As a Podiatrist, our jobs can tend to be very seasonal in terms of what comes through the clinic. In winter we see a lot of ingrown toenails and corns, and through summer we see a lot of cracked heels and fungal infections.
Over the next few months as the weather starts to warm up again we start to see an increase in fungal infections of the skin of the foot – known as tinea pedis.
Tinea pedis develops due to a colonisation of dermatophytes within the skin, leading to peeling and itchy lesions. It is common for people who share communal wet areas to develop this infection as the fungal spores thrive in a damp environment.
If you have previously had tinea, you have an increased risk of developing further infections. Try following this advice to reduce your risk:
- Ensure you dry in between your toes properly
- If using communal wet areas – such as changing rooms or showers at the pool – wear shoes to protect your feet
- Check your feet daily for any changes
- If you notice the start of tinea, use a topical anti-fungal cream or spray to treat
- Change your socks daily, preferably using something with a cotton blend