All information about athlete’s foot (tinea pedis)
In Germany alone, more than ten million people suffer from athlete’s foot. Unfortunately, only a few are in treatment. Athlete’s foot is triggered by skin fungi, mostly by Trichophyton rubrum. Only about 10% of the diseases have a different pathogen.
Athlete’s foot is transmitted from person to person. By touch, or in places where many people are. Swimming pools, shared showers, sports halls are the places where you can get infected with athlete’s foot. Athlete’s foot can not only be absorbed through the intact skin, but also through the finest cracks in the skin, or through the smallest wounds and injuries. Every person constantly loses skin cells. You practically leave behind an invisible trace of skin particles. Someone who suffers from athlete’s foot, spreads the pathogens with his skin particles. The healthy person then collects them unnoticed again. Of course, as with any other illness, there are certain risk groups that are more vulnerable. For example, diabetics, people with weakened immune systems, athletes, and teenagers who often, or even constantly sports shoes. It’s no coincidence that the disease is called “Athlete’s foot” in English. Even people who have to wear tight-fitting shoes due to their work often suffer from athlete’s foot.
The symptoms of athlete’s foot
The symptoms of athlete’s foot can be clearly seen. Since treatment is usually uncomplicated, one should not take the symptoms lightly, or out of (unnecessary) shame the way to the doctor did not dare. The symptoms include, among others, increased dandruff on the soles of the feet. Most of these dandruff are accompanied by slight redness, small blisters and itching. It is not uncommon for people with athlete’s foot to have a fungal infection on the groin and armpits.
The diagnosis of athlete’s foot
A first diagnosis is made visually. The visible symptoms already give the doctor a first indication of a possible fungal infection. So that a possible medication can be determined, it is absolutely necessary to know the pathogen. For this, the dermatologist uses a scalpel to remove dandruff from the edge of the infection area. These are examined under a microscope. It is often found during these examinations that the disease is not at all an athlete’s foot but possibly another scaly condition. For example, eczema. If the disease is a fungal disease, then a special culture breeding is created. With the help of these cultures, it is possible to determine a characterization of the pathogen.
The treatment of athlete’s foot
The treatment of athlete’s foot is basically relatively unproblematic, if the disease has not penetrated into the deeper layers of the skin. The medicines that are used in athlete’s foot are called antifungals. As a rule, it is already sufficient to treat the disease with creams or sprays. Oral tablets are intended only in particularly severe cases. The hygiene should be further improved. Socks, stockings, towels, should be able to withstand a cooking wash of 90 ° C. Cotton socks that are not too tight and maybe even seamless are ideal for wearing. They are usually also cookable. Synthetic socks and other fine textiles are not air-permeable enough, and pathogens can multiply as desired. It is also advisable, also for prevention, sports shoes, or closed shoes regularly sprayed with a fungicide. So you can prevent an infection or a reinfection. Prevention also includes some rules that should be followed. In places where many people are (swimming pool, sauna, sports halls, hotel rooms), you should never run barefoot. To wear slippers or bathing shoes prevents infections. Instead of plastic shoes better leather shoes, wear with leather sole.
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