Athlete’s Foot: Attack of the Fungi

If you are suffering from itchy, peeling skin between your toes or on the sides of your feet, you might have contracted athlete’s foot. You may feel a burning sensation or pain as well. Fortunately, this is one of those conditions that can be avoided if you know what you are doing.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

This infection is caused by a fungus, and it is common in feet because of the conditions in which fungi thrive. Your shoes are usually damp and warm and your feet spend a lot of time inside them. The fungus also spreads quite easily and can be contracted at places where many people spend a lot of time barefoot, such as at the gym or in a public shower. You may feel itchiness on your feet as well as skin flakiness and cracking. In some cases the toenails are affected, which can cause thickening or discoloration. There may be blisters present on the bottoms of your feet as well.

How Can I Prevent Athlete’s Foot?

If you go to a public place always keep your shoes on, and wear water shoes or flip flops in public showers or pool areas. Keep your feet clean and dry by washing them daily and drying them thoroughly before putting on socks. If you sweat a lot, you can change your socks multiple times throughout the day. Wear shoes that allow your feet to breathe, and if your shoes get damp give them at least 24 hours to completely dry out. Use baby powder or anti-fungal powder on your feet and in your shoes to keep them dry and prevent fungus from making an appearance.

How Do I Treat Athlete’s Foot?

The best way to treat athlete’s foot is by avoiding it in the first place. Prevention should be the first line of defense. If you do contract the infection, there are a number of ways to treat it at home. An over-the-counter antifungal cream or powder may be enough to get rid of your problem. Try soaking your feet in Burow’s solution two or three times a day to help ease your pain. Our office can also prescribe a course of antibiotics or medicated cream to treat the infection. If you are diabetic, you should take extra precautions with your feet, because even something as small as athlete’s foot can turn into a bigger problem. The cracks and blisters in your feet might not feel very painful to you because of the loss of feeling, but you should have the problem treated right away.

When Should I Seek Medical Help?

If you notice that the skin on your feet is red, itchy, or flaking off, or that you have cracks and blisters on your soles, it is time to call your podiatrist. Call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel, podiatrist North Andover, at (978) 794-8406 or schedule an appointment online at one of our three Massachusetts offices. We are here to help you fight the fungus that has taken up residence in your body. Do not suffer from itchiness on your feet any longer. Call today and begin your way back to healthy feet.