Athlete’s foot can happen to anyone. Find out what you can do to stop it.
You don’t have to be an athlete to develop this fungal infection in your feet that leads to a scaling itchy rash that may burn, sting or crack. In most cases, this rash will develop between the toes or on the soles. No matter whether this is your first bout with athlete’s foot or you develop infection regularly, our Olney, Camp Springs/Clinton, Kensington and Silver Spring, MD, podiatrists Dr. Michael Frank, Dr. Marc Goldberg and Dr. Adam Lowy think it’s important that you understand more about this common infection so you know not just how to treat it effectively when it comes about but also how to prevent it in the future.
What is athlete’s foot?
Also referred to as tinea pedis, this itchy and contagious infection is caused by the tinea fungus. You can get athlete’s foot by coming in contact with someone who has this infection or by touching contaminated surfaces. Remember, fungus loves dark, warm and damp spaces such as locker rooms and communal showers.
Is it preventable?
Even though this fungal infection is contagious it is preventable with the proper hygiene and habits in place. If someone in your family has athlete’s foot the goal is to prevent it from spreading. The best way to do this is to not share towels, bath rugs, socks or shoes with the infected family member.
If you are someone who is prone to athlete’s foot you may want to point the finger at those sweaty shoes of yours. If you find that your feet sweat regularly the worse thing you can do is leave your feet in the same shoes day in and day out. Swap out shoes every 24 hours and give the used pair time to air out. Place an anti-fungal spray or powder in the shoes both before and after use. Also, wear socks that help wick away sweat and moisture.
Take your athlete’s foot prevention a step further and invest in some shower shoes. These sandals are important for protecting your feet in a college dorm bathroom, swimming pool area or gym locker room floor, where fungus loves to live.
I have athlete’s foot. Now what?
There are simple topical anti-fungal treatments you can find at your local drugstore that may be able to clear up the infection. Remember to follow the medication’s instructions exactly as directed to ensure that it’s effective. If symptoms are severe, worsen or don’t respond to at-home treatment (or if you have diabetes) you should schedule an appointment with one of our foot doctors.
If you are dealing with athlete’s foot and you’re not sure the best way to treat the infection, or if your symptoms are severe, call the experts at Family Foot and Ankle Associates of Maryland. With offices in Olney, Camp Springs/Clinton, Kensington and Silver Spring, MD, we make it easy to get the foot care you need.