Tinea pedis, also known as athlete’s foot is a skin infection that is caused by a fungal infection. It usually presents as red, macerated, peeling or flaky skin in-between the toes or soles of your feet. The fungal infection typically grows in areas that are warm and humid, so it is more likely to grow if your feet are in enclosed toe shoes for long periods of time. Thus fungal infections have become more common in recent years with more individuals wearing shoes that don’t let your feet to breath.
What are the causes of Tinea?
Tinea is caused by a number of species of fungi but most commonly a species called Trichophyton rubrum. This species is found in warm and humid environments, including numerous areas in Australia. This fungal species is also contagious and can spread to different individuals when walking barefooted on contaminated surfaces such as shared changing rooms, showers and swimming pool areas. They can also be present in shoes, socks and towels.
What are the symptoms of tinea?
- Red and flaky skin
- Skin peeling
- Itching, stinging or burning
- Small red blisters
- Scaly rash covering the entire soles and up the sides of the feet (moccasin tinea).
What are the treatments for tinea infections?
Treatments for tinea infections including topical treatment in the form of antifungal creams, sprays, ointments and powders. These are typically available over the counter. Other treatments including oral tablets, which are usually prescribed by your doctor.
10 tips to avoid tinea infections:
- Wash your feet thoroughly every day when you come back from work, you can use products with tea-tree oil to help prevent bacterial and/or tinea infection.
- Make sure to dry in between the toes well.
- Change socks every day.
- Wear breathable socks.
- Let your shoes air dry.
- Put your shoes in the sun to kill any fungal spores.
- Use a tea-tree spray for your shoes and on your feet.
- Alternate your shoes.
- Wear shoes with a breathable material
- Wear flip flops in shared environments such as swimming pools and showers.
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