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How to prevent Athlete's Foot (Tinea Pedis) Common Foot Fungal Infection

Updated on December 28, 2014
Tinea Pedis
Tinea Pedis

The fungus invades the skin more in warm and humid condition. Hence, damp floores and feet confined inn sweaty socks and shoes make an ideal breeding ground for the fungus. It may get better with local dryness, hygiene and self care, but has high chances of recurrences.

This infection of the feet is contagious and can directly spread from:

1. Person to person

2. By contaminated objects such as shoes, socks

3. Walking on contaminated floors

4. Risk Factors

5. Prolonged hours of wearing closed shoes, especially rubber of plastic-lined shoes

6. Prolonged hours of wet feet or working in water

7. Increased sweating

8. Frequent minor skin cuts or nail injuries

9. Frequently walking barefoot in contaminated areas such as locker rooms, swimming pool shower floors and gym floors

10. Immune-compromised status, including diabetes, obesity or sometimes foot deformities.

This fungal infection may sometimes go unnoticed or may present as:

  • Dryness
  • Cracking
  • Redness
  • Flaky skin, commonly on soles or in between toes
  • The web space between fourth and fifth toe is the commonest area of infection

The Infected skin Causes:

  • Burning
  • Itching
  • sometimes Oozing

There may be some other focus of infection such as Tinea of the hand, Nails or Groin, which is left untreated, may be the cause of relapses. There are three types of Tinea Pedis:

1. Chronic scaly infection of soles of the feet, also called moccasin type

2. Between the toes, also called inter-digital type

3. Acute inflammatory type or blistering

Clinical examination with the help of skin KOH exam, skin biopsy and culture may be required to confirm the diagnosis.

Untreated athletes foot can potentially spread to another body parts or other people, including family members fungus may spread locally to the legs toenails, hands, finger nails and essential any of the body part. Possible complications include secondary bacterial infections and feet swelling.

To Prevent Athletes Foot

1. Wash your feet with soap and water, and keep them clean and dry specially after a shower using a soft cotton cloth to weep in between toes

2. Dry them after shower, gym, swimming etc

3. Wear clean cotton cloths and change them frequently if they get soaked in water or sweat

4. Use shoes that are well ventilated and made of breathable material such as leather and canvas avoid vinyl or plastic lined shoes

5. Avoid closed shoes if you are prone to getting repeated infection

6. Wear sandals or flip flops at a public shower or pool

7. Use anti fungal powders available over the counter or prescribed by your doctor on a regular basis before wearing your shoes if you susceptible to recurrence or your job requires prolonged hours of wearing shoes

8. You can also dust the insides of the shoes with an anti fungal powder or clean it with a disinfectant after every use

9. Avoid using contaminated floors or infected equipments at nail saloons

10. Treat all infected family members simultaneously to avoid cross infections

11. Treat other infected areas including the groins, hands or nails (especially if they are thick, yellow or white and brittle)

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