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Got an ache or pain? Have a question about a prescription or over-the-counter drug? Looking for some FREE medical advice?
Question:
Not a tremendously complex problem, but a bothersome one. What advice can you give about athlete's foot. How best to treat it, and then what's best to prevent it? Thank you very much for your help.
GM
Answer:
Thanks for your inquiry. Fungal infections, also known as mycoses, can affect the skin and other organs of the body. Most fungal infections though, can be cured or alleviated by treatment. The main superficial fungal infections are candidiasis (thrush) and tinea (including ring worm and athlete's foot), both of which are very common. Tinea affects external areas of the body, including the skin, hair and nails. Most infections are caused by a group of fungi called the dermatophytes. Tineal infections may be acquired from another person, from an animal, from soil, from the floors of showers, or from household objects, such as chairs or carpets. Fungi that cause superficial infections thrive in warm, moist conditions, particularly where two skin surfaces come together, e.g. between the toes, between the buttocks, and in the genital area. These areas may be moist from perspiration or because they are not easy to dry properly. Measures which encourage drying of the skin are almost always helpful in dealing with fungal infections. ATHLETES FOOT (tinea pedis) Friction and moisture are important in aggravating the problem. Many people sharing common showering facilities make exposure to the fungus more common. But you don't have to participate in sports to contact this fungus; it is all around. Scrupulous foot hygiene is essential. Whenever possible, discard shoes and socks and wear sandals to expose the affected areas to the air. Twice daily foot baths followed by meticulous drying between the toes and application of a pain (see below) is nearly always effective if continued long enough. If shoes are worn, change socks daily and do not wear nylon or other synthetic products. Wear only wool or cotton. Foot-powder, if used, should only be dusted on lightly - never tipped over the foot and toes in quantity, because excess powder and sweat form a sludge that collects between the toes, thereby spreading the infection. Cleanliness, exposure to the air and painting on a "spirituous paint" (e.g. Castellani's) solution (to dry the area) are the best treatments.
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