Treating and Preventing Athlete's Foot
Are your feet dry, itchy or burning? Below are some tips on treating and preventing Athlete's Foot.
Athlete's Foot, also known as Tinea Pedis, is a very common problem. You do not have to be an athlete to get athlete's foot! Athlete's foot is a fungal infection of the skin. It stems from a similar kind of fungus that is responsible for jock itch and ringworm. This fungus loves damp, dark environments so wet, tight-fitting shoes are its ideal environment. There are two different ways athlete's foot can present. One way is that you get a red, scaly rash in between your toes. The rash can be itchy or even burn. The other way athlete's foot can present is in a "moccasin" distribution. You get dry, flaky, red skin around your whole foot. It happens all along where a moccasin would cover your foot. You can sometimes see blisters along the rash in more severe cases. This can also be itchy or cause a burning sensation, but it could also just look like dry skin that doesn't go away even if you apply lotion to your feet. It can also look like eczema!
Treating athlete's foot is important because your athlete's foot infection can move to your toenail's and then it is much more difficult to treat. It can also become jock itch or infect your hands. It is easy to transfer the fungus to different locations on your body with towels. Once the other locations get infected it is possible to have them re-infect your foot. This is especially seen with fungal infection of the toenails because of its proximity to the foot.
Treatment of athlete's foot can usually be accomplished by using an over-the-counter anti-fungal cream. Look for creams that contain either miconazole, clotrimazole, or terbinafine. Do not apply the cream heavily in between your toes, because this creates the dark, damp environment fungus like to grow in. If you are diligent about applying the anti-fungal cream twice a day for a couple weeks, but are not seeing improvement it is time to come in and see your podiatrist. If the itching or burning is interfering with your day to day life it would be best to come see a podiatrist and start treating with prescription strength right away. Podiatrist have prescription strength anti-fungal creams on hand and Ta'lus inMotion has an anti-fungal spray you can use to kill the fungus that lives in your shoes, so your shoes do not continue to re-infect your feet.
Preventing Athlete's foot infections can be as simple as keeping your feet dry. If your feet sweat a lot changing socks when they get damp can help to prevent a fungal infection. Also wearing shoes that have ventilation will help. Alternative between pairs of shoes will allow the shoe to dry. Making sure to wear water-proof sandals in public showers or by public pools will help protect your feet from fungal infections. Laundry detergent kills the fungus, so washing towels and socks often will help prevent a fungal infection or help prevent spreading of a current fungal infection.
Athlete's Foot is very treatable. Don't settle for dry, itchy, burning feet! Contact Talus inMotion Foot & Ankle and set up a consultation. We are here to help!