Athlete’s foot also known as tinea pedis is a fungal infection of the skin caused by fungal spores. These microscopic spores eat away at the bodies healthy skin cells known as keratin, resulting in the skin appearing red, inflammed and itchy. Our feet create an optimal environment for fungi due to the presence of 250,000 sweat glands. Fungi thrive in warmth, darkness and excess moisture.
A topical anti-fungal cream should be applied for 14 days straight to the affected areas. Easy to follow hygiene tips include washing hosiery at 60 degrees to kill any fungal spores. The use of hosiery made of natural materials e.g. cotton and wool as they wick away excess moisture whereas synthetic materials retain it. Use of open toe shoes where possible to allow the feet to breathe. The web space in between the toes is often restricted and forgotten about when coming out of the shower or bath. Using kitchen roll to dry in between the toes is a great alternative as the fibres are smaller and more absorbent. Communal areas like gyms, pools and hotel rooms are a hot spot for athlete’s foot transmission. Flip-flops are a convenient way to avoid direct contact with dirty surfaces. Following the above mentioned advice can result in resolution in two weeks. If left untreated, it may result in the transmission of fungi from the skin to nails. Fungal nail treatment on the other hand is a severely difficult condition to treat at home.
Product Choice: Canestan Foot Cream or Surgical Spirits.
Verruca pedis caused by the human papilloma virus, most commonly occurs on the soles of the feet in single lesions or clusters. It appears raised with a cauliflower appearance and black specs which distinguishes it from a corn. Verruca are also picked up from dirty surfaces via water molecules in communal areas through tiny breaks in the skin. A combination of flip flops and swimming socks can prevent occurrence. In children, verruca may disappear on their own. However this may result in cross-contamination between family members before resolution is achieved. Essential oils e.g. tea tree and the use of thuja, a homeopathic agent that boosts the immune system, have been proven to be effective in the treatment of verruca. Another treatment option is the application of duct tape. After a few days the skin will appear wet and white in colour in a process known as maceration. This results in inflammation which can stimulate a reaction from the immune system. Topical treatments from your local pharmacy may also be applied.
Product Choice: Salactol and Thuja.