What is athletes foot?
Athletes foot is a fungal infection of the foot. It can appear as a rash, which is red, itchy, flaky or blistered and usually present around the sole or between the toes. Whilst not being a serious condition, if left untreated it can spread to the toenails.
How do I treat athletes foot?
Your pharmacist will be able to advice which would be the best treatment for you, however, Lamasil Once or Daktarin tend to work well for most fungal infections.
What can I do to prevent athletes foot?
If you have naturally sweaty feet you could try using Permitabs (potassium permanganate) to help dry out the skin. Dissolve one tablet in 4 litres of warm water and soak the feet for 20 minutes.
Fungal hyphae are killed at temperatures of 40 degree and over so it is a good idea to wash your laundry on a 60 degree setting until the infection has cleared up.
Washing feet daily, ensuring you dry them carefully and wearing fresh socks and breathable shoes will help prevent reinfection. It is also a good idea to rotate your shoes as they can take a few days to dry after use.
How do I know I’ve got a fungal infection in my nail?
Affected nails become thickened and change colour to white, black or yellow. As the infection progresses the nail texture can become brittle and crumbly. The skin under and surrounding the nail may start to feel painful.
How do I treat a fungal nail?
The nail thickness can be reduced in the clinic. This also increases the porosity of the nail allowing tinctures to be applied. I tend to advise trying tea-tree oil first as I have seen good results with my patients. Between appointments you need to rub the nail surface with a piece of emery-board and apply tea-tree oil using a cotton-bud – discarding both to avoid reinfection. After a few weeks you should start to see healthy nail growing from the base of the nail-bed. Continue treatment until all the infected nail has grown out. If you stop the treatment too early, the infection could return, so be patient – toe nails can take months to grow out.