Rise in foot fungus cases in the city

Doctors in the city have seen a spike in the cases of Athlete’s foot or foot fungus, which is often caused due to spending long hours in moist conditions. While it isn’t a serious medical condition, delayed medical attention in diabetics can make it hard to cure, say experts.
Rise in foot fungus cases in the city

Chennai

When Bhanu, a diabetic spotted the skin around her toes turning scaly and toe nails getting brittle, she immediately rushed to her diabetologist . She was told that she was suffering from athlete’s foot, and was immediately put on treatment. She had ignored the initial signs like itchiness due to lack of sensation as a result of diabetic neuropathy and her treatment lasted a little longer than usual. 
Athletes’ foot or foot fungus, as is commonly called, is one of the most common foot conditions in India — in both diabetics and others. An estimated 10 million cases are diagnosed every year. Foot fungus is caused due to sweaty feet and inadequate foot care, apart from factors like spending long hours in moist conditions, exposing the feet and nails. It is also extremely common in those who wear tight shoes for long hours. 
Dr Deepika Lunawat, dermatologist, Fortis Malar Hospital, says that a number of her patients turn up late. “Especially the younger population that comes after trying to shield infected toe nails in nail polish. In these long-ignored cases, it takes a little more time to cure even with medications,” she says. 
Dermatologists say that many resort to home-based remedies like applying coconut oil, baking soda and vinegar, but in some cases these prove ineffective. It is easily treatable and those without diabetes have an added advantage of faster cure. 
The disadvantage calls for diabetics to adopt extra care for foot-related conditions, points out Dr RP Rajesh, consultant diabetologist, Dr Mehta’s Hospitals. “Just like how they do not experience pain from wounds due to diabetic neuropathy, diabetics cannot pick sensations like itchiness. No one looks at the web spaces (in between the toes). The blood supply in the feet is very inefficient in diabetics due to peripheral vascular disease. Even if they take a tablet for treating it, it is unable to enter the blood supply and reach the target area,” he says.

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