Tinea pedis is the medical term for a fungal infection that occurs on the feet, known as athlete’s foot. Since the fungus prefers warm, damp, dark environments, it can live in shoes, locker rooms, communal showers and swimming pool areas. Athlete’s foot is highly contagious—from both direct contact as well as indirect contact with a surface or object contaminated by the fungus. That is why it is vital to protect yourself in public spaces such as these with proper footwear. Avoid walking barefoot or sharing towels, shoes, or personal grooming utensils. Tinea pedis may spread to other parts of the body if left untreated. The symptoms of athlete’s foot include a dry, itchy, red, scaly rash that can appear on top of the foot, in between the toes, and even on the bottom of the feet. The skin may blister, crack or become inflamed, and a bacterial infection may develop in severe cases of athlete’s foot. If you contract athlete’s foot, the best course of action is to place yourself under the care of a podiatrist for proper, prompt, and permanent treatment.
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 Manhattan Footcare. 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.