One does not need the baseline runs of Sania, nimble-footedness of Rahul Dravid or Dhanraj Pillay’s scorching attacks on the left flank, to develop Athlete’s Foot.
The term Athlete’s Foot is a misnomer and fits the affliction only in that the condition is more common in sportspersons who wear sneakers day in and day out and, as a result, sweat a lot through their feet.
In between the toes are areas that are warm, moist and dark — an ideal ground for fungus to inhabit. They are also provided with enough nutrition in the dead skin cells found aplenty. The erosive growth of the fungus could damage the skin layer and split through the webbing of the foot causing itching, pain and irritation.
The fungi causes tissue breakdown, soggy skin and the eroded areas are prone to secondary infection by bacteria leading to offensive smell and pus discharge.
People who tend to wear shoes without ventilation (plastic lined), or wear socks which do not absorb sweat, ignore washing the areas between toes, fail to dry after a bath, children who play without shoes and those who use common swimming pools and towels are likely to develop it. This infection could find its way into the nail bed too.
Diabetics need to be doubly careful as the already deficient blood circulation in the area could lead to gangrene if the disease does not heal.
Homeopathic medicine has good remedies to get rid of the condition. The ideal way to prevent the disease is to wear leather shoes or sneakers and cotton socks. The socks should be changed daily in summer. The area between the toes should be kept dry by spraying talc before putting on shoes.
Nitric Ac is a remedy when the fetid foot-sweat causes soreness and sticking pain between the toes. In people who tend to sweat more and develop secondary bacterial infection spreading to the toenail, Silicea is recommended.
Natrum sulph gets rid of the condition if it is influenced by damp weather. Sulphur remedies the situation if there is excoriation of the folds due to improper hygiene. Calendula mixed in talc and sprayed between the toes works as an ideal preventive.