Athlete's Foot (Tinea Pedis) is a fungal infection, which most often affects the feet, but can also occur on the head, body, skin and nails. The condition is recognized by dry scaling and cracks in the skin surface between the toes. If left untreated, the fungus progresses to large patches of flaky skin.
Signs and Symptoms
- Pain manifests itself as more of an irritation.
- Itching is the most indicative sign.
- Initially appears as a rash, and may contain small pimples or blisters which discharge a yellowish fluid.
- With scratching, the skin can become inflamed and red, and there can be wide spread flaking of the skin.
- Topical Agents. Keep the feet as dry as possible and apply an anti-fungal cream or powder (such as "Tinactin") to help combat the fungus. Do not wear the same socks twice.
- Medical Referral. If the topical agents and powders fail to control the problem, a medical referral to a Podiatrist, Dermatologist or General Practitioner is required. They may suggest a tougher treatment such as an anti fungal medication called Lamisil™ or Sporanox™.
- Return to Activity. No interruption in activity should be necessary.
- Facilities. To halt the spread of fungal infections, ensure that change areas and showers are kept clean and regularly disinfected.
- Footwear. Encourage athletes to wear footwear (i.e. "flip-flops") whenever they are in a common locker area.
- Personal Hygiene. Daily cleaning and powder applications reduce the chance of developing Athlete's Foot. Athletes must make sure that they thoroughly dry between their toes and change their socks frequently.
- Powder. The athlete should powder his/her feet frequently, as well as their shoes, to keep them dry.
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