What is Trychophyton Rubrum? (Athletes foot)
It is fancy latin name describing the fungal organism that causes fungal foot infection or athletes foot, or : Tinea Pedis (more latin)
When you look at this picture what do you see? Dry, chalky white, flaky skin, yes?
You might reasonably think it’s just dry skin and expect it to resolve with regular moisturising cream, BUT you would be wrong.
Between me and Janice, I bet we must see at least 5 un-diagnosed cases of athletes foot/fungal skin a week, and this one looks classic, a textbook case you might say. (Thank you to my client for letting me use these pictures to help you see what I’m talking about)
Why is fungus un-diagnosed?
Because often, there are no other symptoms apart from dry, chalky skin like this. There is no itching necessarily, no blisters that you sometimes see with other fungal rashes. People just aren’t aware of it, but it is really, really common!
How common is it? Worldwide=20-25% UK=15%
70% of the population expected to be infected at some point in their lives.
Who gets it?
More men than women, risk increases with age (as other health issues like diabetes can impact it), unusual for children to get it before puberty.
Why should I/you care?
Good question! The problem with this skin condition is that without treatment it lurks in the background with the fungus continuing to munch on the skin happily undisturbed. (It wont clear on its own). Ultimately what then happens is the skin fungus migrates to the nails. (Well, technically the fungus attacks the skin that attaches the nail to the nail bed,- if we are going to be truly accurate here)
It is much easier to treat fungus when it is confined to the skin. The anti-fungal creams and sprays we use absorb into the surface skin layer and kill off the fungus organism. When fungus moves to the nail it’s a different story, nail is much harder to penetrate with anything as it can’t really absorb stuff put on it like cream, paint or spray. That’s why it’s best to catch it early and treat it when it’s on the skin and prevent it spreading to the nails.
This is the same foot 4 weeks later #Result 😀
foot 1 : fungus nil
How did we get this result?
Interestingly, this client was urged by his fiance to come and see me about his “manky” feet. They were getting married and going on an exotic romantic honeymoon to the Maldives. Wife-to-be wanted these feet sorting so that they were beach and holiday fit. I took one look at them and knew immediately it was something we could fix together! This needed 4 weeks of daily use of Terbinafine (LamisilTM) cream all over the foot up to the ankle and between the toes. We supply the cream to our clients, give an advice sheet on how to use it effectively and they can start treatment straight away. Its always great when I work with someone well motivated, because he did exactly what I suggested and this is the result after only 4 weeks. Skin completely clear and in much better condition “beach fit and honeymoon ready” happy wife & husband! Happy podiatrist:)
Is that it?
Sorry, but not quite. Fungus, like dandelions or weeds in your lawn always comes back. And much like your gardening chores, you have to keep the skin maintained and prevent re-occurrence by applying Terbinafine cream (which kills the fungus) once a week after the skin clears up.
Or, you can use Lamisil “once”1 every month as a maintenance routine which will prevent it coming back. Remember:
- the fungal spores which caused it in the first place are still in your environment.
- Carpets, rugs, shoes, socks contain the spores
- Potential for reinfection is high
- that’s why fungus often comes back if you slack on your maintenance routine.
So keep at it peeps 🙂 1 contains Terbinafine
You thought that was the end didn’t you?
Not quite, recently I recorded a live video onto my Lane Ends Podiatry Facebook page about a day in my clinic, the beginning talks about a new test we have available to test for fungus within 5 minutes, if that’s something you are interested in have a look at the video here:-