Tinea pedis is probably the most widespread type of fungal infection. Although the world if full of yeasts, moulds and fungi only a small amount of these causes skin problems.

Seite 1/1 3 Minuten

Seite 1/1 3 Minuten

The fungus that causes athlete’s foot is a so-called dermatophyte, which literally means “skin fungus”. Any type of environment that is not breathable, such as synthetic footwear, socks and stockings, is a breeding ground for foot fungus. The symptoms include itching, burning and stinging, itchy blisters, cracking, peeling skin especially between the toes, and excessive dryness. Athlete’s foot is also highly contagious.

Male pharmacy customer: Hallo.
PTA: Hallo. Was kann ich für Sie tun?

Do you have any foot lotion that you can recommend?
You mean for dry skin?

Yes. My feet have been really itchy for days now and it’s driving me crazy!
Do you have any other symptoms?

Such as?
Such as dry flaky skin, especially between your toes and on the soles of the feet. Or is the skin even a little cracked in places?

Now that you say it, yes, I noticed this morning that the skin between my little toe and the next toe looked a bit reddened, a bit raw. Why?
It sounds to me like athlete’s foot.

Athlete’s foot! Oh man, oh man!
Now don’t worry too much, it sounds as if it’s in an early stage.

And that’s good, right?
Yes, the early stages of athlete’s foot can be treated quite well with OTC medication.

Okay, so what do you recommend?
This cream here is very effective if used properly and regularly.

Okay, so how do I use it?
It’s a good idea to apply it once a day to the affected area after the shower in the morning. It’s essential that your feet are completely dry before you use the cream.

I’ll do that. Is there anything else I need to do?
It’s always a good idea to change your shoes every day so that they have a chance to dry out properly.

You see, the fungus that causes athlete’s foot really thrives in warm moist environments, such as saunas, public swimming pools, shower rooms, places like that. The drier it is the less likely the fungus will survive. That’s basically why it’s called athlete’s foot because it was generally found on the feet of people involved in sport. Men are more at risk because of this.

Are there any other causes?
Synthetic fabrics don’t “breathe” so they provide the ideal conditions for the fungus. Natural fibres such as wool and cotton are ideal, or any material that allows moisture to escape. Oh, and it’s not a good idea to share either towels or footwear. In any case, what ever fabric comes in contact with your feet, be it towels or socks, should be washed at 60 °C.

I must have picked it up at the fitness centre. I always have flip flops with me for the shower, but a few weeks ago I forgot them and had to walk barefoot around the showers. Typical!
Don’t worry! You’re certainly not alone! Not only sporty people can get athlete’s foot, people with weakened immune systems are also susceptible.

Thank you for your help. Bye.


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Den Artikel finden Sie auch in Die PTA IN DER APOTHEKE 04/13 auf Seite 82.

Catherine Croghan, Lecturer in English and native speaker