Athlete’s Foot 101

Although the risk for athlete’s foot is high during the summer due to the fact that patients go barefoot more often in public places, at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we see just as many cases as we move into the fall. Part of the reason for this is that the fungi that causes this infection (also known as tinea pedis) love warm, moist, dark places—like inside closed shoes and sweaty socks.

How do You Know if You Have It?

The symptoms of athlete’s foot are severe itching, burning and redness, along with dry scaly skin. The infection often begins between the toes but can also develop on the arches, soles or the sides of the feet. Left untreated, blisters may form and the condition can progress from annoying to painful. What’s tricky, however, is that the symptoms of athlete’s foot can mimic other conditions, such as psoriasis. In addition, there are different fungi that cause athlete’s foot, which may affect treatment. For those reasons, it’s important to get a skin rash on your foot looked at sooner rather than later. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas will examine the skin on your feet and make an accurate diagnosis of the condition.

Treatment and Prevention

Both topical ointments as well as oral medications are available to treat athlete’s foot. The foot doctor will prescribe the treatment that will be most effective depending on the type and severity of your infection. Of course, the best scenario is not to get athlete’s foot in the first place! Some tips for avoiding athlete’s foot include:

  • Do not share shoes, socks, towels or any other items that touch another person’s feet.
  • Keep your feet from coming in contact with fungus by wearing shower shoes or flip flops in gyms, locker rooms, showers and other public places where people walk barefoot.
  • Keep feet dry. Change your socks more than once a day if you tend to perspire heavily.
  • Wash feet daily and dry completely, being sure to get the space between the toes. Apply a foot powder before putting on socks to help keep feet dry.

If you are concerned that you may have contracted athlete’s foot, contact our Long Beach office for an appointment by calling: 562-420-9800.