Athlete’s Foot Treatment
Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) is a fungal disease that usually first appears between the toes. The fungus thrives in warm, dark, humid environments— such as sweat-soaked shoes. Warm and damp shower areas, public swimming pools and locker rooms are breeding grounds for these fungi, which can be transferred to bare feet from infected floors.
The infection has long been associated with locker rooms; thus, the name ‘athlete’s foot’. Another colorful name, jungle rot, comes from soldiers’ vulnerability to the infection while serving in tropical areas. Tinea pedis also afflicts school children, swimmers, and patrons of public gyms and fitness centers. Up to 70% of the population may suffer from athlete’s foot at some point in their lives.
At our foot and ankle clinics in DeSoto, Dallas and Sunnyville, Texas, we diagnose and treat conditions such as athlete’s foot.
Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot Include Itching
Athlete’s foot may be asymptomatic (producing no signs or sensations) but the condition is suspected if there is dry or flaking skin, itching, redness, or blistering between the toes. Patients may have a combination of signs, or just one indicator.
If there are blisters that break open, those exposed areas may be subject to pain and swelling. There may be an oozing discharge from the sores. The itching and burning may get worse as the infection spreads to other toes or to areas such as the soles of the feet or the toenails.
Patients with athlete’s foot, especially children, may not know they have the condition. If the patient scratches between the toes, the fungus may be transferred to other parts of the body such as the groin area or under the arms. The infection may also spread to shoes, clothing, or bed linens. As with any condition or disease that breaks the skin, there is always risk of a secondary infection.
Athlete’s foot is notoriously easy to contract and hard to kill. If left untreated, it may persist for a long time. At our clinics in Sunnyvale, Dallas and DeSoto, we diagnose and treat athlete’s foot.
To Prevent Athlete’s Foot
To prevent infection in the first place, patients are advised to wear flip-flops in wet public areas. It’s best to wash the feet daily with soap and water, drying thoroughly between the toes. Change shoes and socks regularly and avoid athletic gear unless it has been aired and dried between wearings. Disinfect the bathroom and shower floors with bleach to prevent the fungus from spreading.
Athlete’s Foot Treatment
Our medical staff may prescribe an over-the-counter treatment for athlete’s foot, which can be applied to dry, clean skin. Topical or oral anti-fungal drugs can also be prescribed by our medical staff in Dallas, Sunnyvale or DeSoto.
If athlete’s foot does not respond to foot hygiene and self-care within two weeks, call our clinical for a consultation with the medical staff.
It is important to follow the doctor’s recommendation and/or prescribed medication to erradicate the fungus. If a bacterial (secondary) infection has occurred, an antibiotic may also be prescribed.