What is athlete’s foot?
Athlete’s foot– also called tinea pedis– is a fungal infection that affects the skin on the feet. It can also infect the toenails and the hands. The fungal infection can affect anyone not just athletes. However, more active people may find that they are more susceptible to getting the fungal infection.
What triggers athlete’s foot?
Athlete’s foot takes place when the tinea fungus grows on the feet. You can capture the fungus through direct contact with an infected person, or by touching surface areas contaminated with the fungi. The fungus grows in warm, damp environments. Therefore it’s commonly found in showers, on locker space floorings, and around pools. In addition, if you wear boots and work in wet environments this can also be a problem.
Who is at risk for athlete’s foot?
Anybody can get athlete’s foot, however certain habits increase your danger. Those habits that increase your danger of getting athlete’s foot consist of:
- walking barefoot particularly in locker rooms, showers, and swimming pools
- sharing socks, shoes, or towels with a contaminated individual
- wearing tight, closed-toe shoes
- keeping your feet wet for extended periods of time
- having sweaty feet
- having a minor skin or nail injury on your foot
What are the symptoms of athlete’s foot?
There are many symptoms of athlete’s foot. For instance, some might include:
- itching, stinging and burning between your toes or on soles of your feet
- blisters on your feet that itch
- breaking and peeling skin on your feet, the majority being typically between your toes and on the soles of your feet
- dry skin on your soles or sides of your feet
- raw skin on your feet
- discolored, thick, and crumbly toenails
- toenails that pull away from the nail bed
How is athlete’s foot identified?
Dr. Cruz may diagnose athlete’s foot by your symptoms. However, he may also perform a skin test if he isn’t sure a fungal infection is causing your symptoms.
There are many newer skin tests that can provide an accurate diagnosis to allow for the best treatment possible. Sometimes skin scraping or biopsy may be necessary as well. Dr. Cruz may remove a small area of contaminated skin and send it to a lab. The lab will provide a detailed report to help treat the fungal infection effectively.
How is athlete’s foot dealt with?
Athlete’s foot can often be treated with non-prescription (OTC) topical antifungal medications. However, if OTC medications don’t treat your infection, Dr. Cruz may recommend topical or oral prescription-strength antifungal medications. He may also suggest home treatments to help clear up the infection.
Some OTC medications can help with athlete’s foot but in many cases, you will need to see Dr. Cruz. There are many OTC topical antifungal medications, including:
- miconazole (Desenex).
- terbinafine (Lamisil AT).
- clotrimazole (Lotrimin AF).
- butenafine (Lotrimin Ultra).
- tolnaftate (Tinactin).
Some of the prescription medications Dr. Cruz might recommend for athlete’s foot consist of:
- topical, prescription-strength antifungal creams or ointments.
- oral antifungal medications such as itraconazole (Sporanox), fluconazole (Diflucan), or prescription-strength terbinafine (Lamisil).
- topical steroid medications to decrease unpleasant swelling.
- oral antibiotics if bacterial infections develop due to raw skin and blisters.
Your Brandon Podiatrist can help you with Athlete’s Foot
In conclusion, the Doctors at the Gentle Foot Care Clinic are standing by to help you with practically any foot ailment. Dr. Jairo Cruz Jr is a Brandon Podiatrist that has years of experience in keeping your feet healthy and pain-free. Furthermore, if you would like to set up an appointment with Dr. Cruz, simply call him at (813) 502-5904 for Brandon and (813) 782-3233 for the Zephyrhills office.