ATHLETE'S FOOT (TINEA PEDIS)

Athlete’s foot is caused by various fungi belonging to the dermatophyte group.

These fungi thrive in closed, moist environments and are commonly found in locker rooms, public pools, showers, bathrooms, and saunas, as well as in footwear (both new and old). They feed on keratin, a protein present in hair, nails, and skin. Rarely, athlete’s foot is caused by non-dermatophyte fungi such as Candida.

Athlete’s foot is mildly contagious. It can spread through direct contact with an infected area or through skin particles left on towels, shoes, or the floor. Walking barefoot increases the risk of getting athlete’s foot.

The mildest form manifests as persistent itching on the soles or between the toes, typically the fourth and fifth toes. As the fungal infection progresses, the skin becomes soft, inflamed, and starts to peel. In ulcerative athlete’s foot, skin peeling worsens, and large cracks develop on the skin, making it susceptible to bacterial infection, which can lead to an unpleasant odor. The infection can even spread to other areas through friction or via clothing.

The third type is “moccasin foot,” characterized by pronounced redness on the lower part of the foot in the shape of a moccasin.

The fourth type is inflammatory or vesicular, where clusters of blisters and fissures appear on the lower part of the foot, typically in the metatarsal region. Itchiness is intense, and there is less skin peeling.

This type of fungal infection can persist for years and may disappear spontaneously. Treating fungal infections is quite challenging because the fungus itself is highly resistant, and recurrences are common. Unpleasant foot odor is often present, making the patient feel very uncomfortable.

TREATMENT

A simple, effective treatment includes wearing open-toed shoes whenever possible, changing shoes and socks during the day, and using foot powder on the feet and between the toes to absorb moisture and prevent unpleasant odors. Exposure to sunlight and fresh air as much as possible also helps. However, these are only measures that provide temporary relief. For the treatment of athlete’s foot, a comprehensive approach and proper therapy until complete recovery are necessary.

By using trusted and proven products for athlete’s foot treatment, we can finally eradicate the infection once and for all.

Podiatrists,  dermatologists,

and plastic surgeons

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