When To See A Doctor
You may wish to see a doctor if you find yourself with a rash on your foot that does not clear up after two weeks or respond to over-the-counter antifungal products. People with diabetes should make their doctor aware of any persistent infection on their feet. Notify your doctor if you have a case of athleteâs foot that presents symptoms like swelling, redness, drainage, or a fever.
Complications Of Athletes Foot
Athletes foot infection can spread to other parts of your body, such as:
If you scratch or pick at the infected areas of your feet, you run the risk of developing a similar infection on your hands.
Finally, the condition known as jock itch may be caused by the same fungus responsible for athletes foot, and its common for the infection to spread from the feet to the groin via your hands or a towel.
The affected area of your foot can also become infected with bacteria in addition to fungus. If this occurs, your foot may become red or swollen and you may experience pain.
If you develop these symptoms, call your doctor immediately.
How Can I Reduce My Risk
There are many ways to reduce your risk of getting athletes foot:
- Thoroughly wash your feet and the skin between your toes with antibacterial soap.
- Dry your feet and the spaces between your toes after swimming or bathing.
- Apply talcum powder or antifungal powder to your feet to absorb moisture.
- Put on your socks before your underwear to prevent the fungus from spreading to your groin.
- Wear shoes or sandals that allow your feet to get air.
- Avoid wearing rubber or synthetic shoes for long periods.
- Allow your shoes to dry out for at least 24 hours between uses.
- Clean your shoes with disinfecting sprays or wipes.
- Wear cotton or wool socks that absorb moisture or socks made out of synthetic materials that wick away moisture.
- Wear sandals or flip-flops in communal locker rooms, pools, saunas or showers.
- Wash your socks, towels and bedding in hot water.
What Are The Clinical Features Of Athlete’s Foot
The clinical features of athlete’s foot may include:
- Moist, peeling skin between the toes
- White, yellow, or greenish discolouration
- Sometimes, thickened skin
- Painful fissures
- Unpleasant smell.
Athlet’s foot is generally mild very inflamed athlete’s foot is generally due to secondary bacterial infection.
Eczema Or Athletes Foot
While eczema may have similar symptoms to the fungal foot infection, the cause is different and it requires a different treatment plan. Known medically as foot dyshidrotic eczema, eczema of the feet is an inflammatory skin condition that is not contagious, but rather a reaction commonly linked to allergies, genetics, and stress. While athletes foot does produce redness and irritation, it is a contagious infection caused by the fungus tinea cruris. Though tinea cruris is a naturally occurring foot fungus, the infection is caused by allowing the fungus to propagate in sweaty socks and shoes, or by coming into contact with a concentrated source of the fungus. Both infected individuals and objects they have come into contact with can serve as concentrated sources of athlete’s foot fungus. To learn more about what causes athlete’s foot and how to prevent it, take a look at our post How to Prevent Athlete’s Foot.In both conditions, skin is often red, scaly, blistered, and cracked. In severe cases, the skin can even ooze. Sufferers of eczema and athletes foot usually experience both burning, and itching sensations as a result of the conditions. Both athletes foot and eczema can develop into chronic conditions if they dont receive proper treatment quickly. While both conditions are fairly similar in their symptoms, the location of the affected areas can give away whether youre suffering from eczema or athletes foot.
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What Will The Doctor Do
A doctor can usually figure out that you have athlete’s foot by looking at the skin on your feet. Your doctor may swab or scrape off a skin sample to test for fungus or for bacteria, because sometimes other conditions can cause similar symptoms. Don’t worry, this won’t hurt you have lots of extra layers of skin on your feet!
Treatment is usually simple. For mild cases, your doctor may have you apply a powder that contains medicine or cream that kills fungus. This should make your feet feel better in a few days. Sometimes you’ll need to use the medicine for up to a month to get rid of the athlete’s foot completely.
You’ll also need to keep your feet dry and keep your shoes off as much as possible because fungus can’t easily grow in dry, open air. If doing these things doesn’t help clear up the infection, your doctor might prescribe a stronger medicine. This one will be the kind you swallow, not just something that you apply to your feet.
It’s important to see a doctor about your athlete’s foot because if it goes untreated, it will continue to spread, making your feet feel really itchy and uncomfortable and will become harder to get rid of.
Who Should Not Use Eos
Just because essential oils are available OTC does not mean they are safe for everyone. For example, if you have scent-based allergies or sensitivities, you should be very careful with essential oils because their scent is concentrated and potent.
Also, if your athlete’s foot is severe or chronic, essential oils may not help your condition, and you may benefit from a stronger treatment. Always consult a healthcare provider before using essential oils for athlete’s foot.
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How Is Athletes Foot Treated
Athletes foot can often be treated with over-the-counter topical antifungal medications. If OTC medications dont treat your infection, your doctor may prescribe topical or oral prescription-strength antifungal medications. Your doctor may also recommend home treatments to help clear up the infection.
Duration Of Athletes Foot
Your athletes foot symptoms should go away within two to four weeks of self-care. However, if they dont, talk to your doctor.
You should also talk to your doctor immediately if your foot becomes swollen and warm to the touch or if you see red marks or pus or experience pain or fever. These are signs of a possible bacterial infection.
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What Causes Athletes Foot
Athletes foot occurs when the tinea fungus grows on the feet. You can catch the fungus through direct contact with an infected person, or by touching surfaces contaminated with the fungus. The fungus thrives in warm, moist environments. Its commonly found in showers, on locker room floors, and around swimming pools.
Anyone can get athletes foot, but certain behaviors increase your risk. Factors that increase your risk of getting athletes foot include:
- visiting public places barefoot, especially locker rooms, showers, and swimming pools
- sharing socks, shoes, or towels with an infected person
- wearing tight, closed-toe shoes
There are many possible symptoms of athletes foot, which include:
- itching, stinging, and burning between your toes or on soles of your feet
- blisters on your feet that itch
- cracking and peeling skin on your feet, most commonly between your toes and on your soles
- dry skin on your soles or sides of your feet
- raw skin on your feet
- discolored, thick, and crumbly toenails
- toenails that pull away from the nail bed
How Do I Treat Athletes Foot Do I Need To Visit A Podiatrist
Athletes foot treatment typically involves taking a topical or oral antifungal drug. While you may find several over-the-counter products claiming to cure athletes foot at your nearest grocery or pharmacy, sometimes its best to visit your podiatrist for more effective athletes foot treatment. The most common athletes foot treatments include creams, powders, sprays, and tablets. They all work similarly, but some may be better suited to you and your lifestyle than others. If you have diabetes or a circulatory issue, you may require specialized treatment.
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How To Manage Athletes Foot
A person should take steps to prevent athletes foot by keeping their feet dry and wearing footwear in moist public areas. If an infection develops, doctors will likely recommend a topical or oral antifungal medication.
People can take steps to prevent athletes foot infections and avoid eczema triggers. The following sections outline how.
How To Prevent Athlete’s Foot
How to prevent athlete’s foot
Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection that most people get from walking barefoot in moist public places, like a swimming pool deck or locker room.
To reduce the chance of catching athlete’s foot, board-certified dermatologists recommend that you take the following precautions.
Despite the name, athletes foot can happen to anyone. It can result in flaky skin, cracking, and itchiness on the soles of the foot and between the toes.
To reduce the chance of catching athletes foot, dermatologists recommend that you take the following precautions:
Wear shower shoes, flip-flops, or sandals when walking around pools, gyms, shower or locker areas, and hotel rooms. The fungus that causes athletes foot may be on the floor. Even when taking a shower in a gym, it is important to wear shower shoes or flip flops.
Even if you have not gone barefoot in public areas, keep your feet dry. This fungus thrives in warm, moist areas such as the one created inside hot, sweaty shoes. Wearing sandals or flip-flops helps when its hot outside. Shoes that are made from synthetic materials like plastic and rubber are more likely to cause sweating.
Wash your feet every day with soap and completely dry them after washing.
Wear socks made of natural fabrics or fabrics that dry quickly or wick moisture away from the skin. Also, be sure to change your socks every day and more often when your socks get wet.
Related AAD resources
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Athletes Foot Vs Foot Eczema
Foot eczema and athletes foot have similar symptoms but require different treatments. While athletes foot is a fungal infection, eczema is an inflammatory skin condition. Athletes foot can be cured with antifungal medications, but eczema is usually a lifelong condition. Also, eczema isnt contagious, so you cant catch it from other people or give it to anyone.
When eczema occurs on the feet, it can be itchy and painful. Common symptoms of foot eczema include swollen, flaking, or cracked skin and blisters that crust over. In severe cases, people may find it difficult to walk.
Many different things can trigger eczema flare-ups, including stress, working conditions in which your feet get wet, and exposure to certain metals. Its important to keep your feet hydrated with moisturizer when you have eczema. If your feet become dry, blisters may crack open and put you at risk for infections.
Alternative And Complementary Therapies
For athletes foot, some people swear by home remedies such as tea tree oil or footbaths that contain certain herbal products. However, there have been very few studies evaluating the effectiveness of these remedies for athletes foot, and what few exist have yielded conflicting results.
Australasian Journal of Dermatology
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What Are The Symptoms Of Athletes Foot
Your symptoms depend on the type of athletes foot that you have.
- Toe web infection: A toe web infection is the most common type of athletes foot. It typically affects the skin between your fourth toe and fifth toe . Your skin may change color, crack, peel or flake.
- Moccasin-type infection: A moccasin-type infection affects the bottoms of your feet, your heels and the edges of your feet. Your feet may be sore for a few days. Then, the skin on the bottom of your feet thickens and cracks. In rare cases, your toenails may get infected. They can thicken, break into small pieces and fall out.
- Vesicular-type infection: A vesicular-type infection typically affects the bottom of your feet, but it may appear anywhere on them. A vesicular-type infection features bumps or fluid-filled blisters .
- Ulcerative infection: An ulcerative infection is the rarest type of athletes foot. Open sores often appear between your toes. Open sores may also appear on the bottom of your feet.
Essential Oils Children And Pregnancy
Be very careful with essential oils and children. Store them where children cannot reach themingesting as little as 1 teaspoon can be fatal. Do not use it on children without guidance from a healthcare provider, as EOs must be more heavily diluted when using them on kids.
In addition, use only under the guidance of a healthcare provider while pregnant.
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Podiatrists Located In Aurora Co
The itching, burning, and scaly skin of athletes foot is extremely irritating and contagious. Board-certified podiatrist and the team at Foot and Ankle Center for the Rockies Specialists in Aurora, Colorado, treat athletes foot in patients of all ages. If you suspect you may have athletes foot, call the office to schedule an appointment.
What Is The Best Treatment For Athletes Foot
Athletes foot is curable. Over-the-counter topical antifungal medications are available to treat athletes foot. Examples include clotrimazole , terbinafine , miconazole , and tolnaftate . These antifungal medicines come in creams, gels, ointments, powders, and sprays.
Its important to finish all the prescription antifungals your doctor gives you and use the topical medicine as directed. Stopping treatment with oral or topical medications too soon can cause the fungus to come back and become harder to treat.
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Know The Difference: Athletes Foot Vs Eczema
Telling the difference between athletes foot and eczema can be a difficult task for those looking to diagnose their increasingly worrisome feet as both conditions can trigger identical symptoms.
Symptoms of both conditions include:
- Scaly skin with red patches
- Itching or burning skin
Luckily, although athlete s foot and eczema may have nearly identical symptoms, the two skin conditions have very different causes. Eczema is a noninfectious, noncontagious, inflamed skin condition that is related to allergies, irritations, and emotional stress.
Athletes foot, meanwhile, is an infectious, contagious, inflamed skin condition that is caused by a fungal infection of the skin. Unlike eczema, which can also affect the hands, the threat of athletes foot is limited to only the lower extremities.
At Delray Beach Podiatry, Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum, a podiatric physician and surgeon with over 30 years of experience, has treated numerous patients for both eczema and athletes food.
Although its always best to consult a podiatrist to be completely certain exactly what condition you are dealing with, below is some helpful information that Dr. Goldbaum believes can help patients discern between eczema and athletes foot prior to their visit.
Athletes foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a common fungal infection that affects the sole of the foot and usually begins between the toes.
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Diagnosis Of Tinea Pedis
The safest tinea pedis treatment is topical antifungals, but recurrence is common and treatment must often be prolonged. Alternatives that provide a more durable response include itraconazole 200 mg orally once a day for 1 month and terbinafine 250 mg orally once a day for 2 to 6 weeks. Concomitant topical antifungal use may reduce recurrences.
Moisture reduction on the feet and in footwear is necessary for preventing recurrence. Permeable or open-toe footwear and sock changes are important especially during warm weather. Interdigital spaces should be manually dried after bathing. Drying agents are also recommended options include antifungal powders , gentian violet, Burow solution soaks, and 20 to 25% aluminum chloride solution nightly for 1 week then 1 to 2 times/week as needed.
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Who Is At Risk Of Getting Athletes Foot
Athlete’s foot is the most common skin infection among people who play sports, which is where it gets the name.
This contagious fungal infection spreads through skin contact with an infected person. It can also spread through contact with contaminated surfaces. The fungus needs a warm, moist environment to grow.
Athletes wear closed, tight shoes and often have sweaty feet. They use locker rooms and public pools where contact is likely with contaminated towels, shoes, and floors. These are risk factors for athletes foot.
As a result, athletes foot often spreads at swimming pools, saunas, and locker rooms where people are walking barefoot.
However, It is worth noting that athletes foot can affect anyone, not just people who play sports. It is more common among men, people over the age of 60, and those with medical conditions like obesity, diabetes, a weakened immune system, or skin wounds in the feet.
Foot Treatments For Dermatitis
Athletes Foot and Dermatitis
A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Center is dedicated to providing our patients with the best possible foot and ankle care. We offer a variety of services to meet our patients’ needs, including foot surgery, laser surgery, orthotics, and more. We also offer senior foot care and X-rays to diagnose and treat different foot conditions. Here is a comprehensive look at our foot treatments and services:
- Non-Invasive Orthotripsy
Some of these are great foot treatments for dermatitis. But first, let’s learn what dermatitis and athlete’s foot are.
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What Causes Athletes Foot What Are Common Symptoms
Athletes foot is a skin disease caused by a fungus, and you dont have to be an athlete to get it. The medical name for athletes foot is tinea pedis. The reason its commonly called athletes foot is the fungus is often found inside locker rooms, gyms, swimming pools, and showers, i.e., the playground for most athletes. Athletes foot is highly contagious and is easily spread through skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. Symptoms of athletes foot include itchy, dry skin, inflammation, blisters, and cracked heels. While it typically affects the soles of your feet and toenails, it can also spread to other body parts that provide a dark, damp home for it, including your groin and underarms. If athletes foot spreads to other body parts, it often goes by other names such as ringworm or jock itch. You can even get athletes foot on your head, face, or hands. It should be noted that not all fungus conditions affecting the feet are athletes foot. You could also suffer from conditions known as eczema, psoriasis, or even an allergic reaction to dyes used in your shoes.