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The warmer weather means swimming, wearing thongs and camping, but it also brings cases of Tinea, a common cause of itchy feet.

As Tinea thrives in hot and humid conditions so you are more likely to catch it in Summer and the warmer Spring months.

Also known as ringworm, jock itch or athlete’s foot, tinea affects around one in five people and can be easily treated, provided you act quickly when symptoms occur. These symptoms include feet that are itchy, scaling, cracking or red between the toes.

It can affect other areas besides the feet, like around the groin area and scalp. It’s easily spread through skin to skin contact and also through clothes, shoes and towels, especially when they are damp or wet. One of the main places to catch tinea is in public showers and places that are constantly damp or wet, such as pool decks and spas.

Whenever possible, I suggest you wear thongs around these places. Also avoid wearing damp socks or shoes, keep your feet dry and clean, and try to regularly wear open shoes to let your feet air.

Tinea won’t go away by itself and if left untreated can become much worse and cause complications and other infections. In these cases you could need prescription medication from your doctor. If you are diabetic and have tinea symptoms you should see your doctor straight away.

Tinea can be simply and easily treated with anti-fungal creams, gels, solutions and lotions. There are two main treatment options, depending on if your symptoms include cracked skin or not. If you have peeling and itchy feet, use a terbinafine based cream such as Lamisil or Ego SolvEasy.

These creams are typically used once a day for seven days and this should be enough to clear the infection. If your feet are also cracked you need to use a miconazole solution such as Daktarin or Ego Resolve.

These creams are antibacterial which will stop the cracks becoming infected and also clear the tinea. These need to be used twice a day and for another seven days after the tinea has cleared.

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