Thursday, June 27, 2019

Health Check: Athlete’s foot

WITH the hot weather associated to the summer season, we’re all for taking care of our skin, applying sunscreen to prevent sunburn as we all do fun activities underneath the sun’s glare.

However, along with the summer’s heat and humidity comes an increase of athlete’s foot.

Athlete’s foot is the most common fungal infection that is caused by a fungus that grows on or in the top layer of skin.

According to doctor Neal Rana, specialist on Occupational Medicine and Pathology and the chairman of the Office of Documents and Records Control of Northern Mindanao Medical Center, fungi grow best in warm, wet places such as the area between the toes.

Athlete’s foot is contagious and spreads easily by touching the toes or feet of a person who has it or by walking barefoot on contaminated surfaces near swimming pools and in locker rooms.

People with athlete’s foot can feel itchiness and burn in the skin between the toes. The skin will also peel and crack.

There are types of athlete’s foot that shows blisters or ulcers while the moccasin variety of athlete’s foot causes chronic dryness and scaling on the soles that extends up the side of the foot.

Athlete’s foot can be treated at home by using anti-fungal foot powder or ointment. Your feet should be dry after washing them, particularly in the area between your toes, use a separate towel for your feet and wear cotton socks if you plan to go outside for work or school.

Although, Rana said that it’s better to wear slippers or open shoes so the feet will be exposed to air and to prevent sweating of the feet. If you really prefer to wear shoes, he added that a light and well-ventilated pair and avoid using shoes made of synthetic material such as vinyl or rubber.

“Dapat mag change sila og sapatos often or kung mahugaw or mabasa, imo gyud labhan, dili mo nga ipainit ra (they should change shoes often, or if it gets soiled or wet, you need to wash it, not just leave it sun-dried),” Rana said, adding that this will avoid severity of infection.

Once the infection is already severe, Rana advised for a check up to the nearest health center or hospital.

Apart from athlete’s foot, there are other infectious and non-infectious diseases you can get during the summer season such as heatstroke, diarrhea, plantar fasciitis, among others.

“Before you go outside or before you travel, dapat na check nimo ang imong lawas kung naa kay sakit (you should check if you have an illness), kung fit ba ka mo-travel or nadala ba nimo dapat ang imong medicines (whether you are fit to travel, or have brought your medicines),” Rana said.


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