More than half the population will at one time or another develop athlete’s foot, a fungal infection on the skinof the feet. It causes itching, burning or scaling of the skin, especially between the toes or on the soles. Also known as tinea pedis, it affects men more than women, and it becomes more common with older age. Excessive moisture and lack of airflow around the feet predispose people to infection with the fungus. To decrease your chances of contracting athlete’s foot, avoid walking barefoot in public locker rooms and showers, and keep feet clean, dry and in shoes that allow the feet to get air. Since many years in Dubai, we realized that mainly those kind of business men, wearing this expensive, shiny and hard leather soled shoes are suffering the most. Since early years of their lives, they have been asked to wear school uniform shoes, forgetting that we are not living in a cold and moist environment like in Europe. To make shoes shine like a mirror, the often-high quality leather toping material had been coated with a very thin layer of plastic, that does not allow the feet to ventilate and skin fungal infections are very common.
Your podiatrist will diagnosis athlete’s foot after conducting a physical examination of your feet. In some cases, a skin scraping is obtained to look for fungus under a microscope, or a culture is taken to grow and identify it.
Usually an anti-fungal cream or ointment applied to the affected area for 2 to 4 weeks will resolve the problem. Depending on the severity of the case, the medication will be available by prescription or over-the-counter. In certain cases, oral medications will be prescribed. There is a so called “grandma’s recipe “ to clear the footwear from those fungal bacteria and our podiatrist will tell you then later.
Although uncommon, athlete’s foot can lead to cellulitis, a more serious bacterial skin infection of the foot that can spread up the leg.