What is Athlete’s Foot?
Tinea pedis is a fungal skin infection called athlete’s foot. Despite the name, athlete’s foot isn’t exclusively developed by athletes— it is called this due to the fact that people will commonly pick up the infection in change rooms and public locker room showers.
This condition is characterised by flakiness, redness, and small blisters across the foot. The infection can progress all over your feet, including toenails, though it most commonly starts between the toes. It is extremely easy to get athlete’s foot, and while over-the-counter solutions are available, the best treatment options will come from an experienced podiatrist.
Athlete’s Foot Symptoms and Common Causes
Many people develop athlete’s foot in public areas. Walking around barefoot in environments such as pool areas, public showers, and locker rooms will often lead to people developing athlete’s foot. The fungi that cause this infection are the same type that cause ringworm and jock itch, known as dermatophytes. Warm, humid, and moist conditions will promote the growth of these organisms. Wearing damp socks or shoes can lead to infected skin.
Is athlete’s foot contagious? Yes – highly, in fact. This is why public areas can be a breeding ground for this fungi, because skin-to-skin contact isn’t necessary for this fungal skin infection to pass between people. Signs and symptoms of athlete’s foot include:
- Redness of the skin
- Flakiness, cracking, or peeling of skin on the feet
- Burning and itching sensations
- Brittle skin on the soles of the feet or between the toes
- Toenails becoming thick and brittle
- Discolouration of toenails, usually becoming white or yellowish
- Spreading to other areas across the body
Prevention and Treatment of Athlete’s Foot
As athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) thrives in warm and moist conditions, keeping your feet clean and dry is the best way to avoid athlete’s foot. Wear shoes that are well-aired and not too tight, avoiding having sweaty feet cooped up in tight shoes. Breathable materials can help keep your shoes and feet dry, and wearing cotton socks can make a significant improvement.
A skin infection such as athlete’s foot will often develop between the toes, so be sure to intentionally clean and dry these areas thoroughly before putting shoes on.
Here are some other tips to prevent athlete’s foot:
- Always change into clean socks and shoes regularly
- Keep your feet clean and dry
- Avoid walking barefoot in moist environments such as public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools
- Always wear sandals and thongs in wet areas or public locations where other people may be walking barefoot
- Clean your shower regularly to prevent any reinfection
- Exfoliate your feet on a routine basis
- Air your shoes out, particularly if they are used during exercise or if they get wet
- Make sure any cases of athlete’s foot aren’t left untreated
Fungal Infection Treatment From an Experienced Podiatrist
Diagnosis is always the first step to impactful treatment. A podiatrist will be able to properly diagnose an athlete’s foot and other fungal infections before offering treatment solutions. Generally speaking, treatment for cases of athlete’s foot is relatively straightforward. For many patients, the infected area will be able to be treated with the use of antifungal creams, gels, and powders. For others, the condition may be more stubborn and require further measures. The earlier you go to see a podiatrist, the easier your treatment will likely be.
Ultimately, athlete’s foot treatments are readily available and extremely common. A podiatrist will be able to prescribe any medications to treat your tinea as required and will offer personalised care and advice as you continue treatment. It may take several weeks, but tinea pedis is highly treatable.
Why Choose Midland Podiatry For Diabetic Foot Care?
Leaving conditions such as athlete’s foot untreated for long periods of time may get you in hot water. Fortunately, Midland Podiatry makes efficient and high-quality podiatry services available in your local area.
30 Years of Industry Experience
Why not put your health in the hands of highly experienced podiatrists? With more than three decades of experience working in podiatry, the Midland team has extensive knowledge across all conditions of the feet and lower limbs
Personalised Treatment Solutions
You deserve better than some one-size-fits-all treatment. We will find tailored treatment options to best support your feet, skin, and overall health in the most effective manner possible.
Book an Appointment at Midland Podiatry to Treat Your Athlete’s Foot
Over-the-counter athlete’s foot treatment can’t address your infection as well as an experienced podiatrist can. Let’s address your symptoms before the infection can spread to other parts of your body. Here at Midland Podiatry, we regularly treat cases of tinea, and are able to not only eliminate symptoms but provide crucial advice to prevent any reinfections in the future. If you’re concerned about your foot health, the Midland Podiatry team is ready to help out.
Book an appointment today to get your athlete’s foot diagnosed and start your treatment journey.