So it seems as a society the thought of having a fungal infection somewhere on our body is seen as something pretty ‘yuk’. Quite often when discussing my treatment plan at the beginning of an appointment, I often leave the suggestion of them having ‘athletes foot’ or a ‘fungal nail infection’ until the end of this discussion, as I get such mixed reactions. I need them to trust that I am not judging or making an opinion of them, before I start discussing it. I can assure you that NO podiatrist would be shocked, disgusted or make an opinion on ANY condition you come to us with – we can pretty much guarantee, we will have seen it before.
I would say 70 – 80% of my patients, in summer will at some point have athletes foot, due to feet being a little more sweaty in hotter weather, it really is quite normal – if you had a chest infection you wouldn’t be horrified, you’d want to fix it and possibly get a little sympathy, a fungal infection just needs a bit of treatment too and your tootsies will be extremely grateful. Continuous itching of the feet, however satisfying it feels (yes, I know you are out there!!), isn’t good – eventually the skin will split and get sore and the infection will just spread on your skin and eventually into your nails. In all honesty if left, you could end up with a much more serious type of bacterial infection, particularly if the skin is split, as this creates a portal for bacteria to creep in.
Athletes foot also known as Tinea Pedis is a fungal infection that lives on dead skin and hair and is particularly prominent on the soles of your feet and in-between your toes. Spores can live for 12 – 20 months in the right environment and so treating efficiently is a must. If only your skin is infected, it is very easy to treat with a terbinifine ointment (and we often recommend a spray to use on your shoes) and it will go within a couple of weeks, if the treatment plan is followed correctly. Nails are a little more tricky, however still very treatable.
Not sure if it is athletes foot? Book in to see us at The Foot Room, Longridge and we will be able to help – including diagnosis of nail infections also – using our 5 minute fungal test. If you have a thickened nail but your not sure if it is damaged or fungal, we can give you an answer literally within 5 minutes and prepare you a treatment plan there and then. Many patients comment that their feet aren’t itchy, when I suggest they may have athletes foot – you won’t always have this symptom, particularly if it is a new infection. Signs and symptoms include, a scaly rash (sometimes with small blisters), itching, stinging and burning (Not all symptoms are always present). It is contagious and so treatment is essential to prevent spreading.
Fungal nails – cause so much unnecessary embarrassment for people. First things first – you have got to treat the skin, there is no point in treating the nail if you don’t fix the root cause…remember tinea pedis loves dead skin and hair – keep the skin clear and get treating the nail – there are various options, including our in-house Trypony treatment and we would be more than happy to discuss these with you in one of our consultation appointments.
Be proud of your feet – they are amazing creations and its not surprising the little pesky fungal spores want to enjoy them too -but there is a fix and a pretty quick fix at that….we see it every day, so please don’t be embarrassed or ashamed to come and get help – we WILL be able to help – within seconds we can reduce a thickened nail, whether infected or not – The team at The Foot Room, really care about encouraging you all to love and care for the two tools that will carry you happily through your whole life, if you just devote a bit of TLC to them.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call The Foot Room, Longridge, Preston on 01772 378812 or e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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