Athletes foot -scaly smelly itchy feet
” Docta, mi girlfren seh mi foot dem smell bad when mi tek off mi shoes an no matta how mi lotion dem, dem still dry and scaly,” a chef lamented to me. ” Mi brother sey mi have athletes foot, but mi nuh play sport?! “
The medical term for athlete foot is tinea pedis. It is caused by a type of fungus. Athlete’s foot (AF) is a very common skin condition. Many people will develop AF at least once in their lives. We called this condition Athlete’s Foot because people who play a lot of sports tend to get it more often. This is because the warm, moist environment created by the sweaty socks in the sneakers is ideal for the growth of the fungi. AF is most prevalent amongst teenagers and adult males who love to wear sneakers for sporting events or just as a fashion statement. The condition is also common amongst chefs, police officers, soldiers and security guards who have to be in shoes for long hours. It is uncommon in women where open toe shoes and sandals are the preferred footwear.
Athlete’s foot may not appear in the same way for everyone. In some people, the toe web (especially between the last two toes) appears scaly and white with cracks. These cracks are painful on contact with water. The cracks also permit entry of bacteria which give rise to secondary bacterial
infection. This is especially dangerous for patients with diabetes as their immune system is defective. In others, there may be scaling all over the feet with or without blisters, on the sole and along the side of the feet. The blisters (water bumps) are very itchy and usually leave dark spots once healed. These dark spots are more bothersome to the patients than the actual condition! Often patients seek treatment for these unsightly dark spots rather than the scaling and itching. This condition may spread and infect the toenails. Fungal toenail infection results in the discoloration, crumbling of the nail.
Athlete’s foot is contagious! If this infection is not treated, it may spread to other areas of the body such as the groin resulting in “jock itch” or your hands ( tinea manus). An untreated patient can act as a reservoir of this fungus, which may lead to the infection of family and friends, especially those that borrow your shoes
Prevention is the key! You can prevent athlete’s foot by following these simple rules:
• Wash your feet daily with ariSulfur Bar / ariBriteTone Bar or both. For faster and better results, leave the soap foam on highly for an hour before bathing with foot scrub and dry your feet and toe webs properly.
• Use ariDeodorant between toes to prevent smelly feet
• Wear rubber slippers when showering in public facilities such as the gym or health club.
• Avoid closed shoes! Whenever possible wear sandals or open-toed shoes to “air out” your feet.
• If over the counter medications do not clear up the condition after 1 month or if it becomes worse, see a doctor/ dermatologist as soon as possible.