A. Fungal infection
Athlete’s Foot (Tinea Pedis)
Athlete's Foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a skin disease caused by a fungus that invades the skin on the bottom of the feet as well as in between the toes. The fungus attacks the feet because shoes create a warm, dark, and humid environment that encourages fungus growth. Warm, damp areas around swimming pools, showers, and locker rooms are also breeding grounds for fungi.
Excessive perspiration and sweaty feet are vulnerable to fungal infections.
Symptoms of Athlete's Foot include drying skin, itching, scaling, inflammation, and blisters on and between the toes. Athlete's Foot can spread to the soles of the feet and to the toenails as well as other parts of the body, which is why timely treatment is so important.
You can prevent Athlete's Foot by:
Not walking barefoot, particularly in public pools and locker rooms.
Reducing foot perspiration by using talcum powder.
Wearing light and airy shoes.
Wearing socks that wick away the moisture like wool and changing them frequently if you perspire heavily.
While fungicidal and fungistatic chemicals are usually used to treat Athlete's Foot problems, they often fail to contact the fungi in the lower layers of the skin. For persistent Athlete's Foot, a prescription topical or oral antifungal drug may be needed. Note: Please consult your physician before taking any medications.
B. Bacterial infection
A staph infection is caused by a Staphylococcus (or "staph") bacteria. The foot is also very prone to picking up bacteria from the floor. The infection often begins with a little cut, which gets infected with bacteria.
This type of infection is more common and more severe in people with weak immune systems. People who have diabetes or weakened immunity are particularly prone to developing cellulitis.
Staph cellulitis usually begins as a small area of tenderness, swelling, and redness. The signs of it are those of any inflammation, redness, warmth, swelling, and pain. If the staph infection spreads, the person may develop a fever, sometimes with chills and sweats, as well as swelling in the area.
You can treat Staph Infections by:
Using antibiotics to treat staph infections. Instead of using penicillin with these antibiotics, now stronger antibiotics are used. In about 50% of cases now however, resistance is seen to even these stronger antibiotics. Many doctors are accustomed to using certain antibiotics, but those then fail because of antibiotic resistance. There are several more potent antibiotics now, but doctors need to know when to use them.
If the infection goes so deep that it involves muscles or fibers that enclose muscles, it needs to be surgically cleaned.
You can prevent Staph Infections by:
Any time you have a cut or skin breakdown, wash it with soap and water, keep it clean and dry, and keep it covered.
A staph infection is contagious if the wound is weeping or draining and if people then share towels or other items that are contaminated. Wearing foot coverings in locker rooms and other commonly used areas can help prevent contamination.
Pay close attention to the staph infection. If the sore becomes unusually painful or red, get prompt medical attention. If red lines develop, that's a sign the infection is spreading and needs immediate medical attention.