Drying skin, scaling, inflammation, and blisters–these are all the classic symptoms of Athlete’s foot, otherwise known as Tinea Pedis. And having Athlete’s foot doesn’t mean you’re an athlete either! You can be the most sedentary couch potato there is and still come down with this usually itchy foot problem. I say usually because you can have dry scaly skin that is a fungal infection that doesn’t itch!
Athlete’s foot is a skin disease caused by a parasitic fungus in the genus Trichophyton, either Trichophyton rubrum or Trichophyton mentagrophytes–such fancy names for annoying little critters! Athlete’s foot usually occurs between the toes and on the feet because shoes create the perfect environment for fungus growth. Athlete’s foot may even spread to other parts of the body, including the groin and underarms.
Swimming pools, showers, and locker rooms are ideal breeding grounds for fungi due to thewarmth and dampness. They are also ideal places to pick up this bothersome fungi!
However, not all fungus conditions lead to Athlete’s foot. Other conditions, such as disorders of the sweat mechanism, reaction to dyes or adhesives in shoes, eczema, and psoriasis, may mimic Athlete’s foot. If you have have persistent dry scaly feet that do not get better with standard moisturizers, it just may be athlete’s foot and you might want to try an over-the-counter athlete foot cream.
So what can you do to prevent these pests from wreaking havoc with your feet…
You can prevent Athlete’s foot by:
- Avoiding walking barefoot around public pools and showers. Use shower shoes.
- Reducing perspiration by using powder in your shoes.
- Wearing light and airy shoes.
- Wearing socks that keep your feet dry. And if you do sweat a lot, change your socks frequently.
- Practicing good hygiene! Wash your feet with an anti-fungal soap.
- Spraying your shoes with Lysol after wearing them.
And if you are unfortunately already plagued with this stubborn foot problem, there is an array of fungicidal creams out there to treat it. However, these creams/ointments may fail to kill the fungi in the deeper layers of the skin, so I may prescribe topical or oral antifungal drugs to treat it in more severe cases.
If you are looking for a podiatrist in the Bradenton-Sarasota area, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Lasday for a thorough and professional evaluation, either in his Bradenton Podiatry office or Sarasota Podiatry office.