Feet aren’t the sweetest-smelling parts of your body, but if your feet and shoes start giving off a particularly offensive odor, you might have athlete’s foot. This fungal disease affects people of all ages, and you don’t have to play sports to contract it. Learn more about athlete’s foot to help you diagnose, treat, and prevent it.
Causes of Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot is caused by fungi, which thrive in warm, moist environments. This makes your feet susceptible to infection when they start sweating in the confines of your tennis shoes. The mildly contagious condition can spread through direct contact or from touching skin particles left on towels, socks, shoes, and other surfaces.
Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot
You might have athlete’s foot if you notice any of these symptoms on one or both feet:
- Itchy, scaly rash between your toes
- Small red blisters between your toes or on the soles of your feet
- Dryness and scaling on the soles and sides of your feet
- Leaky, red sores (ulcers) that give off a bad odor
How to Prevent Athlete’s Foot
Help your feet stay fungus-free with these tips:
- Wear synthetic socks to wick sweat away from your skin.
- Buy shoes made of breathable materials.
- Put on clean socks every day, and alternate what shoes you wear.
- Never share your shoes, socks, or towels with others.
- Take your shoes off when you get home to expose your feet to the fresh air.
- Avoid walking barefoot in locker rooms and public showers.
Treatments for Athlete’s Foot
Begin treating athlete’s foot as soon as you notice even the mildest itching or scaling on your feet. The sooner you act, the faster the infection will clear up.
Over-the-counter medicine: Look for creams, gels, sprays, and powders at the drug store that are designed to ease the symptoms of athlete’s foot. Continue treatment for a week or two after the infection clears up to prevent a recurrence.
If you show signs of athlete’s foot, try over-the-counter treatments first. If your infection doesn’t respond or spreads to other parts of your body, visit Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology for professional treatment. We can prescribe topical and/or oral medications to get your condition under control.
Contact our Salt Lake City dermatologist today at 801-682-4715 to schedule a consultation for 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.
Athlete’s foot is an unpleasant foot infection that becomes more common during the summer months, as more people are walking barefoot in pools, locker rooms, and other public places. If you suspect you could have athlete’s foot, it is important to see your dermatologist as soon as possible for treatment.
Tinea fungus causes athlete’s foot. The fungus is extremely contagious and can cause an infection if your skin comes into contact with it. It grows in warm, moist environments, such as swimming pools and locker rooms. If you catch athlete’s foot, you may notice itching, stinging, dry and raw skin, blisters, and peeling. Report these symptoms to your dermatologist and avoid walking barefoot in places in which you could spread your infection to others.
Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology is here to help with all of your summer skin woes, including fungal infections like athlete’s foot . To make an appointment with one of our Salt Lake City dermatologists, please call (801) 266-8841.
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