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So you've got Athletes Foot - now what?

Blog by Julie Miller, R.N.

 

Since the Hood to Coast just finished up and some of you are weekend warriors,  I thought I would pass on a few tips about athlete's foot.  AKA:  Dermatomycosis=superficial fungal infection, Tina Pedis=fungus of the feet, onycomycosis=nail fungus.

It is a mildly contagious fungal infection that is spread by direct contact of dry skin patches on towels shoes or floors. Something to keep in mind as students head back to school with dorm and locker room showers.  Studies have shown that there seems to be a susceptibility factor, some are more prone than others and those with impaired immune systems or diabetes have an increased risk.

Fungus loves warm, moist, and dark places so most commonly it starts between the toes, with itching and peeling.  Some people may develop blisters on the instep or it may progress to white, thick and scaly areas over the bottom of the foot.

Fortunately, nowadays there are really good OTC antifungal products that were prescriptions when I first started in Dermatology.  Here are a few tips to clear and to prevent recurrence:

  1. Use your topical antifungal for 4-6 weeks initially, even though your skin may appear clear, it takes at least 1 month for your skin to fully turn over and you need to protect the new skin.  For prevention apply a powder or spray 1-2 times per week, indefinitely or at least during those times when you are more prone to AF.
  2. Wear flip-flops in public places to avoid contact.
  3. Keep your feet dry, change socks throughout the day if necessary.
  4. Wash and dry feet thoroughly, at least daily.
  5. Wear different shoes every day if possible or purchase a shoe dryer to make sure shoes are drying between use.
  6. Wear socks that allow your feet to breathe and that wick moisture.
  7. Treat your shoes weekly with an antifungal spray or powder (important for post care prevention).
  8. Use an absorbing powder for super sweaty feet such as Zeasorb AF (also helpful to prevent recurrence).
  9. Avoid sharing your towels, shoes and socks.
  10. Wash your hands if you touch your feet so you don't spread it somewhere else. (jock itch!)
  11. If it gets worse or doesn't clear, it could be something else deeper in the skin or a secondary infection so make an appointment with your dermatologist.

I found some other interesting suggestions online, some of which may work and some were questionable.  Various ingredients added to warm water for soaking:  1 T. of bleach/gallon, 2 capfuls Betadine /1 quart, 1 cup of vinegar/2 quarts.  Or you can add one of the following to a gallon of warm water: 4-6 Cinnamon sticks or 6 Black teabags.  You can also try 1 tsp salt mixed with a cup of water or sprinkling cornstarch directly on feet to absorb moisture. If you try any of these alternative methods and have success be sure to let me know!

  

 

Sun protective clothing continued:

Last month we talked about sun protection alternatives and I mentioned the following sun protective clothing:

Eclipse Sun Products
Collibar
Sun Day Afternoons

uvskinz

I wanted to add to that J. Crew, Land's End and ONeill are also good sources for SPF clothing, plus they look quite stylish.

Back to School Time
Things every parent should know about head lice

How to Treat Head Lice
How to Treat Head Lice
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Thank you for trusting in us.  At Dermatology Northwest we want you to feel good in your skin. That's why we take a comprehensive, full body approach to skincare. We provide caring, personalized, highly professional general and surgical dermatology care for infants, children, adolescents and adults of all ages. We compliment those services by offering cosmetic procedures such as Botox, Dermal Fillers and Chemical Peels. This allows our patients to have the best treatment options possible for all their skincare needs and concerns in one easy to spot.

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September 2014

  

Dr, Hale new

Carolyn I. Hale M.D 

  

 Sam Bremmer, M.D.   

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Joel A.James PA-C  

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Julie Miller, RN, BSN, DNC, MEPC 

julie@hale.mvipa.org

 

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Wilsonville, OR 97070

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