We spend a lot of time protecting our children from elements such as the sun and rain or from people who are ill to ensure they don’t come down with a similar ailment. But how much attention do we give to their feet?
There is a number of conditions that affect the feet and active children and young adults are particularly susceptible to them because they are often the result of sweaty shoes or going barefoot in public places.
The most common are warts, also called verrucas, athlete’s foot or tinea, and nail fungus – which applies more to adults.
Warts are extremely contagious. They tend to develop on the soles of the feet and present as small, bumpy growths, often with a tiny black dot or dots on the surface. They are caused by a virus that gets into the skin through a cut or graze and common places where these viruses lurk include the floors of public swimming pools and communal showers. Places where your children go barefoot, such as at a gym, also present a risk.
Warts are more common in children as adults tend to build up their immunity over time. In fact, around 22 per cent of Australian school children have warts.
Athlete’s foot (tinea)
Athlete’s foot is caused by a type of fungus and is contracted from floor surfaces in public areas. The skin is contaminated through direct contact, which means any barefoot activity could be a cause. At any time 5.2 per cent of Australian primary school children and 12.2 per cent of high school children have tinea.
Contrary to its name, children don’t need to be sporting superstars to get athlete’s foot. They just need to come into contact with the fungi. Athlete’s foot generally affects the feet of children who are older than 12 and boys are more likely than girls to get it.
Be aware that athlete’s foot does not always look the same. For example, it could present as a cracking or peeling between your child’s toes. Or it could appear as red, flaking skin along the sides and soles of their feet. In many cases it is itchy but not all the time.
What action can you take?
If your child has contracted tinea or warts it needs to be treated with a solution from the chemist or doctor. Prevention is always better than cure and there are some steps you can take to help reduce the likelihood of these conditions occurring.
Tinea, for example, loves sweaty feet so it’s very important to wash feet every day and to dry them properly, especially between the toes.
Some kids sweat more than others and if this is the case with your child then make sure they don’t wear synthetic socks – wool and cotton is best. In summer discourage sweaty feet by making your kids wear sandals. In fact, alternating shoes so they wear different footwear each day is another good strategy and make sure you air their shoes before they wear them again.
Summer means swimming or beach holidays where showers are often shared with other members of the public. If this is the case, have your child wear thongs or Crocs in the shower so they avoid any potential fungi. Another preventative measure is ensuring your child doesn’t share his or her socks or towels with anyone else.
There has never been a medical preventative option for warts or tinea – until now. Pharmaceutical company First Pharma has produced a protector spray that protects against these types of conditions.
The Excilor Protector Spray 3 in 1 is the first and only medical solution for the prevention of warts, athlete’s foot and nail fungus. You spray it on your children’s (or your own) feet and toes where it dries instantly and acts as an “invisible sock”. This “sock” or barrier protects the skin during and after barefoot activity and creates an unfavourable environment for the microbes that are responsible for warts and fungi. It even protects the feet from contamination in shoes and socks that are already infected.
The spray is effective for eight hours and doesn’t wash off in water, which means that children are protected when going into public pools, walking barefoot along pool decks, or using public showers. It’s also drug and paraben free, invisible, breathable and safe for children aged from two years.
These types of foot conditions are very inconvenient and recurrent, so it’s good to know there is now a medical solution that can help prevent them occurring.
For more information go to www.excilor.com.
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