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  Issue 2 (2001)

GD News
Every third person suffers from Athlete's Foot Disease
Appropriate Treatment instead of playing down the Disease

"Show me your feet, show me your shoes" goes a well-known German children's song which points to the importance of the feet for a healthful life. Although feet belonging to the most strained parts of the human body, apparently many persons only pay too little attention to their well-being: thus for instance athlete's foot diseases are often overlooked or played down by the persons concerned. Nevertheless athlete's foot (mycosis pedis) is a major infectious disease of the skin which can entail the emergence of secondary diseases at missing or insufficient treatment. The Gesellschaft für Dermopharmazie emphasized this fact on the occasion of its 5th Annual Meeting in Zurich on 28 March.

This international specialist society pursues among other targets the spreading of latest findings in the field of prevention and treatment of skin diseases. As the GD's president, pharmacist, Dr. Joachim Kresken explained in Zurich, mycoses pedis are far more common than assumed so far. According to the results of a major European study, the Achilles project, about one third of the population of industrial nations suffers from mycosis pedis. Most frequently the toe interspaces are seized. However, equally at every other place of the feet fungal infections can occur. The infected places show reddenings, scales, vesicles, pustules or crusts which at times lead to painful itching.

As Kresken further explained, the disease is indirectly transmitted by infected skin particles from one person to the other. Especially in public baths, saunas, fitness centers and other humid areas infections can increasingly appear. The steadily growing number of visits to such institutes is a reason for the frequent incidence of the disease. In case of a missing or too late treatment, the infection can also spread to the nails and induce a nail mycosis with considerable consequences. In addition, a fungus infection induces the natural skin barrier to become more pervious so that then also other pathogenic agents can penetrate the skin more easily and cause secondary diseases. Kresken mentioned as an example the erysipelas at the lower leg. This is a serious bacterial skin disease which coincides amazingly often with a mycosis pedis

The GD Gesellschaft für Dermopharmazie emphasized the problematic nature of mycoses pedis on the occasion of its 5th annual meeting in Zurich. Special importance is to be attached to a thorough drying of the toe interspaces.

According to Kresken, numerous preparations are available for the treatment of the athlete's foot disease which are equally effective and safe. Particularly recommendable is a cream containing the active substance Terbinafin which is no longer a prescription drug as of the beginning of this year and available without prescription in pharmacies since this time. The advantage of this preparation is that a seven-day application is sufficient to ensure a safe destroying of the fungi. In contrast other preparations require in general a treatment period of at least double the time.


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