Athlete’s Foot

What are the symptoms of athlete's foot?

Tinea pedis, or athlete’s foot, is a common contagious condition that affects all segments of the population, not just athletes. It is the most common fungal skin infection in the world. Fungi called dermatophytes multiply and can lead to infection when in a warm, moist environment.

Early signs of athlete’s foot are often a mild discomfort and itching between the toes. As it progresses, the itching and burning may become increasingly intense, and there is usually cracking, blistering, and peeling of the skin. If left untreated, it can spread to the soles, sides of feet, and other parts of your body.

How do you get athlete’s foot?

Athlete’s foot is highly contagious, and can be contracted from virtually anywhere. The fungus is very hardy, and can survive on almost any surface- dry or wet, hard or soft. You can get athlete’s foot by person-to-person contact, and transmission is often within a household. However, athlete’s foot is often transmitted in public areas like pools, showers, locker rooms, and saunas. The risk for developing athlete’s foot increases in warm, humid conditions. Wearing closed shoes (especially plastic-lined or vinyl), and perspiring or keeping your feet wet for a prolonged period can also increase your risk for athlete’s foot.

Preventing athlete’s foot

  • wash and dry your feet thoroughly every day
  • change your socks at least once a day and alternate shoes to allow them to dry between wearings
  • cotton and leather shoes and socks allow for better air flow, avoid synthetic materials in shoes and socks
  • wear sandals in warm, humid weather
  • do not go barefoot in public places
  • never scratch the affected area, as this may cause the infection to spread

How do you treat athlete’s foot?

Dr. Karlsberg offers effective treatments for athlete’s foot- usually an antifungal medication in combination with prevention measures. We carry Formula 3 Professional, which is only available in doctor’s offices, for the treatment of athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) and ringworm (tinea corporis).

Toenail Fungus

Another common skin condition of the feet is toenail fungus, which account for about 50% of all nail disorders, and can be difficult to treat. Toenail fungus causes the end of the nail to separate from the nail bed, and the nail bed to become discolored. It can also cause the nails to grow abnormally.

Warm, moist, weight-bearing environments are prime for fungal infections of the nail.

Treatment and prevention of toenail fungus is similar to athlete’s foot. Follow the prevention measures listed above for prevention of toenail fungus. Our providers may also prescribe a topical fungal treatment for your nails upon diagnosis of a fungal infection.

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