Tinea pedis — or athlete’s foot — is a chronic foot infection that manifests itself as an itchy, red, scaly rash between the toes and along the soles. Sometimes the condition leads to complications, especially if the patients are immuno-suppressed, diabetic, or allergy sufferers. Once a fungus invades the body, the tissues may become susceptible to other attacks. In this article, we’ll examine four common complications that occur concurrently with athlete’s foot.
Cellulitis is a bacterial infection usually caused by strep or staph bacteria. Symptoms include fever, chills, and swollen glands, as well as parts of the body that become swollen, red, and tender. In some cases, cellulitis develops into abscesses and spreads through the body when the blood becomes poisoned with infection.
People with athlete’s foot often come down with cellulitis because the fungal pathogens give neighboring bacteria a portal into the body’s subcutaneous tissues. Sometimes patients think they have cellulitis only, but further investigation reveals that there is an athlete’s foot infection too. In one study by Semel and Golden, tinea pedis was discovered in 20 of 24 cases of cellulitis studied.
Not surprisingly, many people with athlete’s foot also have toenail fungus. This type of fungal infection is characterized by yellowing, thickened, crumbling toenails. It may affect one or more toes, and often spreads. The fungus is not usually dangerous, but it is rather ugly and will not go away without treatment that can be time-consuming and expensive.
The American College of Foot & Ankle Orthopedics & Medicine says that people who are prone to athlete’s foot are also more likely to develop onychomycosis. T. rubrum is the most common cause of athlete’s foot fungus (present in about one-third of all cases), but this dermatophyte also causes about half of all onychomycosis infections.
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes one’s air passageways to narrow and become inflamed. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. Severe asthma flare ups (called “attacks”) can be quite serious and even fatal.
A 2009 Japanese study examining 253 asthmatic patients and 114 healthy patients determined that patients with asthma were also very susceptible to infection from T. rubrum fungus. According to their research, 32.4% of severe asthmatics, 15.8% moderate asthmatics, and 4.9% of mild asthmatics tested positive for sensitivity to athlete’s foot. Scientists concluded that “sensitization to Trichophyton may be associated with the development of severe asthma” and warrants further testing.
“Immunopathogenesis” refers to the development of an immune response disease. One study found that patients with atopic dermatitis released interleukin-5 when stimulated by fungal antigens. This, in turn, produced an immune system response that triggered a cascade of reactions in the body. Expression ranged from rhinitis to dermatitis.
Fight Chronic Tinea Pedis Infections with SteriShoe
As you can see, athlete’s foot is no fun — especially if you develop one of these other conditions along with it. Treatment will involve topical medications and further advice from your doctor, but we can help susceptible patients limit recurrences of fungal infections with our product that sanitizes the shoes using germicidal UV light. You simply stick the SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer devices into your footwear, place your shoes in the provided bags, and press the “on” button. Forty-five minutes later, the shoes will be clear of 99.9% of harmful fungi, bacteria, and pathogens.