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What is Athlete's Foot?
What is Athlete's Foot?
by Dan Michaels, DPM

Athlete's foot is a skin disease caused by a fungus, usually occurring between the toes. The fungus most commonly attacks the feet because shoes create a warm, dark, and humid environment which encourages fungus growth. Not all fungus conditions are athlete's foot. Other conditions, such as disturbances of the sweat mechanism, reaction to dyes or adhesives in shoes, eczema, and psoriasis, may mimic athlete's foot.

Causes

The warmth and dampness of areas around swimming pools, showers, and locker rooms are also breeding grounds for fungi. Because the infection was common among athletes who used these facilities frequently, the term "athlete's foot" became popular.

Symptoms

The signs of athlete's foot, singly or combined, include the following:

*Dry skin

*Itching and burning, which may increase as the infection spreads

*Scaling

*Inflammation

*Blisters, which often lead to cracking of the skin. When blisters break, small raw areas of tissue are exposed, causing pain and swelling.

Athlete's foot may spread to the soles of the feet and to the toenails. It can be spread to other parts of the body, notably the groin and underarms, by those who scratch the infection and then touch themselves elsewhere. The organisms causing athlete's foot may persist for long periods. Consequently, the infection may be spread by contaminated bed sheets or clothing to other parts of the body.

When to Visit Dr. Michaels

If an apparent fungus condition does not respond to proper foot hygiene and there is no improvement within two weeks, call the Reconstructive Foot & Ankle Institute, LLC

Diagnosis and Treatment

Dr. Michaels will determine if a fungus is the cause of the problem. If it is, a specific treatment plan, including the prescription of antifungal medication, applied topically or taken by mouth, will usually be suggested. Such a treatment appears to provide better resolution of the problem when the patient observes the course of treatment prescribed; if it's shortened, failure of the treatment is common.

Fungicidal and fungistatic chemicals, used for athlete's foot treatment, frequently fail to contact the fungi in the horny layers of the skin. Topical or oral antifungal drugs are prescribed with growing frequency. If the infection is caused by bacteria, antibiotics that are effective against a broad spectrum of bacteria, such as penicillin, may be prescribed.

It is important to keep the feet dry by dusting foot powder in shoes and hose. The feet should be bathed frequently and all areas around the toes dried thoroughly.

Prevention

It is not easy to prevent athlete's foot because it is usually contracted in dressing rooms, showers, and swimming pool locker rooms where bare feet come in contact with the fungus. However, you can do much to prevent infection by practicing good foot hygiene:

*Wash feet daily with soap and water; dry carefully, especially between the toes

*Avoid walking barefoot; use shower shoes

*Reduce perspiration by using talcum powder

*Wear light and airy shoes

*Change shoes and hose regularly to decrease moisture

*Wear socks that keep your feet dry, and change them frequently if you perspire heavily

To prevent infections from nail salons or spas and to provide Comprehensive Foot & Ankle Care® we are pleased to announce that we have started to perform Foot Facials or medical grade pedicures and manicures in our offices. A one hour Foot Facial is relaxing and safe. We are providing this service to you as a safe alternative to salon’s that may not sterilize their equipment or use dirty products on your feet. We use organic and/or natural products that clean and moisturize your skin and your nails. A natural nail polish with no harsh chemicals can be used or your nails can be buffed to a shine. You will enjoy a calf massage and scrub in a clean, safe and sterile environment. Nothing that touches you will touch another. Our sterilization process is so thorough that it has been published in scientific journals. We’ve analyzed every aspect of this process from the metal used in the basin, the ingredients in the products to the shape and texture of the products and instruments used. Bottom line: your feet will look and feel great and I’ll make sure you’re safe. Please call now to schedule your 1 hour Foot Facial today! A manicure and pedicure are about 1.5 hours and extremely relaxing.

Come visit one of our Centers of Excellence:

Weight loss Center of Excellence

Nail Care Center of Excellence

Heel Pain Center of Excellence

Neuropathy Center of Excellence

Wound Care Center of Excellence

Surgical Center of Excellence

Falls Prevention Center of Excellence

We provide Comprehensive Foot and Ankle Care® to our patients with offices in Frederick and Hagerstown, Maryland. From basic care of ingrown toenails, heel pain and warts to reconstructive procedures and management of complex pain conditions, we provide a one-stop shop for all your needs. For your convenience, all recommended medicines and foot-care products are available through our in-office store and information can be gained through our continually updated website at www.rfainstitute.com. Same day and emergency appointments are available without a wait. Our staff is approachable and knowledgeable with a willingness to help and solve your foot and ankle problems. We focus on conservative, non-surgical treatment and exhaust these options prior to recommending surgery. If you need surgery we have advanced training in all types of foot and ankle surgery to ensure your optimal outcome with an onsite ambulatory surgical center. Our providers work with you as a partner by listening to and educating you about treatment options so you can make an informed choice in your health management. We offer the latest technology in digital radiography and ultrasound equipment, electronic medical records, on site surgery center, shoe stores, medical equipment and lasers. We have a wound care center, surgery center, fall prevention center, heel pain center and nail care center on site all under one roof for your convenience. We have the latest treatments including the laser that treats toenail fungus and is cleared for this indication by the FDA.

For further information about foot or ankle conditions, contact one of our foot and ankle surgeons at the Reconstructive Foot & Ankle Institute, LLC. Visit us on the web at www.rfainstitute.com or make an appointment with one of our state of the art offices in Maryland:

Hagerstown 301.797.8554, 1150 Professional Court, Suite C, 21740

Frederick 301.418.6014, 2100 Old Farm Drive, Suite D, 21702

To make an appointment at our Frederick office, please call 301.418.6014. 2100 Old Farm Drive Ste. D, Frederick, MD 21702

To make an appointment at our Hagerstown office, please call 301.797.8554. 1150 Professional Court, Suite C, Hagerstown, MD 21740

Most insurance accepted but not required.

We look forward to solving your foot and ankle problems with Comprehensive Foot and Ankle Care® and treating you like a member of the family.

Reconstructive Foot & Ankle Institute
http://www.rfainstitute.com/education.html

Reconstructive Foot & Ankle Institute
Reconstructive Foot & Ankle Institute

1150 PROFESSIONAL CT STE C
HAGERSTOWN, MD

301-797-8554

2100 OLD FARM DR STE D
FREDERICK, MD

301-418-6014
Dr. Dan Michaels offers Comprehensive Foot and Ankle care with offices in Hagerstown and Frederick and is dedicated to quality and compassionate care. Providing...
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