Athlete’s Foot

What is Athlete’s Foot?

Athlete’s foot, medically known as tinea pedis, is a common fungal infection that typically affects the skin on the feet, especially between the toes. It’s caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes, which thrive in warm, moist environments, making the feet an ideal breeding ground. Athlete’s foot is characterized by itchy, red, and flaky skin and can sometimes lead to more severe symptoms if left untreated. While commonly associated with athletes due to their frequent exposure to such environments (like locker rooms and swimming pools), it can affect anyone.

What are signs & symptoms of Athlete’s Foot?

When identifying athlete’s foot, look out for the following signs and symptoms:

  • Itching, stinging, or burning sensations between the toes or on the soles of the feet
  • Scaly, red patches of skin, often leading to flaking or peeling
  • Dry skin on the sides or bottoms of the feet
  • Blisters or ulcers that may ooze or become painful
  • Chronic dryness and scaling on the sole that extends up the side of the foot

These symptoms can vary in severity and may persist without proper treatment, potentially leading to more complicated infections.

What are some treatments for Athlete’s Foot?

Treating athlete’s foot typically involves a multipronged approach:

  • Over-the-counter antifungal creams, sprays, or powders
  • Prescription topical or oral antifungal medications for more severe cases
  • Keeping feet dry and clean, especially between the toes
  • Wearing breathable footwear and changing socks regularly
  • Using antifungal powders or sprays in shoes and socks

If athlete’s foot goes untreated, there is a high risk that it may spread from toe to toe. With this in mind, it’s highly recommended that you meet with a podiatrist for a professional diagnosis. Your podiatrist can give you information about treatment options that best suit your case.