A parent may feel shocked when they learn that their child has athlete’s foot. However, while the athlete’s foot, also known as tinea, may be temporarily annoying, athlete’s foot is a lot more common than most people think, and it is often very easy to treat. Once it is treated, simple preventative measures such as wearing cotton socks, wearing breathable shoes, and using some form of footwear in a public shower can help prevent its recurrence.
What Is Athlete’s Foot?
Athlete’s foot is the result of a fungus that can be found on floors, in clothing, in school showers, and in school gyms. It is easily transmitted when a person’s foot comes into contact with a surface that has been contaminated with the fungus.
Once the fungus comes into contact with the foot, it begins to affect the skin that is in between the toes. The result is a scaly, itchy irruption that might on occasion be weepy and present oozing. There are rare occasions where athlete’s foot is caused by something other than a fungal infection. But this can only be identified by a medical professional using proper testing techniques.
While the official name for the fungus that causes athlete’s foot is tinea pedis, it has been called by a wide variety of names. It has been called jungle rot because it often affects members of the Armed Forces who are serving in tropical areas.
Athlete’s foot requires warmth and moisture to grow. Without this, the fungus will not survive and will not be transmitted to others. It’s estimate is that around the world about 70 percent of the population will have athlete’s foot at one time or another.
Some people seem to be more susceptible to athlete’s foot, while others have developed a strong resistance towards it. Being infected with athlete’s foot fungi does not create resistance to further infections.
Treatment of Athlete’s Foot
Tinea treatment is a two-part process. The first part focuses on making the foot less susceptible for the athlete’s foot fungus to grow on. This means keeping feet dry and clean. Additionally, shoes that breathe and cotton socks that draw water away from the feet can help to prevent athlete’s foot growth. Additionally, drying solutions made of aluminum acetate, a soaking solution made of white vinegar and water, and powders can be used to help keep the feet dry.
The second part of the treatment includes the use of anti-fungal creams that include miconazole and econazole nitrate. These topical treatments can be found at brick-and-mortar pharmacies or can be ordered online at places like Chemmart for example.
More resistant cases of athlete’s foot may require oral medication. However, before prescribing these medications, a doctor may recommend their patient undergo a blood test to make sure they are not dealing with any liver diseases that could interact poorly with oral athlete’s foot treatments, such as terbinafine.
Parents who noticed that one of their children have athlete’s foot want to take steps to prevent cross contamination in the home. This would include encouraging the child to avoid walking barefoot throughout the home and also cleaning hard floor surfaces with disinfectants or bleach.
Athlete’s foot can be annoying. However, it is something that can easily be treated or completely avoided.