What is athlete’s foot?
Athlete’s foot (a.k.a. – tinea pedis) is a fungal infection of the skin on the foot or between the toes. The lesions may have a raised, red, ring-like appearance similar to a “ringworm” infection, or they may cause scaling, cracking, red, bleeding irritation between the toes. Despite the name, a child does not have to be an athlete to develop this type of infection.
What causes athlete’s foot?
Funguses like Trichophyton, Microsporum, and Epidermophyton can cause athlete’s foot. These funguses spread from other children, some animals and the environment. These funguses have the ability to breakdown keratin, a key component of skin, nails and hair.
What does athlete’s foot infection look like?
The lesion typically starts as a small area or redness or scaling that expands over several days or weeks. As the lesion gets bigger, the inside part may return to a normal (or slightly scaly) skin appearance. This gives the lesion a ring-like appearance. The edges are often slightly raised. The lesion is often intensely itchy and in some cases can be swollen and painful. When infection occurs between the toes, the ring-shape may not be noticeable. Itchy, flaking skin may be the only sign.
How is athlete’s foot diagnosed?
Usually, a physician can diagnose athlete’s foot on sight. If necessary, the lesion can be scraped with a microscope slide and the skin flakes can be viewed under a microscope. The scrapings can also be "cultured" by a laboratory for confusing cases.
Is athlete’s foot contagious?
Yes. Although, a child who is receiving treatment does not need to be isolated from other healthy children.
How is athlete’s foot treated?
Topical antifungal agents are available as creams, ointments, sprays and powders. Some examples are miconazole, clotrimazole, econazole, ketoconazole, terbinafine, and naftifine. These agents are typically applied twice daily for 2–4 weeks.
Last Updated (Tuesday, 23 June 2009 10:51)