Dermatophytes are the most common types of fungi that grow on the top layer of skin (epidermis) and enter it through small cracks. This condition, known as athlete’s foot, can cause scaly, itchy, and red skin. Severe cases of athlete’s foot can include very bad scaling and cracking in the skin, as well as blisters and a thickening of skin on the bottom of the feet. This may be particularly serious if you have diabetes. Athlete’s foot is highly contagious and can be transmitted by direct contact with someone who has it, as well as by sharing their clothes, shoes, linens, mats or rugs. Warm, moist areas such as public pools, showers, saunas and locker rooms are a perfect breeding ground for dermatophytes, so walking barefoot in these areas should be avoided. In order to properly diagnose athlete’s foot, a podiatrist may need to take a sample of the fungi from your skin for testing. If you believe you have athlete’s foot, it is suggested that you seek treatment from your podiatrist, who may recommend prescription antifungal medicines and topical creams to get rid of your athlete’s foot and avoid a bacterial infection from setting in.
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 Ernest Levi, DPM from Grand Central Podiatry. Our doctor 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 office located in New York, NY . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.
Read more about Athlete's Foot