More than half the population will at one time or another develop athlete’s foot, a fungal infection on the skin of the feet. It causes itching, burning or scaling of the skin, especially between the toes or on the soles. Also known as tinea pedis, it affects men more than women, and it becomes more common with older age. Excessive moisture and lack of airflow around the feet predispose people to infection with the fungus. To decrease your chances of contracting athlete’s foot, avoid walking barefoot in public locker rooms and showers, and keep feet clean, dry and in shoes that allow the feet to get air.
Your podiatrist will diagnosis athlete’s foot after conducting a physical examination of your feet. In some cases a skin scraping is obtained to look for fungus under a microscope, or a culture is taken to grow and identify it.
Usually an anti-fungal cream or ointment applied to the affected area for 2 to 4 weeks will resolve the problem. Depending on the severity of the case, the medication will be available by prescription or over-the-counter. For your convenience our office carries Clarus Anti-fungal topical cream.
A critical part of treating athlete’s foot is to kill any fungus living in your shoes and surrounding areas. If you don’t kill the fungus that thrive in shoes, the chance of re-infection is higher. Sterilize and treat your shoes with an anti-fungal and germicidal shoe spray. Our office carries Clarus Shoe Spray, which has a pleasant smell and will sanitize your shoes.
Although uncommon, athlete’s foot can lead to cellulitis, a more serious bacterial skin infection of the foot that can spread up the leg. In diabetics untreated athlete’s foot can lead to small cuts or abrasions that can lead to infections and complications.