Athlete's foot

Sep 08, 2021

Athlete's foot is also called Tinea Pedis, is the most common fungal infection that usually appears on the toes and inter-digital spaces but it can also appear on the heels and sides of the feet.

 

The athlete's foot is contagious and can be spread by direct contact through shoes and socks. Commonly spread in swimming pools, changing rooms or public showers, whose facilities remain constantly humid and hot.

Among the main causes of Tinea Pedis we have:

  • Wearing closed shoes and keeping the feet wet for a long periods of time.
  • Sweaty feet.
  • Low immune system.
  • Not drying the well, especially between the toes.
  • Wearing synthetic socks or tights that they do not allow your feet to ventilate.
  • Wearing synthetic shoes, such as wellington boots or plastic shoes.

 

The most common symptoms of athlete's foot are smelly feet, dry flaky skin, blisters, redness and inflammation in the area.

 

Here are a few tips to prevent fungal infections:

  • Wash your feet daily with soap and water.
  • Keep your feet dry, especially between the toes.
  • Do not go barefoot in changing rooms, swimming pools and public showers. In this case, it is essential to wear flip flops.
  • Wear clean cotton socks and change them as many times as necessary to keep your feet dry.
  • Shoes must be well ventilated and made of a natural material that allows perspiration.

 

There are three types of athlete's foot:

Inter-digital: The most common type and usually manifests between the smallest toes. It can cause burning, itching and spread to the sole of the foot.

Moccasin: Starts as a minor irritation, dryness, or itchiness. However, as it develops, the skin can crack.

Vesicular: Not very common and generally begins with blisters under the skin.

The diagnosis of the athlete's foot is based on evaluating the symptoms and observing the affected area. If the diagnosis is unclear, a sample can be taken to evaluate it under the microscope.

There are centrifugal creams or powders to treat the fungal infection that can be found in a pharmacy. However, if the infection does not improve in 2-4 weeks, we recommend having an assessment with your podiatrist to assess the pathology and establish the most appropriate treatment.