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WELLNESS UPDATE 2006, #4
ATHLETE’S FOOT
The medical name for athlete’s foot is “tinea pedis” which means “fungus of the foot.”Tinea is a fungus that can grow anywhere on the body. It is the same fungus thatcauses ringworm. The feet are especially vulnerable to developing a fungusbecause of the warm, dark, moist environment found inside the shoes. Athlete’s footusually occurs between the toes, but if athlete’s foot is left untreated it can spreadto the soles of the feet and toenails.
SUSCEPTIBILITY TO ATHLETE’S FOOT
The fungus causing athlete’s foot thrives in a damp, dark, moist environment. Publicswimming pools, showers and locker rooms are prime breeding grounds for thisfungus.
PREVENTING ATHLETE’S FOOT
Avoid walking barefoot in public areas, especially swimming pools, showersand locker rooms. W ear flip-flops, sandals or water shoes to avoid contactbetween bare feet and the floor.
W hen at home, take off shoes and socks so the feet are exposed to the lightand air.
Change socks at least daily. Do not put socks worn for practice orcompetition back on until they have been laundered.
If possible, remove shoe insoles and allow them to dry each night.
NEVER borrow other people’s socks or shoes!
W ear cotton socks that help keep the feet dry.
Use a talcum, or antifungal, foot powder helps keep feet dry. AVOID the use
of common foot powder boxes as they can spread diseases.
W ash the feet with soap and water at least once a day, and always afterpractice or competition. Dry feet completely after washing, especially betweenthe toes.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF ATHLETE’S FOOT
Cracked, dry, flaking, itching, white, patches of skin, usually between the toes.
Blisters can occur that can break open causing fluid to ooze out and exposingsmall, raw areas of tissue. These areas often burn and become painful andswollen.
TREATMENT OF ATHLETE’S FOOT
Athlete’s foot usually responds well to self-care. All of the precautions used to
prevent athlete’s foot should also be used when treating it. Self-care includes over-
the-counter antifungal powders and ointments to control the infection. Common
name brand powders are Desenex, Gold Bond, Lamisil, and Tinactin. Common
brand name ointments are Lamisil, Lotrimin and Tinactin. Most cases of athlete’s
foot go away within 2-4 weeks with over-the-counter treatment. Prescription
treatments, topical and oral, may be needed for more persistent cases. If athlete’s
foot is not cured in 2-4 weeks with self-care, a physician should be consulted.
In rare cases, a simple fungal infection such as athlete's foot can become "super-infected" with bacteria. If this should happen, the rash will become increasinglypainful and red. The foot may become swollen and develop blisters and even opensores in the infected area. These are indications that prescription oral antibiotics areneeded.
Sources: “Athlete’s Foot,” EmedicineHealth.com., 8/10/2005; “Athlete’s Foot.”MayoClinic.com, 11/30/04; “Athlete’s Foot,” Medline Plus, 4/30/05; “Athlete’s Foot,”Orthopedics.about.com, May 29, 2006; “Athlete’s Foot: Prevention is the key.” TheFirst Aider, date unknown; “Fungal Infections and Parasitic Infestations in Sport,”W inokur, Rebecca, MD and Dexter, W illiam, MD, The Physician and SportsMedicine, Volume 32, Number 10, October 2004; “Tinea Infections: Athlete’s Foot,Jock Itch and Ringworm,” Familydoctor.org, 11/05.
Questions and/or comments about areas dealing with student-athlete's
wellness are welcome and encouraged. They should be directed to Alan
Beste, ATC, LAT, Assistant Executive Director, Iowa High School Athletic
As s o c iatio n, P O B ox 10, B o on e, IA 5 0 0 3 6 . (5 1 5 ) 4 3 2 -2 0 1 1 .
<abeste@iahsaa.org>

Source: http://www.iahsaa.org/resource_center/Sports_Medicine_Wellness/Injury_Prevention_Treatment/Athlete's_Foot.pdf

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