pedis or athletes foot is a common fungal infection of the feet. It is frequently found in between the toes, but can occur on the dorsum (top) of the foot or round the edges. Patients often complain of extreme itchiness, it usually presents as red, scaly or blistering rash, in some cases patients can present with bleeding macerated splits in between their toes. Infection of the sole of the foot could be in patches or affect the entire foot, the skin could be dry, flaky or cracked, red sore and irritated. Athletes foot is usually a mild condition and once correct diagnosis has been made can be easily treated using over the counter anti fungal medications, available in clinic or form a good pharmacy.
Causes of Athletes Foot
Athletes foot can easily be passed from one person to another. It is easily acquired in public swimming pools gyms and communal showers and changing rooms. People who wear industrial boots or footwear and work long hours are predisposed to infection, as are sports people.
Harmless bacteria and fungi live naturally on our skin, however under the right conditions these normally harmless organisms can multiply on the skin and ultimately cause infection. A group fungi called Dermatophytes are responsible for causing athletes foot. Dermatophytes thrive and feed of dead skin tissue. They particularly like the dark moist environment like those created inside our shoes and socks. Hot warm climates are particularly conductive to clinical manifestation. Poor foot hygiene and not thoroughly drying feet after bathing/showering, poorly controlled diabetes can also predispose a person to athletes foot.