While athlete’s foot, also called tinea pedis, has a variety of symptoms, the most common are burning and itching, typically between the toes. You may not see it, but the itch and burn result from a red, scaly rash. Peeling skin, blisters, or ulcers may also accompany the rash.
Your feet may burn and itch constantly, but for most people, the symptoms of athlete’s foot worsen right after taking off their shoes and socks. The condition can impact both of your feet and spread to other areas of the body, most commonly your hands and fingers.
The condition can also make your toenails dry and brittle. They may thicken or become discolored.
What Causes Athlete’s Foot?
A fungal infection causes athlete’s foot, and it’s common in those who repeatedly have sweaty feet in too-tight shoes.
Athlete’s foot spreads easily, either through direct or indirect contact. It’s especially contagious in warm, wet environments, such as public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Although anyone can get athlete’s foot, it’s more common among those who live with, share a shower with, or sleep in the same bed as someone with the condition.
How Is Athlete’s Foot Treated?
You can treat mild cases of athlete’s foot at home with an over-the-counter antifungal cream, spray, or powder. If this medication isn’t strong enough or the infection returns, you may need a stronger medication.
In these cases, your podiatrist usually recommends prescription-strength antifungal creams or topical steroid ointments to eradicate the condition; if you have severe athlete’s foot, your doctor may prescribe an oral medication.
Beyond medication, the team at Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists counsels you on ways to improve your athlete’s foot and prevent further outbreaks. They may suggest that you:
- Dry your feet after showering, especially between your toes
- Regularly change your socks
- Wear ventilated shoes that fit properly
- Change your shoes every day
- Use shower shoes when in public locker rooms, showers, or near swimming pools
- Powder your feet to keep them dry
Don’t let athlete’s foot make you uncomfortable. Find a solution at Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists. Contact us today.