If you think Athlete’s Foot is a problem that only torments athletes or sportsmen and women, you’re wrong. This bothersome fungal skin infection can attack anyone. And if you’re prone to having very sweaty feet confined to shoes for hours on end, you’re just as likely to develop this foot problem as anyone else.
One of the reasons Athlete’s Foot occurs is that the fungi thrive in closed, warm, and moist environments. The fungi also feed on the keratin from your foot’s hair, nails, and skin. Could you think of a better place to live and grow than a sweaty sock?
If you’ve noticed an itchy, scaly rash developing on your foot that doesn’t seem to improve even with the help of over-the-counter topical creams, sprays or even powders, it’s time to see the experts. Luckily, treatment for Athlete’s Foot comes in the form of antifungal medication, but there’s a chance you’ll see it return at some stage.
What is Athlete’s Foot?
Athlete’s foot, also referred to as tinea pedis, is a skin infection on feet caused by fungus. Symptoms include an itchy, scaly rash that occurs on the soles of your feet and sometime in between toes. Fungus is among us, meaning, fungus is ubiquitous and thrives in a warm, dark, moist environment like in our shoes.
What Does Athlete’s Foot look like?
Symptoms include itchy, dry, scaling skin commonly seen on the soles of feet and in between toes. In more severe cases, inflammation and blisters may form which can bring on a bacteria infection. Some people experience extreme burning and itching after wearing shoes and socks all day. The same fungus in the skin can spread to other areas of the body, including your toenails. Fungal nails can also be the cause of athlete’s foot after having the fungus in the nails for a long duration of time.
Toe web infection
This is the most common type of athlete’s foot, and typically affects the skin between your fourth and fifth toe. If there’s extra moisture, the skin may turn white which is called maceration.
- Moccasin-type infection: This type of infection affects the bottoms of your feet with redness along the edges of your feet and heels.
- Vesicular-type infection: A vesicular-type infection is when bumps or fluid-filled blisters arise on the bottom of your feet.
- Ulcerative infection: An ulcerative infection is the rarest type that leads to open sores often between your toes.
How do you get Athlete’s Foot?
These type of fungal infections are more common in warmer environments and usually spread through skin-to skin contact or contact wit a flake of skin. Fungus thrives in common areas where feet tend to sweat more such as swimming pools, showers, locker, rooms, saunas, yoga studios, and more. It can also spread through contact with an infected surface.
How long does Athlete’s Foot last?
The duration of the infection depends on when treatment is initiated. Rarely, does athlete’s foot go away on its own, and left untreated can result to further spread to other parts of your body, including:
- Nails which are more difficult to treat.
- Hands can also become infected with fungus when you scratch your infected feet or use the same towel to dry your infected feet and hands.
- The same fungus that causes athlete’s foot can also spread to your groin, which is called jock itch.
How to treat athlete’s foot?
Over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal creams, powders, and spray can help mitigate the fungal infection. Also wearing a antiperserant can also help reduce the fungal burden on your feet. May of these products contain clotrimazole, miconazole, tolfnate, or terbinafine.
If your athlete’s foot doesn’t respond to nonprescription products and self-care, you may need to seek a foot and ankle specialist for further management for prescription strength therapy. This includes creams or ointments and in more severe cases, and antifungal pills can be prescribed to combat the fungal infection.
How to prevent athlete’s foot?
Avoiding walking barefoot combined with practicing good hygiene can help reduce the spread of fungus. It’s highly recommended to wash your feet with soap and water daily and thoroughly dry, including between the toes. Avoid letting your feet become most with the use of anf-fungal powders and sprays. Changing your socks daily can also help keep your feet dry.
Try wearing light, well ventilated footwear instead of synthetic material, such as vinyl or rubber. Alternate your shoes to allow a pair to dry after each use. If you find yourself in public places often, try wearing waterproof sandals or shoes around public pools, showers, and locker rooms.
Avoid scratching your rash to avoid introducing bacterial under you fingernails and then causing a mixed bacterial and fungal infection. Try soaking your feet in cool water to soothe itching and dry thoroughly afterward.
Limit sharing shoes to decrease risks of spreading a fungal infection.
Once you realize you may have an infection, you must take action towards serious treatment for Athlete’s Foot, especially if you’ve already tried some over-the-counter options. If you’re in a lot of pain, if your foot is red, and especially if you have diabetes, make an appointment to see a professional at once.
It’s essential you treat any foot issues you are suffering from as soon as you realize you have a problem. In the case of Athlete’s Foot, if you don’t treat it in time, the infection can spread to your toenails and cause a fungal nail infection. Remember, over-the-counter cures are not suitable for everyone. So a quick check-up with the experts at YF&A can put your mind at ease and your feet on the course towards good health.
Contact Us for an Appointment
At Yeargain Foot & Ankle, we won’t stop at simply reducing your symptoms. Instead, we follow through on the treatment for athlete’s foot to make sure we address any underlying foot issues you may have so that you can prevent the condition from worsening or returning. Our aim is for you to remain pain-free for the long term!
Book an appointment with Yeargain Foot & Ankle for Athlete’s Foot treatment today. If you’re experiencing worsening symptoms, you must see a specialist such as Dr. Yeargain and Dr. Agyen. They will recommend Athlete’s Foot treatment to put you on the path to healing as soon as possible. We desire our patients to heal while causing minimal disruption to their everyday lives.
You’ll find Yeargain Foot & Ankle at 3801 Gaston Ave. Suite 330 is across the street from the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.