Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that usually begins between the toes. It commonly occurs in people whose feet have become very sweaty while confined within tight fitting shoes
“Athlete’s foot commonly includes a scaly rash that causes itching, stinging and burning,” noted Dr. Sarah Campbell, board-certified dermatologist with Forefront Dermatology. “Itching is often worse immediately after removing your socks and shoes. It is also possible to have blisters instead of the common rash. Due to its highly-contagious nature, athlete’s foot can spread to both feet and your hands if you scratch at infected parts of your feet.”
Athlete’s foot is caused by the same type of fungus that causes ringworm and jock itch. Damp socks and shoes and warm, humid conditions favor the fungal growth. You are at a higher risk of developing athlete’s foot if you frequently wear damp clothing, share shoes or walk barefoot in public places.
Dr. Campbell provided great tips for preventing ringworm (should this be athlete’s foot?) from developing in the first place:
• Keep your feet dry, especially between your toes.
• Go barefoot to let your feet air out as much as possible when you’re home, but not in public places or while wearing shoes.
• Dry between your toes after a bath or shower.
• Always wear cotton socks with your shoes.
• If your feet get very sweaty, change your socks as many times per day as needed
• Protect your feet in public places. Wear waterproof sandals or shoes around public pools, showers and lockers rooms.
• Treat your feet. Use powder, preferably antifungal, on your feet daily.
• Don’t share shoes.
As a fungal infection, athlete’s foot can be treated with over-the-counter antifungal creams. If the infection persists or continually reoccurs, prescription medications are also available.
At Forefront Dermatology, we know that life is all about the moments when you don’t need us. That’s why we’re here for all the moments when you do. We offer comprehensive and compassionate care for all skin conditions and create customized treatment plans for all ages – even the tiniest of patients! Find a location near you today.