Athlete's foot is so named because it's a common fungal infection seen in athletes who share locker rooms and showers. But anyone can develop this itchy, uncomfortable fungal infection. The experienced podiatrists at the Foot and Ankle Specialists specialize in treating athlete's foot and helping prevent recurring infections. If you need relief from athlete's foot, call the office in The Woodlands, Memorial City, or Huntsville, Texas, today or request an appointment online.
Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) develops when fungal organisms called dermatophytes invade your feet, usually the skin between your toes. Your feet are especially vulnerable to athlete’s foot because the fungi that cause it thrive in warm, moist environments. Those environments are created by sweating inside shoes, wet pool decks, and locker room floors.
Fungal infections are highly contagious. Not only can it spread to other people, but the fungal infection can also spread to other parts of your body by touching your feet, then transferring the fungus from your hand to another body area. You can avoid that problem by washing your hands after touching your feet.
Your risk of contracting athlete’s foot increases if you have an existing skin rash, very sweaty feet, or a weak immune system. You’re also more likely to get athlete’s foot if you have poor blood circulation caused by diabetes or blockages in leg veins and arteries.
You can prevent athlete’s foot or lower your risk if you:
If you live or share a locker room with someone who has athlete’s foot, don’t share towels, shoes, or socks.
Many people come into contact with the fungi but don’t end up with an infection because their immune system fights it off. Once athlete’s foot takes hold, you experience:
Without treatment, the infection can spread into your toenail and over your foot.
Your provider usually recommends treatment with an antifungal medication. A mild infection often improves with an over-the-counter antifungal ointment, lotion, powder, or spray.
However, many patients need prescription-strength antifungals. Your provider can prescribe a topical ointment or an oral tablet, depending on how severe your infection is.
It’s essential that you pay attention to your foot care routine. Your provider evaluates your shoes to be sure they fit properly and have ventilation. They can also recommend using foot powder in your shoes.
Don’t wait to get help for athlete’s foot. Call the Foot and Ankle Specialists of The Woodlands today or book an appointment online.