Athlete's foot (tinea pedis) is a fungal infection that often begins as dry flaky skin or appear as a skin inflammation in the webs of the toes or soles of the feet which may be itchy in early stages.
Athlete's foot often causes a red rash that itches. Itching is often worst right after taking off shoes and socks. Some severe types of athlete's foot can have blisters or ulcers. One variety of athlete's foot causes chronic dryness and scaling on the soles that extends up the side of the foot. It can be mistaken for eczema or even as dry skin. The infection can affect one or both feet and may spread to the hands, especially if the infected parts of the feet are scratched. In chronic cases the itch may go away. The fungus can also spread to other warm, most areas of the body including the groin. Symptoms can be worse if the patient has diabetes.
Feet that stay dirty and moist for long periods of time are much more likely to become infected with fungus. Going bare foot in public shower areas increases the possibility of exposure to the fungus, as does wearing tight fitting shoes that don’t allow feet to “breathe”.
Athlete's foot (tinea pedis) is caused by the same type of fungus that causes ringworm and jock itch. Damp socks and humid conditions favor the organisms' growth. Athlete's foot is highly contagious and may be spread by contact with an infected person or from contact with contaminated surfaces, such as towels, floors and shoes.
Over the counter anti-fungal treatments including anti-fungal ointments, lotions, powders or sprays, may be effective at treating mild cases. More resistant cases may be treated by prescription anti-fungal medicines.
Here are some ways to prevent athlete’s foot, or to prevent a recurrence of a previous infection:
- Keep feet dry, especially between toes.
- Dry between the toes after a bath or shower.
- Change socks regularly. If your feet get very sweaty, change your socks twice a day.
- Wear light, well-ventilated shoes and avoid shoes made of synthetic materials.
- Don't wear the same pair of shoes every day so that shoes have time to dry after each use.
- Protect feet in public places. Wear sandals or shoes around public pools, showers and lockers rooms.
- Use powder, preferably anti-fungal, to dry feet daily.
- Don't share shoes.
The Concierge Podiatry Advantage
At Concierge Podiatry we specialize in treating all podiatric issues. Although many may not realize they have the issue, most of the patients at Concierge Podiatry present with athlete's foot. We offer a proprietary kit that not only eliminates the fungus, but keeps it from returning. Our goal is for patients to have the same soft skin on their feet that they have on the rest of their body.
- Contact Concierge Podiatry for an appointment
- Learn more about treatment options often used to treat this issue