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Cracked heels are difficult to handle and hamper your style quotient. When heels are not in proper shape then it is difficult to hide it from others. So you would no longer be able to wear those fashionable slippers and beautiful flip flops which make a great fashion statement. How could you change this condition and what would you do for curing these heels? Apply salt, lemon, raised water and glycerin  [...]

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Athlete’s Foot

Submitted by on August 13, 2009 – 10:30 amOne Comment




Athlete’s Foot (tinea pedis) is a communicable fungal infection that leads to a flaky, cracked rash occurring in the areas between the toes that become immensely scratchy and irritable, many times spreading to the instep and often accompanied by foul odour.

Athlete’s Foot Causes: Athlete’s foot is caused by a fungus that breeds in warm, clammy skin of the foot and can be easily contracted in public places like gyms, swimming pools, steam-sauna rooms, spas when individuals go barefooted. Largely, all athlete’s foot are caused due to either of the following two fungal forms, namely

Trichophyton mentagrophytes – that cause rapid, severe eruptions or toe webbed infectivity that can be overcome with treatment easily.

Trichophyton rubrum- that causes Moccasin-like infection that affects the soles and heels of the feet that is the more persistent form of infection.

Athlete’s Foot Symptoms:  With varying symptoms some complain of extreme discomfort and many others being asymptomatic or fewer symptoms. General symptoms seen are peel off, cracks, scaling in the feet, reddishness, wound formation and break down of the skin accompanied by either or both scratchiness and burning.

In Toe web infection the area between the digits or the smallest toes of the feet become moist, faint whitish with the above mentioned symptoms.

The persistent Moccasin-like infections might show up on the palm area of the hand and both the feet that initiates with dryness, itchiness, peeling skin or burning sensation that advances to thickening, cracks and flaky skin, many times toenails thickening and falling apart.

The widely occurring vesicular infection commonly start with a rapid fluid-inundated breakouts within the skin on the instep, heels, soles, on the feet or within the toe area, many times seen on the arms, chest area and fingers with scaly skin in between flare-ups.

Exams & Tests: By examining the condition of the foot, the doctor will delve into the symptoms, past history of disease or treatment if any, following which a sample from the skin or nails will be scraped off using a sharp edge or by a trim of the nail. These would be sent for laboratory analysis like treating the sample in potassium hydroxide or KOH solution or fungus culture to determine the presence or the form of the fungus. In exceptional cases a biopsy of the skin is done where in a tiny part of the skin is taken to be scrutinised microscopically.

Athlete’s Foot Treatment: A recurrent infection that mostly occurs due to inadequate preventative methods, incomplete course of medication followed or stubborn fungus that are incompletely killed during the treatment.

A home based treatment of non-prescription topical anti-fungal medicines like terbinafine, miconazole, clotrimazole and tolnaftate are used. If they don’t show results, prescription topical anti-fungals like Naftin, Mentax, Monistat and Lotrimin are suggested. Oral antifungals like Lamisil, Sporanox and Diflucan can be alternately given in non-resolving cases with precautious testing for any detrimental side-effects.

Athlete’s Foot Possible Complications: Immediate medical assistance is necessary in case of:

  • Formation of acute cracks, peeling skin, blisters, enhanced inflammation, oozing pus, reddish streaks radiating from the problem area, 100F plus high fever.
  • Diabetics with lessened sensation in the feet accompanied by athlete’s foot are in the high risk category for severe infection.
  • If non-prescription medication has no affect on the condition despite close to two weeks to a month of treatment.

Prevention:

  • Regular rinsing of feet with a dash of vinegar with water followed by thorough drying of all the nook and corners around the toe area subsequent to bath, shower or a dip at the pool.
  • If prone to the infection, sprinkling anti-fungal powder in socks or shoes prior to use is advisable.
  • Wearing footwear of innate materials, opting for leather shoes or airy sandals is the best bet. Letting the footwear to air for a day prior to using them.
  • Wearing cotton socks even when at home and changing then twice per day.
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