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Health Condition

Athlete’s Foot

About This Condition

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the foot that can be caused by a number of different skin fungi.

Generally, athlete’s foot does not cause serious problems; however, the disruption of the skin barrier can be a source of significant infections in people with impaired blood flow to the feet (such as people with diabetes) or in those with impaired immune systems. Infections of the nails are more difficult to treat than those affecting only the skin.

Symptoms

Symptoms of athlete’s foot include a persistent, burning itch that often starts between the toes. The skin on the feet may be damp, soft, red, cracked, or peeling; the feet may also show patches of dead skin. The feet often have a strong or unusual smell, and sometimes small blisters occur on the feet.

Other Therapies

Drying powders can be used inside the socks and shoes to help keep the feet dry during the day.

References

1. Tong MM, Altman PM, Barnetson RS. Tea tree oil in the treatment of tinea pedis. Austral J Dermatol 1992;33:145-9.

2. Ledezma E, DeSousa L, Jorquera A, et al. Efficacy of ajoene, an organosulphur derived from garlic, in the short-term therapy of tinea pedis. Mycoses 1996;39:393-5.

3. Ledezma E, Marcano K, Jorquera A, et al. Efficacy of ajoene in the treatment of tinea pedis: A double-blind and comparative study with terbinafine. J Am Acad Dermatol 2000;43:829-32.