Athlete’s foot, medically known as tinea pedis, is a common and extremely contagious fungal infection that targets the skin on the feet, particularly the spaces between the toes. Among the primary indicators of athlete’s foot is persistent itching and burning sensations experienced between the toes and on the soles of the feet. The discomfort caused by this incessant itching can significantly impact daily activities, leading individuals to find relief through constant scratching or rubbing, which may serve to spread the infection. Redness and inflammation in the affected areas are also signs of athlete's foot. Prolonged exposure to moisture or heat, such as wearing sweaty shoes or walking barefoot in communal areas like public showers or pool areas, tends to exacerbate these symptoms. Peeling and cracking of the skin, especially in areas prone to excessive sweating or friction, are common occurrences in athlete’s foot. The skin may take on a dry, flaky appearance, resembling sunburn or dry skin, making diagnosis challenging without proper knowledge. In certain cases, athlete’s foot may result in blister formation, particularly when excess moisture is trapped within shoes or socks. Unlike blisters from other conditions, those caused by athlete's foot are typically smaller and may contain clear fluid or pus. It is vital not to pop these blisters, as doing so can increase the risk of infection. For help in managing the effects of athlete’s foot, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist.
Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with one of our podiatrists from Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.
What Is Athlete’s Foot?
Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.
The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:
- Thoroughly washing and drying feet
- Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
- Using shower shoes in public showers
- Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
- Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot
Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:
- Scaly and peeling skin
Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Mount Pleasant and Charleston, SC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.