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07th Dec 2012

Ask The GloHealth Doctor – Your Health Questions Answered

Have you got a health concern on your mind? Every week we'll be tackling the health concerns of readers with the help of our GloHealth Doctor, Doctor Conor Fitzgerald. This week, you want to know about atheletes foot and itchy eyes.

Have you got a health concern you’d like some advice on? We’ve got our GloHealth Doctor, Dr. Conor Fitzgerald, on hand every week to answer your questions.* This week he’s talking athletes foot and itchy eyes…

“Hi Doctor, Just a quick question-probably a simple answer. I regularly suffer from athletes foot, but it’s always in between the same two toes on my left foot, never anywhere else! I use a spray when it crops up and I try and keep my feet dry after showers, is there somewhere else I could be going wrong? I could get it five to six times a year, sometimes it is just a tingle but it will never actually become fully inflamed. Is it just something I will always have? Thank you very much.”

Hi thanks for your question. As you probably know athlete’s foot is caused by a fungal infection and usually occurs in the moist areas between your toes. The symptoms are typically stinging, burning and itching. More severe symptoms include cracking and peeling of the skin, and itchy blisters. 

You are right to use a spray and keep your feet dry. Other tips include:

Wear cotton or wool socks( ie natural materials) as these draw moisture away from the foot. 

Change your socks regularly, especially if you sweat a lot. 

Wear light, well-ventilated shoes.

Use an antifungal powder regularly, even daily. 

Remember athlete’s foot is a contagious infection so protect your feet in public places by wearing pool shoes or flip flops in pool areas, fitness centres and other public areas.

Don’t share shoes with anyone!

It is rare to have to visit a doctor for athlete’s foot but if you have a rash that doesn’t improve or worsens despite home treatment you should see your GP. See your GP sooner if you notice excessive redness, swelling, drainage or fever, or if you have diabetes. 

“Hi guys, for the past few months I’ve been having a small problem with my eyes. I wake up in the morning and they are quite itchy and tearful. It’s like hayfever symptoms but they have carried on past the summer. I am 21 and in college at the moment. Any ideas if it is a problem please? Thanks a million.”

Hi thanks for your question. Your eye symptoms sound very bothersome. There are a few other questions that I would like to ask such as is there any pain in your eyes, are there any vision changes, are the eyes red when these symptoms occur,  is there any discharge when the eyes are tearful, and do you have any history of allergies? This would help determine an accurate diagnosis.

From what you have told me it does sound as though you have a conjunctivitis, either bacterial, viral or allergic. Your GP will be able to determine which type you have and treat you accordingly. I do think it would be a good idea to see your doctor at this stage as the symptoms appear to be present for several months. 

You mention it feels like hayfever symptoms and if you are living in new accommodation it could be that you are allergic to something in your room, and you have an allergic conjunctivitis in the morning after spending the night in your room. Treatment for this is usually with eyedrops. I hope this information helps.

If you’ve got a question you want to put to our GloHealth Doctor, just drop us a mail to [email protected] – all emails will be treated in the strictest confidence.

*If you have ongoing concerns about your symptoms, please contact your GP

Dr. Conor Fitzgerald, GloHealth Medical Council


Dr. Conor Fitzgerald studied medicine at UCD, worked in Naas General Hospital and also in the Adelaide & Meath hospital, incorporating the National Childrens’ Hospital, (AMNCH) Tallaght. He trained on the Mid Leinster GP Training Scheme and worked as a GP in Wicklow. Dr. Fitzgerald is currently working in GP practice in Lucan, Co.Dublin.