Athletes’ foot is a very common irritant and occasionally serious condition affecting, typically, the space between the toes. The condition is caused by a yeast, which thrives in moist, warm conditions which are typical in this area under nice warm socks.
For the most part, people have just itching and irritation in this area, with skin peeling. In people with diabetes or poor circulation, deeper infection can occur. I have seen microscopic breaches in the skin’s protective layer leading to spreading of infection into the foot in people without any underlying illness.
Athletes’ foot can be treated effectively with an over the counter preparation and we advise you do the following:
- After washing feet, dry between toes! It was only when I got athletes’ foot that I realised that I never actually did this…
- Use a hairdryer to ensure toes are actually dry (no, really) but don’t burn yourself.
- Apply terbinafine cream (Lamisil) to the affected area. Creams containing anything ending in –onazole are available but these merely inhibit the growth of the fungus rather than killing it. Powders are completely useless.
- Get in the habit of drying your feet in the future, especially if very sweaty.
If you suffer from diabetes or if your athletes’ foot is getting worse despite treatment, see your GP.
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