It starts with an itch and ends with an invasive burning sensation. Your toes begin to crack, your skin starts to peal, blisters appear, and no amount of scratching will provide relief. This is the mark of the persistent fungal infection known as athlete's foot.
Not to worry, Absolute Foot Care Specialists are here to help! Maintaining healthy, beautiful feet should never be a struggle. Let us tame the flames.
What is Athlete's Foot?
Athlete's foot is a common condition, also called tinea pedis. It is the most common type of fungal infection. It thrives in the warm, moist environments of athletic shoes, showers, and swimming pools. The fungi find refuge in the moist, dark, and damp areas between the toes and other parts of the feet. It may also spread to the toenails, palms of your hands, groin, or underarms.
Athlete's foot, also considered a skin disease, affects up to 15% of Americans. Contrary to its name, this condition is not strictly limited to athletes--anyone with clammy or sweaty feet can develop symptoms. It is the second most common skin condition behind acne. This is one battle you don't have to fight alone – there is a cure.
If you've contracted this unrelenting fungal infection your foot is susceptible to many tribulations. Athlete's foot may cause one or more of the following: Itching, stinging, or burning between the toes and on the soles of the feet, uncomfortable blisters, peeling and cracking, excessive dryness of the entire foot, or thick, crumbling and discolored toenails that pull away from the nail bed.
A fungal infection of the nail, called Onychomycosis or more commonly known as nail fungus, may develop along with these symptoms.
The mold-like fungi, called dermatophytes, that causes Athlete's foot is an ordinary inhabitant of your skin. Given the opportunity, such as when your feet aren't kept clean and dry, this fungus will cause a ruckus.
Athlete's foot is contagious. It can be spread by contact with an infected individual or by contact with contaminated surfaces such as floors of locker rooms or areas surround public pools. Tight shoes and damp socks create ideal, humid conditions that favor the infectious growth. Plastic shoes are particularly dangerous because there is no airflow around the foot while these shoes are on. If you've already had athlete's foot, you're at great risk for recurrence.
Prevention and Treatment
At Absolute Foot Care Specialists we offer treatment options for Athlete’s Foot and other fungal infections but there are things that you can do to prevent this from happening.
- Wear shoes in public areas where fungal conditions flourish, this includes gym floors, swimming pools, changing rooms, locker rooms, public showers and anywhere people typically walk barefoot.
- Keep your feet clean and dry.
- Occasionally removing the feet from shoes will allow the skin to breathe and air-out.
- Interchange your shoes or sneakers from day to day and look for pairs that offer ventilation holes.
- Wear cotton or wool socks that won't trap moisture in your toes, avoid soaking your feet in water and stay away from those who are infected with the disease.
Dr. Noah Levine can diagnose your foot simply by examining the affected area. Sometimes a sample of the flaking skin will be taken for further analysis if the doctor feels it is necessary. Athlete's foot can be treated with over-the-counter, topical antifungal cream or lotion, but in most persistent cases, prescription pills or topical creams may be needed. Ask your podiatrist about which treatment option is best for you!
If you have an itch or burn that won't cease, contact Absolute Foot Care Specialists of Las Vegas today! You can make an appointment online or by calling our office at (702) 839-2010. You can trust in our certified podiatrist to treat your feet with great care.