Athlete's Foot: a Digital Perspective

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Athlete’s Foot:
A Digital Perspective

Julie Sawyer

Computer Information Systems, CIS 116
Instructor: Jane Jarboe
October 7, 2004 Athlete’s Foot: A Digital Perspective

Athlete’s Foot is a common fungal infection of the keratinized superficial layers of the epidermis and can occur on feet, hands, hair and nails. Tinea Pedis, the medical term for this infection, is caused by Trichophyton rubrum, a fungal spore, commonly found on the skin (Morris). Special electron computerized microscopes are needed to properly identify any fungal organism growing on the skin because microorganisms can not be seen with the naked eye. The electron photograph above is a digital enhancement of a microorganism shown 10,000 times its actual size. Without computer technology, we would be unable to identify these microorganisms and consequently, unable to determine a medicinal approach for their eradication. Athlete’s Foot infection occurs when environmental conditions are optimal for fungal growth. Feet are the perfect host because of the warm, moist and dark environment created when wearing snug or plastic shoes or failing to remove damp socks. Athletes were first associated with this infection because of their regular use of tight- fitting running shoes (KidsHealth), locker rooms, and pools. However, everyone is susceptible to getting this type of skin infection because of increased usage of public pools, public locker rooms and public outdoor facilities, not to mention general exercise practices. Increased exposure to the exfoliated skin fragments of an infected person increases your chances of developing Athlete’s Foot.

The Superficial Layers of the Epidermis In order to understand how the Athlete’s Foot fungus grows, we need to understand a few basic anatomical facts about the skin. Again,…...

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