Athlete’s Foot, or Tinea Pedis, is a fungal infection of the skin. This can be present in between your toes, along the bottom of your feet or both. You can also develop this condition on one foot but not the other. Common symptoms include moist areas in between your toes, cracking or peeling skin, small blisters, red patches, itching and burning.
Athlete’s foot is caused by a type of fungi called dermatophytes. Dermatophytes thrive in warm and moist environments. Showers, locker rooms, pools and gymnasiums are common places of exposure.
What you can do to prevent an infection:
- Wash and dry your feet well daily.
- Don’t share socks and shoes.
- Wear breathable shoes that aren’t too tight.
- Keep your feet dry. Change your socks throughout the day if they become wet.
- Keep your feet protected by wearing sandals if you are in a locker room, pool or gym.
- Disinfect your shower after use. You don’t want to spread the infection to others living in your household.
- Disinfect your shoes! Fungi live in your shoes, so if you skip this step you are setting yourself up for reinfection
Over the counter treatment options include antifungal sprays, powders, creams and natural therapies such as tea tree oil. If symptoms don’t improve over the course of 2 weeks, call our office for an evaluation. A topical or oral prescription medication may be necessary or you may be treating the wrong condition. Don’t ignore treating symptoms of Athlete’s foot as this can lead to complications such as a secondary bacterial infection.
Some OTC product recommendations:
- Domeboro astringent soaks – relieves itching and burning, dries out blisters.
- Zeasorb AF Powder – keeps your feet dry while providing antifungal protection.
- Distilled white vinegar: Spray a solution of 3 parts distilled white vinegar and 1 part water into your shoes and let air dry. Rotate your shoes and perform this until Athlete’s foot infection has resolved.
- Wool blended socks. Wool wicks moisture away leaving your skin dry.