foot is a skin disease caused by a fungus, usually occurring
between the toes.
The fungus most commonly attacks the feet because shoes create
a warm, dark, and humid environment which encourages fungus growth.
The warmth and dampness of areas around swimming pools, showers,
and locker rooms are also breeding grounds for fungi. Because
the infection was common among athletes who used these facilities
frequently, the term "athlete's foot" became popular.
Not all fungus conditions are athlete's foot. Other conditions,
such as disturbances of the sweat mechanism, reaction to dyes
or adhesives in shoes, eczema, and psoriasis, may mimic athlete's
The signs of athlete's foot, singly or combined, are dry skin,
itching, scaling, inflammation, and blisters. Blisters often
lead to cracking of the skin. When blisters break, small raw
areas of tissue are exposed, causing pain and swelling. Itching
and burning may increase as the infection spreads.
Athlete's foot may spread to the soles of the feet and to the
toenails. It can be spread to other parts of the body, notably
the groin and underarms, by those who scratch the infection and
then touch themselves elsewhere. The organisms causing athlete's
foot may persist for long periods. Consequently, the infection
may be spread by contaminated bed sheets or clothing to other
parts of the body.
Fungicidal and fungistatic chemicals, used for athlete's foot
treatment, frequently fail to contact the fungi in the horny
layers of the skin. Topical or oral antifungal drugs are prescribed
with growing frequency.
In mild cases of the infection it is important to keep the feet
dry by dusting foot powder in shoes and hose. The feet should
be bathed frequently and all areas around the toes dried thoroughly.
Come in For a Consultation
If an apparent fungus condition does not respond to proper foot
hygiene and self care, and there is no improvement within two
weeks, come in for a consultation. I will determine
if a fungus is the cause of the problem. If it is, a specific
treatment plan, including the prescription of antifungal medication,
applied topically or taken by mouth, will usually be suggested.
If the infection is caused by bacteria, antibiotics, such as
penicillin, that are effective against a broad spectrum of bacteria
may be prescribed.