Athlete's Foot Podiatry Singapore
foot refers to a skin disease that is caused by a specific fungus, and
it usually happens between one's toes. This fungus usually and commonly
attack our feet and toes because shoes and footwear creates a perfect
environment: warm, dark and wet - which facilitates fungal growth.
Other breeding grounds for fungal growth are warm and damp areas, such as swimming pools, shower areas and locker rooms...and because these infections are common amongst athletes who use the same facilities frequently, that's why it was coined as "athlete's foot."
Of course, not all fungal infections and conditions are athlete's foot - some can be disruptances of the sweat mechanism of the foot, skin reaction to certain chemicals such as dyes (colorings) or adhesives in shoes, psoriasis and eczema, which can mimic athlete's foot.
The usual tell-tale signs of athlete's foot, be it single or combined:
Blisters can lead to cracking of your skin, exposing raw tissue areas, and this causes pain and swelling. If it gets infected, there may be itching and sensation of burning/smarting as well, as the infection builds.
Sadly, athlete's foot can spread. It may spread to the soles of your feet and to your toenails, as well as to other parts of your body such as the groin and underarms. This is often caused by touching the infected area and then touching elsewhere. It can also be spread via bedsheet, linen, clothing and footwear.
Irritatingly, the fungal organisms that causes athlete's foot is pretty stubborn, and can persist for long periods of time
It's pretty tough to prevent athlete's foot because it can be picked up in shared public areas such as dressing rooms, shower area, swimming pool locker rooms where bare feet comes into direct contact with the fungus...
BUT, you can play a part in preventing it by practicing good foot hygiene.
What you need to do is to wash your feet daily with soap and water, dry your feet and toes carefully, paying special attention to between the toes. It's also good to regularly change your shoes and socks to decrease moisture to prevent the fungus from infecting your feet.
Bonus if you can daily use good quality foot powder too =)
You can consider using fungicidal and fungistatic chemicals, which are commonly used for athlete's foot treatment, but frequently are unable to reach the fungi in the layers of the skin. Recently, topical (application) or oral antifungal drugs are prescribed more frequently.
For mild cases, it's very important to keep your feet dry by dusting in foot power in your shoes and socks, and washing your feet frequently and drying carefully is vital.
If your fungal condition doesn't seem to respond to proper foot hygiene and self management, and there is little to no improvement within 14 days, we'd recommend you to consult with a podiatrist.
The podiatrist will be able to assess and determine if a fungus is the cause of the problem. If it is, then a very specific treatment plan, including the prescription of antifungal medication, either by topical application or by oral, will usually be suggested.
A podiatrist assessment and consult is likely going to provide you better solutions and resolution of the problem, especially when the patient is compliant with the treatment prescribed by the podiatrist - if the treatment is shortened, failure of the treatment is common (so please complete the course of treatment as prescribed please =p)
If the podiatrist determines that the infection is caused by bacterial infection, then antibiotics such as penicillin that are effective against broad-based bacteria may be prescribed.