Athlete’s foot is a common problem in Great Britain, but many of the sufferers are too embarrassed to discuss their ailments with their family doctors-GPs.
Current scientific research has revealed that over eight million British people have Athlete’s Foot, which is bad news for the health authorities.
It is an embarrassing ailment caused by a fungal infection under the arches of the feet and between the toes. The result is itchy, flaky skin which can blister and the condition may spread to the toe-nails, hands or even the groin. Too intense or over-prolonged scratching of the affected areas due to itching increases the chances of a secondary bacterial infection.
Athlete’s Foot is the bi-product of the contagious fungus caught by walking barefoot on damp or wet surfaces, for example round a swimming pool, or on wet ground when it rains. It enters the naked foot through a minor cut or wound and the fungus can easily be spread by damp towels, napkins and socks.
Should it spread to the toenails, it takes more than six months to recover. If proper treatment is not provided on time, a secondary infection may occur which can create complications. It is very difficult for the doctors to treat such cases and patients are referred to a physician or a surgeon.
Severe cases can result in amputation of the toe or the whole limb. So Athlete’s Foot must not to be overlooked or taken lightly. The matter should be discussed with the GP as soon as the ailment is seen and known. Avoid walking barefoot in wet areas and especially around swimming pools. Change your socks everyday, ensure that your shoes are dry, particularly on the inside, and clean them thoroughly. Get used to wearing open shoes during hot weather. Never use a damp towel or a napkin to clean feet and toes. If you are already affected, use a separate towel for your feet to avoid infecting other parts of the body.
Wash your legs regularly with hot water when you come home and clean the spaces between the toes and the fingers properly. Dry both carefully and check your toenails on a regular basis.
Some anti-fungal drugs should be available over the counter at your local pharmacy. Lamaism and Daktarin if taken as per the recommended dosage may help to kill the fungal spores.
If the above remedies and the anti-fungal drugs don’t work, don’t hesitate to visit your GP who will be able to save you from further embarrassment from this ailment.
So don’t overlook the symptoms of Athlete’s Foot and make sure you get treated before it is too late.