Athlete’s foot

This skin issue is recognisable by cracking, itching, or skin that looks white, dry and/or scaly.

Harmless bacteria and fungi live naturally on your skin, but if these organisms multiply; your skin can become infected. Your feet provide a warm, dark and humid environment – ideal conditions for the fungi to live and multiply. Athlete's foot spreads very easily. It can be passed from person to person through contaminated towels, clothing and surfaces. The fungi can survive and multiply in warm and humid places, such as swimming pools, showers and changing rooms.

Most cases of athlete’s foot are mild and can be treated at home using self-care techniques (see below) and antifungal medication. With effective treatment, athlete’s foot usually only lasts for a few days or weeks. Antifungal medication clears the fungi that cause the infection. It's available as:

• creams

• sprays

• liquids

• powders

• tablets

Swimmers Itch

Swimmer's itch, also called cercarial dermatitis, is a skin rash caused by an allergic reaction to infection with certain parasites of birds and mammals. These microscopic parasites are released from infected snails that swim in fresh and salt water, such as lakes, ponds, and oceans used for swimming and wading. The infection is found throughout the world but is most common in warmer tropical or subtropical places like Florida or the Caribbean.

Within minutes to days after swimming in contaminated water, you may experience tingling, burning, or itching of the skin. Small reddish pimples appear within 12 hours. Pimples may develop into small blisters. Itching may last up to a week or more, but will gradually go away.

Because swimmer's itch is caused by an allergic reaction to infection, the more often you swim or wade in contaminated water, the more likely you are to develop more serious symptoms. The greater the number of exposures to contaminated water, the more intense and immediate symptoms of swimmer's itch will be.