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Adeel Arshad

Authored on 24 January 2024 by Adeel Arshad,

Reviewed 24 January 2024 by Dr Ruch Karunadasa.

What Is an Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, referred to as athlete’s foot more frequently, is a fungal infection that infects your skin, most commonly the area between your toes. Presenting as general discomfort, itchiness, or in severe cases, a burning sensation, athlete’s foot is a relatively common foot infection, encountered in areas with high humidity or in those individuals who sweat a lot.

Contagious like any other fungal infection, athletes foot can spread from one part of your body to another, in some cases hands or even your nails.

There are various types of athlete’s foot, all with a different set of symptoms. Some of these include toe web infection, vesicular type Infection, and moccasin type infection. In toe web infection, the skin in-between your toes turn scaly and flaky, causing it to burn. With the vesicular type, you might end up with fluid-filled blisters that appear just under the skin of your feet. Moccasin Type Infection makes the skin at the heel of your foot thicken up and eventually crack.

While various types of Athlete’s foot present with different types of symptoms, some symptoms that are common to all include drying or scaling of the skin off of your feet, irritation, discolored and brittle toenails, which pull away from the nail bed. Moreover, you might experience blisters that itch and eventually leave raw skin once ruptured.

Treatment For Athlete’s Foot

Fortunately, Athlete’s Foot is not a dangerous fungal infection. However, like other fungal infections, it is highly contagious and can spread rapidly, especially in warm environments, so it is better to treat it as soon as possible. Your doctor might recommend using an anti-fungal ointment, such as clotrimazole or terbinafine to treat it at home.

Oral anti-fungal drugs are recommended if your infection covers a larger area of your skin. Your doctor might also prescribe an anti-inflammatory drug or some antibiotics. In some cases, topical steroids are also recommended.

Athlete’s Foot may not be a severe condition but being contagious, it can spread to different areas of the body which can become more difficult to treat. Hands, as well as toenails, can get infected by scratching the infected area, which are comparatively difficult to treat. The groin area can also be infected by hands or towels that meet the skin lesion, serving as a favorable area for the fungus. Some individuals can also develop an allergic reaction to the fungus, presenting as blisters under the skin of their hands or feet.

To prevent Athlete’s Foot, you can follow some tips such as wearing clean shoes and socks that are made from natural materials like leather, rather than artificial ones. Moreover, you should refrain from walking barefoot, and try to keep your feet dry and clean by using talcum powder.

Skin consultation £19.99

Skin consultation £19.99

Our simple consultation first process enables you to complete a consultation with a doctor, submitting photos of the affected skin and answering a set of questions that will enable a diagnosis where possible.

Common skin conditions can even include:

START SKIN CONSULTATION £19.99 Find out more about the PrivateDoc skin clinic

Frequently asked questions about Urticaria

  • How long does the treatment of an Athlete’s Foot take?

    Fortunately, Athlete’s Foot is not a serious condition and if treated properly, it can be cured within 2 to 3 weeks.

  • What are the symptoms of Athlete’s Foot?

    Some of the symptoms of Athlete’s Foot are flaking, peeling, redness, and cracking of the skin. Moreover, you may experience, a burning, stinging, or itching sensation over the affected area. White patches between the toes and blisters on the feet that may ooze are commonly encountered.

  • What are some ways to prevent Athlete’s Foot?

    Some of the ways to prevent Athlete’s Foot are to wear clean shoes and socks and avoid walking barefoot. Keeping your feet clean and dry is the key, and try to use talcum powder to prevent sweating in your feet.

  • What are the complications related to Athlete’s Foot?

    The most common complication that is associated with the Athlete’s Foot is the fact that it can spread quite quickly as it is highly contagious. Athlete’s foot can spread to involve different areas of your body that are more difficult to treat and may take stronger drugs and longer treatment duration to be cured.

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