(opens in a new tab), also known as athlete’s foot, is a common fungal infection which affects the skin of the feet. Athlete’s foot causes the skin to become red, itchy, painful, cracked, or flaky. The skin may also peel. More severe infections can involve oozing blisters and a foul odor coming from the feet. Although it is contagious, this very unpleasant fungal infection can be prevented. Fungus thrives in warm, moist places like public pools, locker rooms, and showers. If you frequent these areas, avoid doing so barefoot. Always wear shoes to protect your feet. Keeping your feet cool and dry is also key to making them inhospitable to fungi. Wear shoes that allow your feet to breathe, and moisture-wicking socks. You should also avoid sharing personal items like shoes, socks, or towels with others, as fungi can spread through indirect contact with an infected person. If you have symptoms of athlete’s foot, please seek the care of a podiatrist.
Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with from . Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.
What Is Athlete’s Foot?
Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.
The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:
- Thoroughly washing and drying feet
- Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
- Using shower shoes in public showers
- Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
- Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot
Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:
- Scaly and peeling skin
Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.