What is Athletes Foot?
In the spring and summer months we see a lot of people in the Pharmacy with fungal infections between their toes. This is commonly known as Athletes Foot. It most commonly occurs between the fourth and fifth toes as the skin gets wet and starts to break up. The infection can spread to other areas of the foot and to the toe nails.
It can also spread to the groin area a condition known as ‘jock itch’ or ‘dobie itch’. Around Pearse Street believe it or not jock itch is known as ‘the wolf’. I remember some years ago a man came in to ask me about ‘the wolf’. Once I realised what it was I asked him why did he call it ‘the wolf’. His answer was very simple ‘because it takes a bite out of you!’
Treatment of athletes foot is very straight-forward. An anti-fungal cream we recommend is Daktarin cream applied twice to three times a day for ten days. Shoes and socks should be treated with an anti-fungal powder such as Daktarin powder, again for ten days. This is because fungal spores can live in these areas and if you treat your feet and succeed you run the risk of re-infection if footwear isn’t also treated.
All socks, towels and sheets that the person uses should be treated in a hot wash (60c) to kill any remaining spores. Athletes foot is a great example of a condition your Pharmacist can treat successfully without having to refer to a doctor. In this series of blogs I will elaborate more on what we as Pharmacists can do to help people as well as give insight on what we do behind the counter. Questions are always welcome.