Do You Have Smelly Feet?

Why athlete's foot is not for jocks alone!

Athlete's foot is a fungal infection of the feet. It is also known as tinea pedis. Athlete's foot is one of the most common fungal infections. This disease, although caused by fungi, is exacerbated by excessive sweating, excessive moisture and tropical climates.

Athlete's foot often appears as scaly lesions found between the toes. Often, the affected feet are red and itchy. Feet are often reported as malodorous, or "smelly."

In most cases, a doctor's evaluation may be enough to establish a diagnosis. However, a more accurate diagnosis is established by microscopic examination of smears or biopsy specimens. If necessary, a culture of the organism may also be done.

Maintaining hygiene will prevent most skin infections. Also, minimizing chronic moisture is important. Talcum powder, absorbent socks, nonocclusive shoes and, occasionally, 20% to 25% aluminum chloride hexahydrate powder help keep your feet relatively dry. Antifungal powders such as undecylenic acid and tolnaftate also help prevent athlete's foot.

Mild cases of athlete's foot can be treated topically with antifungals. Treatment may last from a week to a month, usually applied daily. Oral antifungals are reserved for more severe cases of athlete's foot. In addition, your doctor may prescribe either topical or oral antibiotics in cases where there is also bacterial skin infection.

This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

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