How Our Wichita Podiatrist Can Help Treat Your Athlete’s Foot

Tinea pedis, also known as athlete’s foot, is a common fungal foot infection that we pick up usually by walking barefoot in public places such as indoor and outdoor swimming pools, locker rooms, and showers. Left untreated, it can become chronic and cause a lot of discomfort. Learn more about athlete’s foot causes and the thorough treatment you’ll receive at Central Kansas Podiatry Associates

Causes of Athlete’s Foot and Symptoms

Penn Medicine states that “athlete's foot is the most common type of tinea infection. The fungus thrives in warm, moist areas.” Additionally, our feet have approximately 250,000 sweat glands. According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, “athletes often have sweaty feet and use the facilities where fungus is commonly found, thus the term ‘athlete's foot.’” However, anyone is susceptible to this foot fungus, especially people with chronic health conditions such as diabetes, a weakened immune system, ill-fitting socks and shoes, or poor hygiene.

There are four types of athlete’s foot: 

  • Moccasin, usually found along your feet’s edges and heels. 
  • Toe web, so named because you’ll spot it most often between the fourth and fifth toes. 
  • Vesicular, a troublesome condition that causes vesicles or blisters mostly along the instep but sometimes in other places. 
  • Ulcerative, which is the most severe form of athlete’s foot results in ulcers or foot wounds. 

Our patients with athlete’s foot also report other symptoms such as: 

  • Itching, burning, or stinging sensations
  • Excessive redness or skin discoloration
  • Crusty patches of skin

Dr. Weaver’s Recommendations for Athlete’s Foot Treatment

If you’re diligent about checking your feet regularly, you might be able to spot a minor case of athlete’s foot and stop it before it gets worse with off-the-shelf foot powders, sprays, and ointments containing active ingredients such as clotrimazole or terbinafin.

However, it’s always best to have a thorough examination by a podiatrist, who’ll test for fungus and maybe take a skin culture to accurately diagnose athlete’s foot and ensure it’s not another type of condition such as eczema or psoriasis. We’ll also determine if oral medications are required to treat severe cases.  

We also suggest these tips to prevent athlete’s foot in the future: 

  • Wash and dry feet thoroughly, taking extra care to dry between the toes.
  • Use powder to keep the feet dry.
  • Keep socks and footwear clean and dry–socks can be changed several times daily, or try moisture-wicking materials.
  • Wear footwear made of breathable materials that allow air to circulate around the feet. Restrictive footwear, stockings, and socks can trap moisture and perspiration on the feet.
  • Never share socks or footwear.
  • Avoid walking barefoot in public areas such as showers, pools, and locker rooms. instead, wear plastic flip-flops, slides, or shower shoes.
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