Common Foot Infections: Athlete's Foot

Athlete’s Foot is a skin fungal infection known that affects the upper layer of the skin of the foot. Most commonly, it appears in between your toes but it is important to understand that it can spread to other parts of the body.

What is the cause of Athlete’s Foot?

There are various species of fungi that can result in Athlete’s Foot. The most common specifies Trichophyton, can be found in warm or humid environments. The fungus can spread from person to person through walking barefoot in common public areas. This means you’re more at risk at the local swimming pool, changing rooms and the gym shower. The fungus is also able to survive in socks and used towels.

The fungi responsible for athlete’s foot thrives in damp and warm environments. Therefore, wearing sweat socks or walking in damp shoes makes you more susceptible to athlete’s foot.

What are the symptoms of Athlete’s Foot?

  • Itching in between your toes - you may also notice a flaky rash or redness

  • The skin may appear cracked, blistered and/or may be peeling.

  • Stinging and burning sensation of the skin between the toes

  • Dry scaly rask may cover the soles of your feet, this is known as Moccasin Tinea.

What are the prevention and treatment options for Athlete’s Foot?

  • Clean feet - wash your feet, including in between your toes.

  • Dry feet - dry your feet, including in between your toes, with a towel (use a separate towel for your feet).

  • Breathable Footwear - opt for shoes that allow your feet to breathe. This means selecting shoes that are made from leather or other breathable material.

  • Keep your Feet Dry - if your shoes get feet, allow them to completely dry before using them again.

  • Wear Thongs/Sandals in shared damp areas (swimming pool changing rooms, gym showers) to allow your feet to breathe

There are antifungal creams, gels, ointments, sprays and powders available at your pharmacy. Please consult a doctor or Podiatrist if your symptoms persist.

Srinath Vanapalli