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Athletes Foot


WARNING: Diabetics should not self treat any conditions of the feet, it is important to bring any problems you have with your feet to the attention of your doctor or chiropodist.


Athletes Foot is not, as its name suggest, a condition which solely affects the physically energetic. It is an uncomfortable condition of the feet caused by a fungal infection just below the skin. It can be recognised by an initial scaling of the skin between the toes, this skin then becomes moist or soggy. The skin may then flake and peel and small blisters may appear. The new skin underneath infected areas may look red, sore and inflamed. There are several products available to treat Athletes Foot. It is important to follow the guidelines for the treatment carefully since the infecting fungus is quite hardy and is often very difficult to kill. Following the course of treatment will ensure eradication of the fungus and reduce the chances of a further infection.

Imidazoles

There are two imidazoles commonly available for the treatment of Athletes Foot; Clotrimazole and Miconazole. These agents act by killing the fungal cells that are causing the infection. It may be appropriate to use a powder (See Tolnaftates) at the same time as one of the creams to prevent self reinfection from sources such as shoes and socks.

Tolnaftates

This agent acts by reducing the growth of the fungus responsible for athlete's foot. They are generally available in three forms:
  • Creams - for use on the foot
  • Powders - for use in shoes and socks
  • Sprays - for use on feet and in shoes
The preferred combination of these products is a cream and a powder, the cream is applied to the feet as directed by the packaging or a medical practitioner, and the powder is placed into shoes and socks to reduce the chances of reinfection of the feet by skin scales inside footwear.

Salicylic and Benzoic Acid

These two ingredients work together to remove hard skin and penetrate into the skin to act on the fungus where they have anti-fungal properties. Again it may be beneficial to use a powder (See Tolnaftates) to prevent reinfection.

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