Few ailments are as frustrating for our patients as athlete’s foot. While two out of three Americans will be afflicted by this pest at some point, most people don’t understand how the condition can persist, or how to rid themselves of it. The Internet is loaded with horror stories and purported cures— from the man who swears he’s been suffering for 24 years to magical treatments involving cinnamon, baking soda, garlic and/or exercise.
Perhaps because we are a professional clinic seeing many patients with athlete’s foot, we are more inclined to believe the 24-year-old history than the stories of miracle cures. Athlete’s foot is extremely common and persistent. It’s contagious, and it must be handled with care. If not, it can spread to other members of the family and other parts of the body.
Tinea pedis, the fungus that causes athlete’s foot, often affects patients who have been bathing or swimming in a public place. The fungus loves warm, damp environments. It’s also common in men and women who wear heavy work boots eight to ten hours a day, and in young people who slip into the same sneakers day in and day out. Athlete’s foot is now showing up as well in some unlikely sites, such as nail salons.
The best treatment for athlete’s foot— or recurring athlete’s foot— is prevention. Wear clean, dry socks. Don’t walk around in wet shoes. Wash your feet nightly and give them plenty of fresh air.
Athlete’s foot can cause dry skin, blisters or ulcers. If you suspect you have a case of athlete’s foot, it’s best to have it treated before it can spread to other members of the household. Call one of our clinics in Dallas, DeSoto or Sunnyvale, and make an appointment to see the doctor.
It Looks Ugly and It’s Not Sporting
They call it athlete’s foot but it’s certainly not fun and games. It starts as an itching between the toes and produces cracked and irritated skin, scaling or red patches that may feel like the foot is on fire. There may be a discharge from the blistered sites. The infection may spread to the soles of the feet, to the toenails, eventually to the groin and underarms— any spot that is warm and damp on a regular basis.
Athlete’s foot may fail to respond to fungicidal medicine because the fungus takes shelter beneath the thickened skin. If careful hygiene doesn’t get rid of the fungus and over-the-counter medications fail, we have prescription medications. This could be a topical (applied to the surface of the skin) or oral (taken by mouth) antifungal drug.
Before prescribing anything, we would confirm that the itching, scaling or otherwise annoying problem is indeed the fungus that causes athlete’s foot, Tinae pedis. Once confirmed, we’ll get busy helping you banish the little critters.
The trick to truly beating athlete’s foot is to create an environment where the fungus fails to thrive. Our clinics in Sunnyvale, DeSoto and Dallas have the know-how to diagnose and treat athlete’s foot. Whether it’s pointing out a lifestyle issue you may have missed or prescribing a potent anti-fungal medication, we know what to do.
Because Tinea pedis loves warm, dark, damp places with little or no air circulation, we recommend that you change shoes every day and expose the shoes and your feet to the air. If you work out or play sports, keep two or more sets of shoes. Make sure each pair of shoes is completely dry between wearings.
Wash between the toes with soap and warm water each evening. Use anti-fungal powder on your feet, shoes and shower area. Make sure that washcloths and towels are clean and dry.
Last but not least, make an appointment to see the doctor to confirm the diagnosis and get treatment. We can help you win the battle against this pesky fungus and keep the cinnamon for your holiday treats.