What You Need to Know About Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is caused by a fungal infection. It is highly contagious and easily spread in locker rooms, which is the reason for its name. If you have athlete’s foot or another fungal infection, see your dermatologist for treatment. Over-the-counter remedies may help relieve the symptoms but may not adequately treat the underlying infection, which can allow the infection to flare back up in the future. It is also important to see your dermatologist if you get athlete’s foot and have diabetes, as serious complications can occur.

What are the symptoms of athlete’s foot?

Intense itching is one of the most common symptoms of athlete’s foot. It is usually most intense immediately after you remove your shoes and socks. A red rash between the toes that spreads across the foot is also common. The skin may initially look dry and scaly, causing athlete’s foot to be misdiagnosed as dry skin. In some cases, blisters may also develop.

What causes athlete’s foot?

Athlete’s foot is caused by exposure to an infectious fungus. Wearing damp socks and being in a humid environment encourages the fungus to grow. You can get athlete’s foot by walking on a surface that is infected with the fungus, including floors and towels. Often, people who get athlete’s foot get it from walking in public spaces, such as swimming pools and gym locker rooms, after someone who has it has already walked. You can spread athlete’s foot to other parts of your body if you touch the rash and then touch another area on your body.

How is it treated?

Over-the-counter antifungal treatments work in mild cases. However, you may need to see your dermatologist if your case is moderate to severe. Your doctor can prescribe prescription-strength medications that can eradicate the infection.

Let the dermatologists at Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology help you get relief from skin infections such as athlete’s foot. We offer comprehensive dermatology services, from anti-aging treatments to skin cancer screenings in Salt Lake City. Call (801) 266-8841 to make an appointment.

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