Andinia´s staff

Summer Heat Increases Likelihood Of Athlete's Foot And Other Fungal Infections (II).


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Athlete's foot may affect different people in different ways. Symptoms may include cracked, blistered and peeling areas between the toes, redness and scaling on the soles, and intense itching. Athlete's foot may spread to other parts of the foot, including toenails. The fungal infection can also extend to other parts of the body, notably the groin (commonly referred to as jock itch) and underarms, by those who scratch the infection and then touch themselves elsewhere.

Proper treatment of a fungal infection depends on the right diagnosis, which makes going to a physician so important, stresses Dr. Lepow. Before treating what you think may be athlete's foot or some other fungal infection, he advises to check with your podiatrist or dermatologist, who can diagnose the condition and prescribe the correct course of treatment.

Should you choose to first self-treat your athlete's foot with an over-the-counter anti- fungal cream, be advised that some of these products may relieve some symptoms fairly quickly, but don't necessarily alleviate the problem, cautions Dr. Webster. 'While your skin may look better and temporarily feel better, the infection can remain for some time afterwards. Athlete's foot is notorious for its high rate of recurrence,' he says. If you notice no improvement within two weeks of using an over the counter product, he suggests you call your doctor to determine if a fungus is the cause of the problem.

For athlete's foot and other fungal infections such as jock itch and ringworm of the skin, your doctor may prescribe SPECTAZOLE (econazole nitrate 1%) Cream. SPECTAZOLE is a prescription antifungal cream approved for treatment against nine major organisms, including yeast -- more than twice as many than most other topical antifungal medications. In various clinical studies, a majority of patients with moderate to severe athlete's foot experienced early relief of symptoms, high cure rates, and low incidents of relapse following the recommended treatment with SPECTAZOLE. In more severe cases, a doctor may prescribe foot soaks before applying antifungal creams. If your athlete's foot is stubborn, antifungal oral medication may be prescribed.

While it is not easy to prevent athlete's foot and other fungal infections, both doctors say you can take steps to lessen your chances of infection by following some simple rules:

- Wash your feet daily.

- Dry your feet thoroughly, especially in between your toes.

- Avoid tight footwear, especially in the summer. Sandals are the best warm weather footwear.

- Wear cotton socks and change them daily or more frequently if they become damp. Don't wear socks made of synthetic materials.

- If possible, go barefoot at home.

- Dust an antifungal powder into your shoes in the summertime.

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