The term athlete’s foot is a highly misleading phrase, as this condition does not only occur in athletes. Athletes foot is a common name given to a fungal infection of the skin that predominately occurs in between toes but can occur anywhere on the foot. If left untreated the condition can spread to other parts of the foot, hands and can even affect the face.
You can expect that this condition will persist for a period of time and that the treatments named below will need to be carried out for a prolonged period of time. However, if the changes are implemented full resolution of this condition is common.
Symptoms of Athlete's Foot
Athlete's foot (tinea pedis) symptoms vary from person to person. Although some people have severe discomfort, others have few or no symptoms. Common symptoms include: peeling, cracking, scaling of the feet, redness, blisters, or softening and breaking down (maceration) of the skin.
The skin involved may be red, swollen and may contain sticky fluid. Patients may also experience a scaly dry rash on the bottom and sides of feet. This type of athlete’s foot is called a “moccasin” pattern. Cracks or “fissures” can occur between the toes, sometimes accompanied by a soft white scale. Secondary bacterial infections may occur due to irritation caused by scratching the affected area.
Athlete's Foot Treatment
Athlete’s foot is treated through anti-fungal medication such as topical creams or antibiotics. Our team can advise as to which combination of treatments will be most effective in your case. Good foot hygiene is an essential part of the treatment – wearing cotton socks, washing the feet regularly, changing socks twice a day, wearing leather shoes and taking care to dry the feet well after washing. Patients with persistent sweaty feet will need to deal with this also – dabbing the feet with surgical white spirit helps and using topical antibacterial powder or cream.
In some cases it may be necessary to take a swab of the foot in order to establish the exact type of infection and allow specific treatment.
Our team is trained to assess many different types of skin complaints and in doing so will establish the most likely cause of the problem and the best practice for treatment.