The Fungus Among Us

The Fungus Among Us
Linda J. Tristani
PharmD candidate 2008
University of Florida

Many of us would miss them terribly if they were gone; however our FEET are often more neglected than any other part of the body.  There are a number of ailments that afflict feet, yet luckily there are over-the-counter (OTC) products to help alleviate the unpleasant symptoms.
What are some common feet afflictions?

ß Athlete’s Foot
ß Smelly feet
ß Corns
ß Calluses
ß Dry, cracked feet
Athlete’s Foot (also known as tinea pedis) is a skin fungal infection of the foot that usually occurs between the toes. It can cause scaling, itching, and flaking of the affected skin…and sometimes blisters can occur. Treatment options can include antifungal creams such as Tinactin, Desenex, Lotrimin, Lamisil, and Zeasorb-AF. Topical oils such as Tea Tree oil have been used to relieve itching. Tea tree oil also has antiseptic and antifungal properties, and may be used on a regular basis for foot hygiene. Since fungi usually thrives in moist, warm areas, it is
recommended to keep the
foot dry and cool in order to facilitate healing. Wearing open toe shoes may be helpful. Foot powders such as Gold Bond and Dr. Scholl’s may be helpful to absorb extra moisture in order to prevent recurrences of athlete’s foot.

Smelly Feet can be caused by the mere fact that you wear shoes and that your feet sweat. Bacteria live in your shoes and socks; when bacteria and sweat from your feet interact, they generate an odor. Thankfully, there are some measures one can take to prevent or alleviate foot odor. Moisture absorbing powders such as Gold Bond and Dr. Scholl’s (as mentioned above) can be helpful in order to keep the feet dry.  Odor-Eaters is another product that can be sprayed on the feet or into shoes in order to help decrease moisture and neutralize odor. Other helpful tips include: wear thick socks to draw moisture away from your feet, practice good foot hygiene, and change your socks and shoes often.

Corns and Calluses are protective thickenings of
the skin that occur as a result of abnormal pressure
or friction over time. Corns may occur at the top of a toe or in between toes and calluses can appear most often on the ball of the foot.
There are a variety of products that may be used to pro-tect these areas and help to alleviate pain associated with them. Brite-Life and Dr. Scholl’s make a variety of products that can be placed over the affected area. Wearing comfortable, well-fitted shoes may help prevent these ailments.
Dry, Cracked Feet can be caused by a variety of things. Inactive sweat glands, dry skin, or prolonged standing are only a few causes. In some cases, cracked feet can become painful and, if the cracks are deep enough, bleeding may also occur. Kerasal is a product that will soften and moisturize dry, cracked feet and can be applied on a regular basis as part of everyday foot hygiene. Regular moisturizing will also help prevent this ailment.


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Information contained on this site is provided as an informational aide and for reference use only. The content herein is not intended to be, act as, or replace medical advice or diagnosis for individual health conditions nor is it making evaluations as to the risks or benefits of particular preparations. Please consult a licensed healthcare professional or veterinarian about diagnosis and treatment. Information and statements on this site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

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