Fungus – Tinea Pedis (Athlete’s Foot)
Tinea Pedis is one of the more common skin conditions patient’s present with in both my Conroe dermatology and the Woodlands dermatology offices. The feet become itchy and develop white/red scaly plaques. It is the most common fungal infection. The majority of all cases of tinea pedis are caused by the dermatophyte,Trichophyton rubrum, which also is the most common cause of onychomycosis (toenail fungus). There is a type caused by Trichophyton mentagrophytes which is rather aggressive and can form blisters. Tinea pedis prefers moist humid environments so airing the feet out by wearing sandals and drying the feet thoroughly after bathing can decrease the chances of contracting the fungus. It can be acquired from walking barefoot in locker rooms or through the soil and dirt. Many patients also present with the “one hand, two feet” phenomenon, in which they have tinea manum (hand fungus) on their dominant hand. The affected hand appears very similar to the feet in which it is very scaly, but the non-dominant hand is usually clear and totally unaffected. Treatment involves using Lamisil cream (terbinafine) which works much better than Lotrimin (clotrimazole). Lamisil cream should be used twice a day until the rash clears. Also, using powders such as Gold Bond can help keep the feet dry.