Athlete’s Foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a skin disease caused by a fungus that usually occurs between the toes. The fungus attacks the feet because shoes create a warm, dark, and humid environment that encourages fungus growth. Warm, damp areas around swimming pools, showers, and locker rooms are also breeding grounds for fungi.
Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot include drying skin, itching, scaling, inflammation, and blisters on and between the toes. Athlete’s Foot can spread to the soles of the feet and to the toenails as well as other parts of the body, which is why timely treatment is so important.
You can prevent Athlete’s Foot by:
- Not walking barefoot, particularly in public pools and locker rooms.
- Reducing foot perspiration by using talcum powder.
- Wearing light and airy shoes.
- Wearing socks that keep your feet dry, and changing them frequently if you perspire heavily.
Depending on the type of infection you have, various kinds of medication may be used in treating your fungal problem. Successful treatment usually involves a combination of medication and self-care.
If your condition is not serious, over-the-counter and prescription powders, lotions, or ointments can often help treat scaling, itching, and inflammation. Foot soaks may help dry excessive perspiration. Over-the-counter fungicidal and fungistatic chemicals, however, often fail to contact the fungi in the lower layers of the skin. For persistent Athlete’s Foot, a prescription topical or oral antifungal drug may be needed.
Note: Please consult your physician before taking any medications.