Fungal infections of the skin of the feet are caused by microscopic organisms invisible to the naked eye. They exist everywhere, in the atmosphere and environment, and are known to thrive in dark, moist and warm environments. Our skin is more susceptible to fungal infection, particularly at times of mild debility or when the skin is damaged. The most commonly known fungal skin infection of the feet is Athlete’s Foot (Tinea Pedis). The symptoms and prevention for Athlete’s foot are described below.
Signs and Symptoms
- Dry, flaking skin
- Raised blister patches
- In some cases, depending on the organism, you may experience varying degrees of burning and/or itching.
- In severe cases, splitting of the skin and bleeding can occur.
Prevention is far better than cure. Here are some tips to help you avoid fungal skin infections of the feet:
- The first and obvious one is maintaining good daily foot hygiene. It is important to wash and dry your feet properly with warm soapy water daily, paying particular attention to in between the toes.
- Using a medicated talc powder containing a mild anti-fungal agent can be beneficial in preventing infections especially is you have had infections in the past.
- Wear proper fitting shoes which do not cramp the toes to ensure natural air-flow between them, making the skin more vulnerable.
- Footwear should be composed of natural materials as far as possible as these allow the feet to “breathe”. Socks of wool or cotton and shoes of real leather are advised for people who are prone to fungal skin infections.
- Never wear anyone else’s footwear.