Athlete's Foot

Athlete’s Foot describes a fungal skin infection that develops on the bottom of the foot and between the toes. It affects the outer layer of the foot and can get very itchy and frustrating for patients. 

Many people will experience Athlete’s Foot at some point in their lives, or even many times because it is easily spread by sharing surfaces with those affected. 

It is medically referred to as Tinea Pedis which literally translates as ‘ringworm of the foot’. It gets the name Athlete’s Foot because of its high prevalence among athletes.

If you have developed athlete’s foot, you might experience:

  • Itching
  • Red, scaly patches on the skin
  • Dry appearance
  • Stinging or burning
  • Breakdown of the skin between the toes causing cracks or fissures

A fungus (called trichophyton) causes athlete’s foot, which is contracted as a result of direct contact with the fungus. When the fungus is paired with warm and damp conditions, it can quickly grow and spread over the bottom of the foot. This is why athlete’s foot is often contracted from, and thrives in showers, changing rooms and closed-in shoes.

Your toenails are also vulnerable to fungal nail infections. These are often difficult to treat, even in drier and cooler conditions.

The first step in managing and eliminating athlete’s foot is to have a correct diagnosis from your podiatrist. If you have any of the above symptoms and your feet are also particularly odorous, you may have both a fungal infection and a bacterial infection. If so, the treatment you need will differ from if you are suffering from a fungal infection alone. To treat the fungus directly, your podiatrist will recommend the right anti-fungal for you to use. It’s usually in the form of a spray, powder or cream. They will also identify the various factors that are contributing to the persistence of the infection and teach you how to overcome these. Knowing these factors is important because we don’t want just to treat your existing infection, but also prevent you from getting future infections. If the infection has spread to your toenails, you’ll also need to treat the nails too. This can often be significantly more difficult than treating the skin alone, as the fungus can penetrate the nail bed. Your best course of treatment here is PACT fungal nail treatment. It’s our superior solution to fungal nail infections and is safe, effective and pain-free. Throughout your treatment, take particular care of your skin as the infection can make your skin very fragile and susceptible to damage.

Once you know your condition is fungal, we advise our patients to do their best to keep their feet dry, clean and away from sources of infection. We recommended:

  • Thoroughly drying your feet with a towel after showering or getting wet
  • Using absorbent powders if your feet sweat excessively
  • Disinfecting infected shoes and socks to avoid reinfection
  • Wearing absorbent socks that will help to maintain a dry environment
  • Wearing open shoes where possible to let your feet air and dry

Fungus spreads very easily, so take care to avoid re-infection. Re-infection doesn’t have to come from another person — it can occur from continuing to wear your own infected shoes and socks.

Athlete’s foot is contagious and will spread if not treated quickly or if it is treated poorly, so come in and see us as soon as possible. Book an appointment with one of our highly skilled and friendly podiatrists. We want to diagnose and treat you as quickly as we can and get you back on your feet!  

Our highly skilled and friendly clinicians also offer Podiatry appointments, where we provide proactive advice on your foot and complete health so you can avoid future conditions and stay on your feet! Book a Podiatry appointment today.

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