Everything You Wanted to Know about Athlete’s Foot….OR DIDN’T!

atheletes-foot-signsAthlete’s foot, or tinea pedis, is a very common fungal infection of the skin that affects the web spaces between the toes, and soles of the feet. Fungal infections can be contagious as they are passed from one person to the next, especially in public spaces where people go barefoot. This infection is commonly spread on contaminated floors of public spaces such as gyms, swimming pools, or nail salons.

Athlete’s Foot Symptoms

Patients often will sometimes present with itching and burning of the feet. The skin itself can be scaly or peeling, as well as red. There can occasionally be some oozing fluid present, and blistering. Some patients may not notice anything wrong with their feet and think that it is just “dry skin”.

Diagnosis

Diagnosing athlete’s foot is clinical. Occasionally there may be an odd presentation of athlete’s foot, and samples of the tissue can be tested for fungal elements.

Risk Factors for Developing Fungal infection

There are many possible causes of skin irritation of the foot that may not necessarily be caused by a fungus. Allergic reaction from a foreign material (contact dermatitis), eczema, and psoriasis are all differential diagnosis to athlete’s foot.

People with a low immune system will typically be more at risk for developing a fungal infection. This includes people with diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and cancer, who have more trouble fighting foreign pathogens in their body.

How to Treat Athlete’s Foot

Treatment for athlete’s foot includes using topical medication to help stop the fungus from replicating and growing on your foot. There are many different fungal medications on the market, including over the counter medications and prescription medications.

More severe cases that are resistant to topical medications may require an oral pill to rid the fungus. Cleaning shoes/socks and avoiding moist, dark environments with the feet are recommended as well since fungus typically will thrive in such environments.

To Sum it Up

Athlete’s foot is a very common skin infection of the foot that is readily treatable. If not treated, the skin may crack, opening up the possibility of a bacterial infection. The skin infection may also spread to the nails, causing thickening and discoloration of the nail, which can be painful. Be mindful of where you walk barefoot so that you can avoid developing a fungal infection. If treatments do not work, it may not be a fungus and it is important to see a specialist to determine what it may be.

If you have any questions regarding athlete’s foot, we encourage a consult with one of our foot and ankle specialists; (877) 877-9110 or visit us at www.footankleinstitute.com.

The UFAI Education Team

For almost fifteen years, University Foot and Ankle Institute and their nationally recognized physicians have been providing the most technologically advanced medical care for the foot and ankle with the highest success rates in the country.

As a teaching institution, University Foot and Ankle Institute’s Fellowship Program is among the most advanced in the nation.

We at UFAI are driven to get our patients back to their normal activities with the highest level of function, in the least amount of time, using the least invasive treatments possible. From start to finish, we are with you every step of the way.

The UFAI Education Team works to help empower our patients and website visitors with the most up-to-date information about foot and ankle conditions, treatment options, recovery and injury prevention. Our goal is to pass on truly useful information to our readers.

We hope you enjoy our work and find it of value. Please let us know!

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