What Is Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot is a type of fungal skin infection. Fungi are microscopic plant-like organisms that thrive in damp, warm environments. They’re usually not dangerous, but sometimes can cause disease. When they infect the skin, they cause mild but annoying rashes. Fungal skin infections are also known as tinea infections.
When fungus grows on the feet, it is called athlete’s foot . It got this name because it affects people whose feet tend to be damp and sweaty, which is often the case with athletes. But anyone can get this infection.
These infections are caused by several types of mold-like fungi called dermatophytes that live on the dead tissues of your skin, hair, and nails.
Clean Socks And Shoes
Regularly changing your socks and shoes can also cut down on the growth of unwanted foot fungus. Both socks and athletic shoes can also be washed in hot water to rid the growth of yeasts and fungi that may be growing on the fabric. Some shoes can be machine dried. Drying shoes in the sun is another option when cleaning footwear.
Adding a half-cup of baking soda or one cup of vinegar to the washing machine can help eliminate bacteria or fungus on socks or shoes.
Boots and other footwear that are not machine washable could be wiped out with a vinegar and water solution or sprayed with an over-the-counter antifungal spray. Medicated powders are also helpful in treating shoes for foot fungus.
Allowing the feet to breathe by taking off shoes and socks when possible can prevent fungal growth. Protect your feet by wearing breathable footwear and clean socks. Antimicrobial socks and shoes made from bamboo, copper, or specialty fabrics are also available. They can help reduce unwanted bacteria and yeast from growing in your footwear.
A proactive approach to keeping your feet clean and dry can prevent the spread of toenail fungus. You can wash or soak feet with warm soapy water or a foot bath using everyday household items. Soaking your feet in an all-natural, homeopathic concoction can be beneficial in reducing or eliminating toenail fungus.
What Is The Treatment For Tinea Pedis
General measures should be first-line, including meticulous drying of feet, especially between the toes, avoidance of occlusive footwear, and the use of barrier protection in communal facilities.
Topical antifungal therapy once or twice daily is usually sufficient. These include azoles, allylamines, butenafine, ciclopirox, and tolnaftate. A typical course is 2 to 4 weeks, but single dose regimes can be successful for mild infection .
For those who do not respond to topical therapy, an oral antifungal agent may be needed for a few weeks. These include:
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Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus
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Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis or tinea unguium, is a common nail condition affecting millions of people in the United States. Fungal nail infections can develop on the nail from various organisms such as molds, yeasts, and fungi. This usually occurs after these organisms come into contact with a cracked nail or skin surrounding the nail as the opening provides a portal of entry for these organisms.
Treatment For Athlete’s Foot From A Gp
The GP may:
- send a small scraping of skin from your feet to a laboratory to check you have athlete’s foot
- prescribe a steroid cream to use alongside antifungal cream
- prescribe antifungal tablets you might need to take these for several weeks
- refer you to a skin specialist for more tests and treatment if needed
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When To Refer To Podiatry
Before initiating topical or oral therapy, patients should ideally be referred to a podiatrist for nail trimming and debridement. This assists with removing as much fungus as possible and improves topical drug penetration. Debridement alone cannot be recommended for the treatment of OM patients using a combination of debridement and topical nail lacquer have shown a significant improvement in mycological cure compared with debridement only. Patients with nail trauma owing to footwear, dystrophic toenails affecting other toes or who describe discomfort when walking owing to thickened toenails should also be referred.
When there is treatment failure with topical, oral and combination therapies, a podiatrist may be able to carry out a chemical or surgical nail avulsion .
If there is doubt over the original diagnosis, or where no improvement has been seen with treatment, pharmacists should refer patients to a podiatrist or their GP.
Supported by RB
RB provided financial support in the production of this content.
The authors were paid by The Pharmaceutical Journal to write this article and full editorial control was maintained by the journal at all times.
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Epsom Salt Side Effects And Risks
The misconception that Epsom salts are somehow unsafe usually comes from it being misused. There are few risks to using it. When used topically, it is unlikely Epsom salts will have any side effects.
- Epsom salts can dry out the skin. You shouldnt do a foot soak with Epsom salt every day for this reason. If you do, the skin on your feet might start to dry out and become cracked. Cracked skin on the feet can open you up to a different kind of infection.
When using a foot soak with Epsom salt, you should also never re-use the same water. Toenail fungus is extremely contagious. It can live on surfaces for quite a while.
If your feet were submerged in water and you have a fungal infection, its essential to get rid of that water once youre done. Fill up the basin with fresh water and new Epsom salts each time.
Again, when used correctly, Epsom salts are perfectly safe. They arent meant to be ingested. But, topical use can bring forward a lot of benefits. If you are using them regularly and start to get dry skin, try introducing a moisturizer into your foot care routine.
Why Does Nail Fungus Come Back
Toenail fungus, medically known as onychomycosis, may be an embarrassing condition but its a lot more common than you think. It makes up 50% of nail abnormalities, and affects up to 18% of the worldwide population. It usually affects adults, and the chances of getting a toenail fungal infection increases as you age. However, there are plenty of other factors that can cause toenail fungus. This includes poor hygiene, wrong footwear selection, certain medical conditions, and related diseases such athletes foot. It can affect one nail or even several at a time, spreading and infecting the neighboring nails if left untreated for too long. It can become unsightly and painful.
Unfortunately, toenail fungus doesnt go away on its own. However, the good news is that toenail fungus is highly treatable. The bad news? It can become a recurring situation. Toenail fungus has the tendency to come back if youre not careful. In fact, 1 out of 4 people who experienced successful treatment suffer from recurring nail fungus.
The question here is: why does nail fungus come back?
If it wasnt already a bothersome situation the first time around, it could become twice as aggravating in its second run. Hence, its good to note what makes a fungal infection come back, so you can take extra precaution. Here are the reasons why recurring nail fungus occurs:
2. Repeated exposure to infected spaces
3. Wearing nail polish
4. Weak immune system
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How Do People Get Athlete’s Foot
Waking around barefoot in warm wet places like locker rooms or public pools can expose the feet to fungi that thrive in those environments. Sweaty shoes and socks add to the dampness and can make the infection worse. Sharing towels, sheets, clothing, or shoes with someone who has athlete’s foot also can spread the infection.
How Is It Treated
Treating toe fungus can be complicated. It may take months to eliminate, and there is a risk of the infection returning. Due to the challenging nature of this condition, it is highly recommended that you see a podiatrist.
A foot doctor may prescribe topical antifungal medications, and there are also more natural treatments that the doctor may recommend. Pairing topical treatments often lead to the best results. In cases of severe and painful infections that do not respond to treatment, the doctor might suggest surgically removing the infected nail completely.
Do you suspect youâre dealing with a toe fungus infection? Visit Kalispell Foot & Ankle Clinic in Flathead County, MT for a dependable diagnosis and effective treatment options. With more than 25 years of experience, licensed podiatrist Dr. Stephen Latter has the expertise and state-of-the-art equipment to take care of any foot and ankle issues, including athletes foot, heel and arch pain, heel spurs, and ingrown toenails. Learn more about Dr. Latter and his practice online. To schedule an appointment to discuss your condition, call 755-5250.
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Best Antifungal Laundry Detergent
Beforelooking at specific detergents, it is important to note the water must be ultra-hot.A study of water temperatures effectiveness in killing fungus was conducted.Individuals with the fungi on their feet wore socks and then took them off fortesting.
These socksrevealed 85% of participants transferred the fungus to the socks. When theywashed the socks, one set was washed at 104 degrees Fahrenheit and the secondset was washed at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. 104 degrees Fahrenheit is yourtypical warm-wash setting and 140 degrees is the typical hot-water setting. Note:if your hot water temperature setting is turned down, this may not be the casefor your washer.
The sockswashed in 140 degrees Fahrenheit only left 6% of the socks with a positivefungus testing. In contrast, those socks washed in the 104 degrees had 36% leftwith a positive fungus testing. Not just did the warm wash with detergent notkill the bacteria, it actually spread to previously uncontaminated areas of thesocks. Imagine if other clothing was placed in the wash with the socks. It iseasy to see how the fungus could spread.
There are also additives for the rinse cycle, such as Defense Antibacterial and Antifungal Soap or Borax Laundry Booster. These additives are designed to kill spores so they do not turn into problematic fungal infections. Many of these types of additives are added to the rinse cycle with fabric softener.
What Causes Nail Fungus
Tiny, microscopic organisms called fungi cause a fungal nail infection.
Many people pick up the fungi when they have skin-to-skin contact with someone who has a fungal infection such as athletes foot or ringworm on their hands.
Another common way to get a fungal nail infection is by walking barefoot in a warm, moist area such as a pool deck or locker room. These fungi thrive in warm, moist areas.
You can also get a fungal nail infection by sharing an infected nail clipper or towel.
But you dont have to catch it from someone. You can get it if your nails are frequently moist or you often wear sweaty socks and shoes.
The fungi usually infect a nail by getting into a:
Small cut in the skin surrounding your nail
Crack in your nail
The area under a nail gives fungi a warm, moist place to grow. The infection can then spread to other nails and even your skin.
ReferencesGupta A and Brintnell W. Onychomycosis: A complex disease? Poster presented at: 69th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology 2011 Feb 4-8 New Orleans.
Gold LFS and Rosen T. Onychomycosis: Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies. Dermatology News . March 2016:2-15.
Verma S and Heffernan MP. Onychomycosis. In: Wolff K, Goldsmith LA, et al. Fitzpatricks Dermatology in General Medicine . McGraw Hill Medical, New York, 2008: 1817-20.
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Benefits Of Soaking Feet In Epsom Salt And Baking Soda
You have more than 72,000 nerve endings in your feet, and every one corresponds to a various area of the body. Reflexologists apply pressure to these points with their hands to achieve overall wellness of mind, body and soul, or to deal with specific symptoms and diseases. Soaking the feet works on a similar principal and is a complementary treatment to reflexology. The info in this post is not meant to replace suggestions from a doctor.
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Fungal Nail Infection Symptoms
Symptoms are different depending on which type of fungal nail infection you have. They usually start mild and get more serious.
- At first, you may only see a white or yellow spot under your nail. Over time, this spreads and can turn your whole nail white, yellow, green, or black.
- The nail may thicken and could be hard to trim.
- It may start to curl up or down or loosen from the nail bed.
- Your nail could become brittle and crumble when you touch it.
- Your nail may become misshapen.
- You may notice a bad smell.
ItÃ¢s easy to ignore fungal nail infections at first, since you may not have any pain. But if you donÃ¢t treat them, it can hurt to put any pressure on the area. If an infection gets bad enough, it could even become hard to walk.
Laser Treatment For Nail Fungus
If you have caught nail fungus as well, it can be easily treated using the FDA-approved PinPointe laser, which typically only takes on treatment.
Our toenail doctor in Charlotte, NC recommends this treatment. The PinPointe Laser treatment has the highest cure rate in the market. It has no side effects and no recovery period. As a result, you can go about your daily activities right after the treatment. Also, it is not painful.
If you have any signs of nail fungus, call us at 672-0625 or visit our website for more information on our doctors at one of our over 160 locations.
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Fungal Nail Infection Causes
ItÃ¢s a good idea to wash your hands and feet often. Use soap, and make sure you get between your fingers and toes.
Keep your fingernails and toenails short and trimmed straight across.
Wear socks that wick away moisture. If your feet sweat a lot, change your socks once or twice a day, or take off your shoes and let your feet cool when you have the chance.
Use antifungal powder or spray on your feet as well as in your shoes. Throw away old pairs of closed-toe shoes since fungi might be living in them.
If you get manicures at nail salons, visit only the ones that disinfect tools after each client. You can also bring your own file and clippers from home. Ask that your cuticles not be cut, since this can cause tiny breaks in the skin that let germs in.
DonÃ¢t share towels if someone else in your family has nail fungus. This will pass around the infection.
See your doctor if you think you have nail fungus. You may need a prescription to treat it, whether that means taking a medicine by mouth or using a special cream. In severe cases, your nail may need to be removed so a healthy new one can grow in its place. Doctors can also use lasers to treat nail fungus.
You get an infection when a crack in your nail or the skin around it allows fungus to get inside and grow.
YouÃ¢re more likely to get a fungal nail infection if you:
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Signs And Symptoms Of Athlete’s Foot
One variety of athletes foot can create scaling on the soles of the feet. Another variety can cause blisters. Athletes foot is contagious, spreading easily through clothing, used towels, and contaminated floor surfaces. Scratching at the infection can also spread it to the hands and other parts of the body.